Democracy

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The U.S. is a democracy, and always has been.

As Lincoln stated in the Gettysburg Address, this is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.[1]

As Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, government derives its just authority from the consent of the governed. The Declaration of Independence is even more important than the U.S. Constitution, for without it, there is no basis for America to exist at all separate from England.

Elites who attempt to usurp control of the government from the will of the people are nothing more than thieves.

Madison's View[edit]

See also Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments

The primary reason the Federalist Papers are commonly examined with regard to the Framers' intent is to see what James Madison, the primary author of the U.S. Constitution, intended the U.S. governmental model to be. After all, other contributors to the Federalist Papers such as Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, while certainly prominent in their own right, are not considered to have the same authority as Madison. Madison, in his legislation, Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments further established what his beliefs are when it comes to tyranny of the few vs. a majority.

Madison Supported Direct Democracy[edit]

It should be observed that Madison (who studied theology and nearly became a minister[3]) was willing to support making Christianity the official religion of the United States so long as this was done through true direct democracy, a vote of the entire people of the United States. However, the logistics at the time made this impossible, which was why representatives were instead elected. In Madison's words, "a measure of such singular magnitude and delicacy ought not to be imposed, without the clearest evidence that it is called for by a majority of citizens, and no satisfactory method is yet proposed by which the voice of the majority in this case may be determined, or its influence secured."

Madison argues that certain rights, including religion, are exempt from governmental restriction by legislators because the rights are given by the Creator Himself. Furthermore, Madison states that the determination must be made by "the will of the majority" yet cautions that "it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority." In Madison's words, "The Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The People who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves."

Madison Rejects Judicial Review[edit]

Madison, like Jefferson in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, denies that judges, i.e. 'civil magistrates,' can be "competent judges" when it comes to determining inalienable rights, stating that "the Bill implies either that the Civil Magistrate is a competent Judge of Religious Truth; or that he may employ Religion as an engine of Civil policy. The first is an arrogant pretension falsified by the contradictory opinions of Rulers in all ages, and throughout the world: the second an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation." (5)

Tyranny of the Majority / Mob Rule[edit]

Several of the founders refer to a "tyranny of the majority" or "mob rule" in the Federalist Papers or other early writings. However, this is in the context of their concern over the chaos occurring in Europe; specifically the uprisings which would lead to the French Revolution (1787-1788), where an angry mob of people was rampaging across France, killing all members of the aristocracy. For years, the aggrieved commoners would hunt down and publicly execute thousands of the French nobility via guillotine.

This was not a critique of voting booth democracy but literal 'mob rule' where people, losing all capacity for reason through 'crowd psychology' give way to their baser instincts in a state of "tyranny and anarchy."[7]

Alternative: Tyranny of the Minority[edit]

The alternative, tyranny of the minority, has always proven a greater, more consistent threat to freedom than a tyranny of the majority. There are numerous cases which could be given of a few elite authoritarian leaders ordering horrific atrocities whereas one would be hard pressed to identify cases where such evils have been perpetrated by large groups of people making democratic decisions. As pointed out recently by Neil Gorsuch, the alternative of a 'tyranny of a few' is far less preferable and not what the founders envisioned:

Direct Democracy[edit]

The U.S. should increasingly move towards a model of direct democracy, where the people themselves make the major decisions via ballot referendum, and elected representatives decide minor issues or those dealing with immediate emergencies which cannot be gradually placed on the ballot.

Removing the Electoral College[edit]

See also Electoral Reform

Must be Preceded by Election Reform[edit]

See also Voter Fraud

Given the widespread Voter Fraud constantly perpetrated by the Democratic Party, any transition away from the electoral college must first be preceded by serious election reforms. Otherwise, Democrats will simply steal national elections through massive voter fraud in places like California (where they have consistently refused to allow poll watching or transparent release of election data) or Florida's long-troubled Broward County, which has helped Democrats alter several major elections.

Needed reforms include eVerify, mandatory federal penalties for voter fraud at least as harsh as those for U.S. Census Bureau employees who disclose Personally Identifiable Information ($5,000 fine and 5 years in prison), and mandatory poll-watching.

Requires an Amendment or Constitutional Convention[edit]

The electoral college would be best removed, ultimately, in favor of direct democracy via popular vote, not just for purposes of determining representation but the issues themselves via ballot referendum. However, this will require a Constitutional Amendment, as the electoral college depends not on laws passed by Congress, but the U.S. Constitution (including its Amendments). The electoral college has always existed in the Constitution and was established by the founders; as such it should not be lightly altered apart from the Amendment process.[13]

The electoral college is Constitutionally mandated under Article I, § 2 and Article II, § 1 as well as Amendment XII and Amendment XIV, § 2.[14] The only other alternative apart from Amendment would be a Constitutional Convention to change the entire U.S. governmental structure, which is how both the Articles of Confederation and U.S. Constitution were originally created.

Sources[edit]

  1. Lincoln, A. (1863, November 19). "The Gettysburg Address." Cornell University.
  2. National Archives (2019). "Declaration of Independence: A Transcription." U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
  3. National Archives (2019). "The Founding Fathers: Virginia." USA.gov.
  4. Atkinson, Kathleen (2007). "Early Virginians and Religious Freedom for Americans." Virginia Commonwealth University. The World Religions in Richmond Project.
  5. Atkinson, Kathleen (2007). "Early Virginians and Religious Freedom for Americans." Virginia Commonwealth University. The World Religions in Richmond Project.
  6. Atkinson, Kathleen (2007). "Early Virginians and Religious Freedom for Americans." Virginia Commonwealth University. The World Religions in Richmond Project.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Hamilton, A. (1787, November 20). "The Federalist Papers No. 9: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection." Congress.gov.
  8. Madison, J. (1787, November 23). "The Federalist Papers No. 10: The Same Subject Continued: The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection." Congress.gov.
  9. Hamilton, A. (1787, November 20). "The Federalist Papers No. 8: The Consequences of Hostilities Between the States." Congress.gov.
  10. Hamilton, A. or Madison, J. (1788, February 26). "The Federalist Papers No. 63: The Senate Continued." Congress.gov.
  11. Hamilton, A. or Madison, J. (1788 February 15). "The Federalist Papers No. 55: The Total Number of the House of Representatives." Congress.gov.
  12. De Vogue, A. (2019, September 10). "'Do You Really Want Me to Rule the Country?': Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court's Right Turn and Racing Mascots in the Halls." CNN Politics.
  13. Office of the Federal Register (2019). "What is the Electoral College?" National Archives and Records Administration.
  14. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (2019). "The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription." USA.gov.