This Thursday, September 17th, 2009, will be the 222nd anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution.
Prior to the 17th Amendment, Senators looked out for the concerns of their own states. This was a Republican body of legislators that kept the US House, a Democratic body of legislators in check. For the last 96 years, we have operated more like a Democracy, not a Constitutional Republic as our founding fathers intended.
James Madison, known as the father of the United States Constitution to many historians, had this to say about the dangers of Democracy in the Federalist Papers (Federalist Number 10):
“Hence it is that such 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.”
Listen to what John Adams had to say about Democracy:
“Democracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy, such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man’s life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure..."
Democracy is supposed to be about equality, but since it is rule by a majority, it does not take much for a majority of bad ideas to rule the day.
Thomas Jefferson had this to say about the failure of a Democracy:
“A Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”
Now listen to what Ben Franklin had to say about a Democracy:
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"
Again, listen to John Adams on Democracy:
“Remember, Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a Democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”
Alexander Fraser Tyler, a professor in Edinburgh, Scotland in the 1800’s. Tyler, who also went by the alias of Lord Woodhouselee, had this to say about the failure of Democracy (Elements of General History: Ancient and Modern. Oliver and Boyd, 1870):
"A Democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A Democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every Democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."