November 26, 2012
The forefathers and many others warned of the dangers of too much
democracy. It was such a source of consternation to them that they
devoted much of their time either warning against it or describing its
many failings. Given the amount of effort expended on the subject it is
amazing the general public have little clue they even opposed it let
alone why. Even a group of college professors taking questions on PBS
could not answer the simple question, “Why did the founding fathers
mistrust democracy?” Of course whether they actually were befuddled to
find an answer or unwilling to wade in that pond is any ones guess. The
truth is the founders recoil at democratic governance is as easy to understand as liberal professors embrace of it.
The fact is democratic governments have several flaws not the least
of which is the inherent tendency to suppress the minority. One only
needs to look to the suffering of Christians in predominant Muslim
countries to see this is true. Of course minorities can be manufactured
by the art of division. Even the most superficial skimming of world
history can find unending examples groups used as scapegoats for the
What would Hitler of been without the Jews to blame or
communists without the wealthy to inspire envy driven rage? The fact is
anybody at anytime can find themselves the target of a political
demagogue seeking power at the expense of others.
There is little protection against this most insidious of democratic
failings. Despite the words of Hamilton in the Federalist Papers, the
fact that legislators can make no rule that does not also apply to them
is no hedge against this type of tyranny. Neither is a constitution if
it is ignored or rendered useless by those who see it as their right to
remold it to fit the times.
It is no wonder that the politics of division
is the bread and butter of those for whom democracy is a religion.
Divide and demonize, also known as the art of demagoguery, can be a
destructive force within a society without equal. The part of society
most susceptible to being on the losing end of this type of communal
debauchery is the wealthy. For this reason democratic societies almost
always end up sacrificing themselves on the altar of envy by
confiscating and redistributing the property of the upper classes. (what
the founders would of called leveling) Of course the wealthy are not
the only ones for whom democracy is a threat. Christians, who often
stand in the way the democratic demagogue’s plans, rural folks that want
to be left alone, entrepreneurs who wish to make their own way,
hunters, gun owners and scores of others can find themselves the odd men
Such is the tendency of democracies to self-destruct into a factious
mass of humanity. Unfortunately such seems to be the direction of
Western Civilization. Only two items stand in the way of anarchy and the
inevitable dictatorship that follows; the Rule of Law and a formidable
constitution. It should come as no surprise that both of these bulwarks
of freedom are now under attack. The Rule of Law is under assault by
those that seek social justice above blind impartiality. The Constitution, that
most principled of documents, is being undermined by courts and
legislatures that justify molding it more to their liking by calling it a
living document. All of this makes the present direction of American
politics all the more alarming.
In the last American election
the politics of division and demonization were in full swing. Young
were pitted against old, rich against poor, black against white, and
women against men in a philosophical cage fight. It seems in a country
that polls say is tired of divisive politics; it is the demagogue that
can find the most ways to divide America that wins. It is all a fine
example of D/democratic politics of the kind the country was warned
about more than two hundred years ago.
If the West and most importantly Americans wish to see where the
current path ends they need not to look far. Much of the world is caught
up in democratically driven death spirals. In the Islamic countries,
where no history of liberty exists, people have been thrust by events and the west to demand their democratic rights.
The end result is Egypt
looks to be getting ready to join Iran in a brotherhood of despotic
Islamic rule; Tunisia is likely soon to follow with Iraq and others not
far behind. The terrorist’s dream of a great pan-Islamic dictatorship
seems to be unfolding before the world, all with democratic credentials.
Closer to the U.S. doorstep, Venezuela too is showing how tyranny and
democracy can be soul mates. The fact is liberty without order is
anarchy, freedom without restraint is tyranny and democracy unrestrained
is the playground of demagogues and despots. Only a country whose
liberty is based in principles of mutual respect and individual rights
can survive. Let that be sacrificed to public opinion or the so called
public good and freedom is lost. Even now the bells are tolling for
liberty in the Land of the Free.
It is a dangerous trend that shows no sign of slowing and why should
it? As the right to religious freedom is sacrificed for the bauble of
free birth control the majority of Americans see no reason to cry foul.
When the Justice Department says Habeas Corpus is no longer a right but
an option to be exercised at its discretion the populous doesn’t even
bat an eye. Even ones medical records, once seen as sacrosanct, are now
property of the government. The list goes on but the pattern is clear,
for most Americans the slide towards democratic tyranny is of less
concern than tomorrow’s weather.
The Conservative Mind