Letter: Nation’s founders rejected democracy
My letter is in response to a recent letter published in the Post Independent on July 4; the date the author marks as “the anniversary of the birth of our nation founded on an unprecedented form of democracy.” The letter continues with “Our independence as a democratic nation…” and “this collective form of democracy.” Democratic leaders of today, however, believe our founding Constitution is actually anti-democratic and they now demand the Electoral College be eliminated.
During preliminary debates on the forms of government our nation should pursue, the founders overwhelmingly rejected democracy. The word “democracy” is found on only 40 pages of the 1,400 pages of a collection of the founder’s political writings from 1760 through 1850. In their study of history, they believed democracy would eventually lead to mob rule. They believed a Republican form of government with a stable Constitution would guarantee our citizens “unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Fisher Ames, a congressman in the first Congress of 1789, in one sentence clearly says it all: “The great object, then of political wisdom in framing the constitution, was to guard against licentiousness, that inbred malady of democracies.” For my personal benefit, synonyms of “licentiousness” are anarchy, disorder, irresponsibility and self-indulgence.
The word “democracy” is obviously not found in our founding documents, including the U. S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Amendments to the Constitution. The Constitution mandates: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.” Alexander Hamilton said: “Real liberty is never found in … the extremes of Democracy.” John Adams said there was never a democracy that “did not commit suicide.” Benjamin Franklin defined democracy as “two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.”
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