Yes, The US Is A Democracy
Updated: Jan 25
Educated ‘Americans’ know that the US is a ‘democracy’. Super-educated individuals know that the US is a ‘Democratic Constitutional Republic’. Which group of patriotic, self-professed Americans is correct? Technically, the less-educated and dumber people are closer to being correct, but not for the reasons they believe.
‘Democracy’ is defined colloquially as a nation or society run strictly by a popular vote making all decisions and/or a popular vote electing the decision-makers (known as politicians). Though Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary seems to paint democracy in a more positive light than I would, it defines it as:
A: government by the people
especially: rule of the majority
B: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
In the US, the most common ways that laws are passed are by legislators who are elected by simple votes and by some ballot initiative processes in which the people vote directly on a new law. None of these methods require 100% consent of the people.
It seems that many individuals ironically and erroneously believe that democracy is a wonderful way to run a society. Those who truly take the time to study how ‘majority rule’ really works understand how inherently antithetical democracy is to individual liberty. Simply put, if 6 people (the majority) vote to take all of the money from the 3 (the minority), a democratic society would accept that outcome. For this simple reason, ‘democracy’ has often been compared to mob rule and gang-rape, both instances in which the majority itself justifies the actions they commit. Many conservatives and ‘constitutionalists’ believe that they are geniuses because they understand that natural rights like the right to life, property, self-defense, and speech could never be legally violated by politicians with anything less than 100% consent of the people due to being protected by the Constitution. These naive optimists are extremely misguided for two primary reasons:
The US Constitution is irrelevant in practice. Politicians have all of the power and they can make laws that violate the US Constitution (such as the thousands of gun laws on the books and willfully enforced by nearly every cop in the US) without the Constitution physically stopping them from enforcing the laws and without the constitution physically protecting peaceful individuals from the men with guns (police) who obey the politicians and imprison and kill people who violate the unconstitutional laws. In short, Their sacred Constitution cannot impose its will on politicians, rendering the booklet impotent. Your dear Constitution cannot and will not save us. It’s what created the US government that now abuses us and violates our every liberty.
Politicians can legally violate any natural right if they can get enough votes. This is called ‘mob rule’ and is the tyranny of the majority, and it’s also the same thing as democracy. It’s the will of the people. Without violating any part of the US Constitution, politicians can increase the federal income tax to a flat rate of 50% and they can ban all firearms in the US, without ever needing anywhere near 100% consent anywhere. According to the Constitution, it can be amended if a measure is supported by 66% of the US House, 66% of the US Senate, and 75% (38 of the 50) State legislatures. Of course, as long as politicians in DC and state capitals support the measure, 90% of citizens could oppose it, but politicians legally could pass it anyway.
A democracy is any society in which the majority can control policy for all people. To say that the US is not a democracy is purely false. Nearly every single decision is determined by some sort of vote in which the majority wins by some method. Even the electoral college is only a minor deviation from the typical voting procedure. It still leaves a minority of voters - and the 102 million voters who rejected both Clinton AND Trump - to be violated by political opponents. As opposed to a free society - one in which all people were obligated to respect the natural rights of others - the US government does not guarantee citizens’ rights to life or property. Being that voters in the US do get their way, the US is essentially a democracy. Even worse, the US often sees politicians elected with only a tiny fraction of the electorate’s support. Governor Christie only had one primary opponent in 2013, yet only 3% of people in NJ voted for him. He barely won the primary, and then barely won the general election - because he was ‘the lesser of the two evils’. In elections with multiple candidates, politicians can ‘win’ with less than 20% of the vote. Election science is very complicated, but there is no fair way to organize elections - which is fitting because humans should not be ruled by other humans - and they certainly should not be voting for humans to rule over them.
Interestingly, the Declaration of Independence did said that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”, not ‘consent of the majority of the governed’. Maybe the Founders did not support mob rule, after all.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views held by The Liberty Block or any of its contributors or members.