Why Democracy Is Not Freedom...
'Democracy' The word can be heard daily -- repeated by government officials, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, the media, academia, and our patriotic neighbors. Popular wisdom seems to dictate that whatever may be good about America has something to do with 'democracy' -- right?
But if democracy is really what makes America great, why did the Founders establish the United States as a consitutional republic and not a 'democracy'? (It's curious that 'public' (i.e., government) education has all but phased out such facts from what's left of 'civics' and 'government' studies.)
WHAT POLITICIANS SAY
Now . . .
"Democracy is ... the only path to national success and dignity." -- George W. Bush
"We must revitalize our democracy." -- Bill Clinton
"The world must be made safe for democracy."
-- Woodrow Wilson
WHAT THE FOUNDERS SAID
Then . . .|
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Ben Franklin
"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
-- Thomas Jefferson
"Democracy ... wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."
-- John Adams
"Democracy is the most vile form of government... democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention... incompatible with personal security or the rights of property."
-- James Madison
"The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and ... breaks up the foundations of society."
-- Thomas Jefferson
The two foundational documents that protect the rights and property of individual Americans by limiting the federal government's power (the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence) don't even once use any form of the word 'democracy' -- and for good reason.
It is disturbingly instructive that, for the most part, American politicians, educators, and the 'news' media have simplistically described the United States as a 'democracy' for more than a century -- yet the Founders expressed nothing but contempt for the very concept of a democracy [see sidebar at left].
Shouldn't you at least find out why?
The answer has a lot to do with history -- but please don't let that scare you off. George Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," warning us to avoid the disasterous errors of other nations by learning from their mistakes. Besides, this kind of history is actually interesting.
This site provides some political and economic history -- as well as current events -- to help readers better understand what has happened to the American republic. What you read here might not line up with your 'public' (i.e., government) education, and you'll probably find that politicians and members of the media scarcely acknowledge this stuff. Some of it might anger them -- and it might even anger you.
But if you agree with us that the truth matters, you won't allow unpleasant truth deter you from demanding the whole story. As Patrick Henry said, "For my part...I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it."
So please accept our invitation to browse this site in whatever fashion suits you. If you have several minutes to spare, you might want to start with the Primer on Contemporary American Politics. If books are more your style, please see the 'required reading' book list. If you prefer on-line reading, see our 'required reading' articles list.