Why the Founding Fathers Despised Democracy

Plato wrote in The Republic, “And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.”[1]

The Founding Fathers despised democracies.  They desired democratic principles, but not a democracy.  As Plato decrees above, a democracy can easily be commandeered to establish a totalitarian state.  The Founders inherently understand this, and wholly rejected forming a democracy.

…democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.[2]

And Madison goes on to splendidly explain how this very same “erroneous” belief held by collectivists destroys property rights, which is foundational to any free society:

Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.[3]

Madison reiterates the view of Plato over 2000 years prior when, in The Republic, Plato writes that the loss of principles sends a democracy spiraling into tyranny.  “[T]he neglect of other things,” writes Plato, “introduce the change in democracy, which occasions a demand for tyranny.”  Just as Samuel warned the Israelites nearly 3000 years ago as their principles and Faith in God waned, Plato issued a warning which has now befallen the United States. With each Presidential cycle, many Americans demand a powerful strongman to ease their suffering, and falsely and foolishly believe we are a democracy.  “[T]he same disease magnified and intensified by liberty overmasters democracy – the truth being that the excessive increase in anything often causes a reaction in the opposite direction,” forewarns Plato, “The excess of liberty, whether in States or individuals, seems only to pass into excess slavery…And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.”[4]nullCARTOONS | MARGOLIS & COXVIEW CARTOON 

Cincinnatus,[5] in Anti Federalist No. 64, gives a description of a democracy.  “A democracy,” declares Cincinnatus, “which, thus bereft of its powers, and shorn of its strength, will stand a melancholy monument of popular impotence.”[6]  Not a raving support of such governmental structures flowing from the pen of Cincinnatus, disclosing the distain our Founders had for such a political structure.

In fact, the word “democracy” appears nowhere in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, and Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution guarantees “to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”[7]  James Madison, known as the Father of the Constitution, states we are to exist under “republican constitutions,”[8] referencing both the Federal Constitution and the State Constitutions, not constitutions under a democracy.

The functional deficiency of a democracy is unprotected majority rule – or tyranny of the majority.   The majority simply cannot rule otherwise, it could, and would, simply vote in advantages and even the theft and destruction of the minority.  This is the very reason for a moral compact recognizing Fundamental Right; our Natural Right, rights which are bestowed upon us by our Creator.  Therefore, regardless of majority opinion, or vote, these Natural Rights remain always, utterly undisturbed by others; whether government or the majority.  The only purpose of a civil government is to protect our Natural Rights.  Adam Smith elucidated in 1759 that “All government is but an imperfect remedy for the deficiency of [wisdom and virtue];”[9] thus acknowledging the fallen nature of man, as did our Forefathers and Founding Fathers.null

California State University professor of political science, Edward Erler, expounds this point, writing, “The majority cannot invade the rights of the minority…Nor can unanimous consent ‘rightfully’ do what is intrinsically unjust…Majority rule itself can operate only within certain bounds.”[10]  Yes, quite often the voice of the majority is completely irrelevant as even the voice of the majority is bound to the sovereign rights of the individual and those rights which God bequeathed upon each of us at Creation.

Attorney and Professor Jenna Ellis explains, “It does not matter to Divine Law whether an individual “agrees” with biblical principles – we are not free under Divine Law to negotiate the fixed, objective scientific and construct of law.”[11]  Natural Law, God’s Law, is immutable and immovable.  And this is why America is a conscious republic, not a democracy.

Jim Huntingdon, Townhall.com

1 thought on “Why the Founding Fathers Despised Democracy

  1. Plato actually helped me understand why pure democracy is a terrible idea. I’ve recently been thinking about arguments changing voting requirements, such as moving the voting age to 30 and requiring some sort of basic civics test (available online to study before Election Day) to make sure that people who are voting actually know what they are voting for.

    Sometimes, emotional, feel good platitudes don’t make for wise public policy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s