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What did our founders think of democracy?

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Originally Posted by Sneaky SF Dude

“A Constitution is not meant to facilitate change. It is meant to impede change, to make it difficult to change.” – Justice Scalia

Well that explains a lot...

Because the alternative is real time democracy based on the whims of public opinion; a tyranny of the majority.
And that's not how the USA is designed.
EXACTLY

And what did our founders think of a democracy?


Madison, in Federalist No. 10 says in reference to “democracy” they



…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. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

And during the Convention which framed our federal Constitution, Elbridge Gerry and Roger Sherman, delegates from Massachusetts and Connecticut, urged the Convention to create a system which would eliminate "the evils we experience," saying that those "evils . . .flow from the excess of democracy..."

And, then there was John Adams, a principle force in the American Revolutionary period who also pointed out "democracy will envy all, contend with all, endeavor to pull down all; and when by chance it happens to get the upper hand for a short time, it will be revengeful, bloody, and cruel..."

And Samuel Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and favoring the new Constitution as opposed to democracy declared: " Democracy never lasts long” . . . "It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.". . . "There was never a democracy that ‘did not commit suicide.’"


And during the Constitutional Convention, Hamilton stated: "We are a Republican Government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of Democracy."

And then there was Benjamin Franklin, who informed a crowd when exiting the Convention as to what system of government they created, he responded by saying "A republic, if you can keep it."

Democracy, or majority rule vote, as the Founding Fathers well knew, whether that majority rule is practiced by the people or by elected representatives, if not restrained by specific limitations and particular guarantees in which the unalienable rights of mankind are put beyond the reach of political majorities, have proven throughout history to eventually result in nothing less than an unbridled mob rule system susceptible to the wants and passions of a political majority imposing its will upon those who may be outvoted, and would result in the subjugation of unalienable rights, and especially rights associated with property ownership and liberty.

And so, our Founding Fathers gave us a constitutionally limited Republican Form of Government, guaranteed by Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States, a Constitution which our Supreme Court has been altering to reflect its personal sense of justice, fairness and reasonableness.


JWK



"The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges' views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice." -- Justice Hugo L. Black ( U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1886 - 1971) Source: Lecture, Columbia University, 1968

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Updated February 17th, 2016 at 9:11 am by johnwk

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