American Exceptionalism | We Don’t Live In A Democracy

We Don't Live In A Democracy

By Kim Payne

It downright angers me whenever I hear people especially politicians, who should know better, talk about our “Democracy”.

We do not live under a democracy. Our government has never been a democracy, As a mater of fact, our founding fathers despised a democratic system of government and thought that it was one of the most detestable forms available. Thomas Jefferson stated that “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.“, Benjamin Franklin warned that “a democracy was two wolfs and a lamb voting on what was for lunch”. Dr. Benjamin Rush stated that “A simple democracy is the devil’s own government”.

Our founders chose a representative republic because majority rule can become chaos when there are no checks against power. Power concentrates. If a bully finds that he can bully others without repercussion, he will and others will join him. Mankind is bent this way. Our Founders understood the nature of mankind and designed in checks and balances to counter that nature and to make it difficult to enact tyranny. This is why our founders chose a republic so that there would be checks against the corruption and greed of natural man. Elbridge Gerry argued that democracy allowed self-interested and malicious men to mislead the masses under the guise of patriotism. After a vote was held by the Constitutional Congress a woman approached Benjamin Franklin and asked “well what do we have; a monarchy or a Republic?” He replied “a republic if you can keep it.” He understood that Liberty was fragile and that it relies on Faith, Virtue and Freedom and that it is not in our nature to be virtuous.

Our founders realized that free men following each one’s desires will eventually clash with each other. For society to flourish there needs to be restraint- the LAW (the wise restraint that makes men free). They drew upon TRUTH knowing that truth sets men free, John 8:31-32. But, Freedom and Liberty are not the same thing. Thomas Jefferson defined freedom as having choices, Liberty is freedom constrained by the equal rights of others.

It was for this reason that America became exceptional. It is why countless generations of people have desired to come here. It was not wealth but opportunity that was so attractive and what created that opportunity was Liberty.

We need government. It is a necessary evil. The primary purpose of government is to secure the natural rights of the people, it does not grant these rights, but through “Law” it secures them. It assists in maintaining virtue.

Kim Payne was born and raised in California.  He laughs at himself declaring that he was a crazed hippie youth when he was younger.  He grew up to be an aerospace test engineer in southern California and resides in Thousand Oaks. 

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