Freedom in a Democracy v. Liberty in a Republic

The word democracy is used to describe and identify our country all too often by politicians from both the left and the right and everyone in between. Democracy is not even mentioned in our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and The Constitution. Our founding fathers made it very clear that they thought a democracy was not the right form of government for our country. Politicians truly show their ignorance when they refer to our country as a “great democracy”.

The fact is that we use democratic principles to administer our “Republic”. Article IV Sec. 4 of the Constitution states that “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government….”.

So what is a republic and how does it differ from a democracy? Both forms of government can utilize a representative elected body but the difference is that a republic recognizes the rule of law is supreme. A system that protects the rights of the individual. A democracy is by majority rule, where the laws can change with the emotions of elected officials and pressures by the people who elected them, regardless of written laws because the laws can be changed to suit the majority, while ignoring the rights of the individual.

A Democracy produces a society where standards, morals, and the rights of the individual are overlooked to appease a majority that seeks to cure the ills that plague the people from the intrinsic characteristics that make them who they are in the first place. This is not to say that republicanism is a cure-all, but it provides a standard that stands the test of time by protecting the individual from the one thing that has never changed and will never change which is; human nature.

Human nature seeks righteousness, respect, happiness, justice, kindness and other fine attributes while it also creates  power, greed, sloth that tear apart a society. Our Constitution provides a stable foundation that protects life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In a society where the people are ruled by a democracy and the majority always gets their way, how would your individual rights and property be protected? Could you enjoy a sugar saturated drink of any size you desire without harassment or penalty? They can’t in New York City. Could you own a weapon to protect yourself and family against harm, that has far more power and capacity than a would-be assailant? In New York State they cannot. What goes around comes around, and the Ohio State Legislature is considering this type of bill now.

Do not confuse liberty with freedom. They are not the same thing. True freedom is the ability to do whatever you please regardless of the consequences. Liberty is freedom coupled with morality. It is the conscious awareness that you are free to conduct your lives as you see fit, so long as all others can do the same without infringement on the rights of other people.

Our elected officials currently serving us at the state and federal levels (regardless of party), are not concerned with Article IV Sec. 4 of the Constitution. The passage of all legislation is based on the effect it will have on re-election and which party will retain power while under the guise of giving the people what they desire and need.

 

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One Response

  1. Sad, but most of us weren’t taught this stuff.

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