A Constitutional Republic, Not a Democracy

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012 by and is filed under Blog

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In case anyone needed a lesson in understanding the difference between democracy and a Constitutional Republic a.k.a. Europe and America, tonight’s results should serve as a clear message.  This is democracy in full force.

Why did we need a constitution?  Why are popular elections not a sufficient means of preserving liberty?

A pure unbridled democracy is a political system in which the majority enjoys absolute power by means of democratic elections.  In an unvarnished democracy, unrestrained by a constitution, the majority can vote to impose tyranny on themselves and the minority opposition.  They can vote to elect those who will infringe upon our inalienable God-given rights.  Thomas Jefferson referred to this as elected despotism in Notes on the State of Virginia (also cited in Federalist 48 by Madison):

An ELECTIVE DESPOTISM was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.

Thus, a constitution that limited and divided the power of government was necessary to preclude elected officials from imposing tyranny on the people.  This is why they adopted a constitution with limited enumerated power, divided and checked across several branches and levels.

In other words, tonight’s narrow majority victory for Obama and the Democrats should not be so consequential.  Pursuant to the society we are supposed to be, elections are not the end all; the Constitution is the end all.  Elections should not be so consequential.  Forty-eight percent of us should not be forced into the tyranny of a government-takeover of much of our lives just because 50% vote for insidious characters who want to grow government for their own sake.

Yet, we no longer live in a Constitutional Republic.  We live in a pure democracy – one that is similar to Europe, in which the majority can pretty much vote for people who will vitiate the Constitution and implement any form of tyranny it pleases.  Screw the minority.  Yes, so much for minority rights, progressives.  As founder John Witherspoon noted, “pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state – it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.”

Yet, there is still one element of our Constitutional Republic that has been preserved; the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches and the separation of the individual states from the federal government.  We have held onto the House with roughly the same strong majority, plus we have added a number of new conservatives.  Additionally, we have picked up some state legislative chambers, increasing our majority control over a record number of state governments.

It is in the House and in the states that we must make our stand for God, Country, and Constitution; for liberty, freedom, and the American way of live.

If you’ve noticed over the past two elections, it is in the lower offices – the House and state legislatures – that we have made the biggest gains.

On a personal level, I am committed to growing a conservative majority in the House and the states, while holding the existing members accountable on all policy issues.  Through the Madison Project, Red State, and other venues, I and my colleagues will not rest until we grow a strong bench of viable conservative leaders who will, someday, run for higher office.

Onward, soldiers!

5 Responses to “A Constitutional Republic, Not a Democracy”

  1. James J. Dreano Says:

    God Bless them, but This Nation, and the world are not maintained by rap music, and video games. This has been predicted many years ago. Our enemies have stated that “America cannot be destroyed from the outside… they are too strong, and love their freedom !” . “They must be destroyed from within.” ! The Socialist agenda, to achieve this has always been to take over education to influence the youth, take over health-care, to put their lives at their mecy, disarm them, so they can never rebel ! After this it’s easy to control any populous, who are then treated like cattle, they’re herded, cared for, kept impoverished and impotent, and when the time comes… they are sheared, or slaughtered, to suit the needs of those they put above them.

  2. catdaddio42 Says:

    The Republican leadership eviscerated the conservative congress with the last two “continuing resolutions” and the absurd, one sided budget deal they made as they agreed to raise the ceiling on the national debt. Mr. Boehner, et al., actually got the “Tea Party” congress to agree to significant budget increases, and more debt, and by a huge margin. All hopes for sanity were pinned on new leadership in January, 2013. Michelle Bachmann was right – we should have been fighting for fiscal responsibility and “de-funding” “Obamacare” all along. The current Republican leadership had a better idea – yeah, right. How can they hope to achieve credibility on any important issues at this point? To re-phrase Paul Ryan, without a change in leadership, why would the next two years be any different from the last two years? Without Alan West and, sadly, never getting to see Mia Love in action, do congressional Republicans have the backbone (and intellectual firepower) to stand up against Democratic Party insanity?

  3. Daniel Horowitz Says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Had we made this election a referendum on Obamacare, we would have one. That went out the door when we nominated Romney.

  4. randyj Says:

    There was and is a reason that the states were given the right to make their own laws. Not everyone in the USA should be forced to accept some of the laws we don’t want. Not everyone wants or needs the laws aimed at giving minorities more power, influence and rights than others.

  5. Victory for Workers’ Freedom in Michigan | Madison Project Says:

    [...] of Obama’s reelection began to seep into our consciousness late in the night on November 7, I wrote the following about the one bright spot that still remains in our Republic; federalism: Yet, there is still one [...]

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