Friday, February 18, 2011


Due to the unrest in Wisconsin, I went back in my blogs and dug this one out to bring to the forefront again. We do have the right to assemble and have our voices heard. However, what we are seeing in Madison is vicious, and the signs are personally directed. The crime of our Governor is presenting a bill that the unions oppose. Please think about it.


With all the talk of creating democracies in the MidEast, I started wondering if that is exactly what we want.

Republic or Democracy?

Did our Founding Fathers give us a democracy? In 1789 a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government they had created. His reply was, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Sadly, Americans are misinformed about our system of government.

James Madison in Federalist Paper No.10 warned that in democracy, “there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party.” John Adams said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself...,” and Fisher Ames, a Congressman during Washington’s presidency, said democracy was “the intermediate stages towards … tyranny.”

A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority, making it possible to deprive individuals of rights. This majority can vote itself handouts by electing the candidate who promises the most benefits from the public treasury. Taxes increase and incentive to produce decreases. The once productive workers drop out of the labor force and join the non-productive. Eventually, democracy fails.

The word “democracy” does not appear in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. We pledge allegiance “to our Republic,” not “to our democracy.” The Founders established a government which was not a democracy and guaranteed to every state a “republican form” of state government.

These men structured a Constitutional Republic with checks and balances between the different branches. They designed it to protect the individual’s God-given inalienable rights. It was a government of laws, not men.

The 1928 War Department’s Training Manual No. 2000-25 described democracy as a government of the masses, resulting in mobocracy with a communistic attitude toward property. The same manual depicted a republic as resulting in liberty, reason, justice, contentment and progress. This manual was destroyed in the thirties, and by 1952 in The Soldiers Guide, we find, “Meaning of democracy. Because the United States is a democracy, the majority of the people decide how our government will be organized and run – .”

The governor of New York did not use the word “democracy” in his 1933 inaugural address, but in 1940 he used it 33 times in his annual message.

What changed? Some claim it was absolute conspiracy. Others believe it to be a matter of semantics. Does it matter? Thoreau said, “There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.” Even De Tocqueville warned, “If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event will arise from the unlimited tyranny of the majority.” More fearfully, Gorbachev stated that “according to Lenin, socialism and democracy are indivisible…”

Yes, it does matter. The difference is foundational. A republic recognizes man’s heart as being desperately wicked, needing the law structure to keep from destroying itself. A democracy depends on man’s innate goodness. The Founders gave us a republic because they wanted to protect us from democracy. We need to understand the difference, educate our children and inform our citizens to keep from sliding into what we do not want.

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At 9:37 AM, Blogger Reinheimer said...

Sister Sheila,

I think I'd really enjoy sitting down with you and talking over, say, a pot of coffee!

THANK YOU for your wisdom and insight and desire to share... these are thoughts which (I believe) need to be instilled in our young people and shouted from the rooftops.

Thus we have identified our ongoing need for home-schooling! ;-)

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Very interesting... and now I'm wondering in what measure do we really have a republic anymore. Isn't 'man is basically good' the prevailing view out there?

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

Yes, Melissa, it does seem to be the prevailing view, but it is not the one that our Founders had. I wrote this to help people understand the dangers of democracy. We throw that word around very loosely and maybe do not even realize what we are advocating.

At 6:43 AM, Anonymous Jim Rapp said...

Hi Sheila. I'm not sure how I missed this. I just posted a blog on the subject today and then found this. I would agree that our democracy is in shambles but I don't know that we'd fare any better under a pure republic. I hear a lot of people advocating for one but I've never seen a full description of what it would look like. As far as I can see the main changes we've made since the golden age of our Republic is that we now elect Senators by popular vote and we allow a lot more classes of people to vote including most notably women. Do those who wish to return to a republic want to do away with those things. Who would be allowed to vote in a Republic and who would hold the rulers to account for their actions. I'm not trying to be argumentative here. I'm really puzzled at what proponents of Republicanism want.


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