“We Are What Democracy Looks Like!” is a popular slogan and sign used by the Occupiers. If mob rule is the definition of democracy, then they are right. The thing of it is, America is not a democracy. Sure, there are democratic elements in our system of government, but Article IV, section 4 of the Constitution of the United States “guarantee[s] to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government,” not a democracy. One reason these young people may not be aware of these facts is that they may never had a course on the Constitution. Anybody over 50 years old took a course called “Civics.” Now it’s “Social Studies,” and it shows.
President Obama is taking advantage of the ignorance of the Occupiers. They are “useful idiots.” Here’s a very good definition from the Urban Dictionary:
Term invented in Soviet Russia to describe people who blindly supported the likes of Lenin and Stalin while they committed atrocity after atrocity. Today, it refers to brainwashed liberals and leftists the world over (usually college students that aren’t necessarily idiots, but just misinformed, naive, and ignorant of facts due to being indoctrinated with liberal/socialist propaganda through their public education) who believe that George W. Bush has committed more crimes against humanity than leftist darlings like Saddam Hussain, Yasser Arafat, and Osama Bin Laden, and still defend Communism, the cause of over 100 million deaths to this day.
A little history might help the “useful idiots” to understand something of America’s heritage. Our founders understood that Democracy is no moral cure all. John Winthrop (1588–1649), first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, declared direct democracy to be “the meanest and worst of all forms of government.”1
John Cotton (1584–1652), seventeenth-century Puritan minister in Massachusetts, wrote in 1636: “Democracy, I do not conceive that ever God did ordain as a fit government either for church or commonwealth. If the people be governors, who shall be governed?”2
James Madison (1751–1836), recognized as the “father of the Constitution,” wrote that democracies are “spectacles of turbulence and contention.” Pure democracies are “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property. . . . In general [they] have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”3
John Adams, the second president of the United States, stated that “the voice of the people is ‘sometimes the voice of Mahomet, of Caesar, of Catiline, the Pope, and the Devil.’”4
Social philosopher Francis A. Schaeffer described democracy as “the dictatorship of the 51%, with no controls and nothing with which to challenge the majority.”5 The logic is simple: “It means that if Hitler was able to get a 51% vote of the Germans, he had a right to kill the Jews.”6
In 1928, a citizenship manual was developed by the War Department. Training Manual No. TM 2000-25 on Citizenship, U.S. History and the Constitution was compiled and issued to teach young men in the armed forces the fundamental principles upon which the United States was founded. As the manual states, “Training in citizenship is the most vital of all subjects to that nation whose system of government, security of property, and full power to express individual initiative are based upon the intelligence, education, and character of each individual citizen.” The Manual’s authors expressed fear that if the “proper understanding of the history, ideals, and underlying principles of our political institutions” were ever forgotten the nation would be lost.
See if any of the following descriptions of democracy fit with what we’re witnessing from the Occupy crowd:
Democracy [demos (people) vested with kratos (power)]:
A government of the masses.
Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of “direct” expression.
Results in mobocracy.
Attitude toward property is communistic — negating property rights.
Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.
Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
Now compare the definition of “democracy” with the Manual’s definition of “republic”:
Republic [res publica: regarding the public interest]:
Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure.
Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.
A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.
Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy.
Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
“Democracy . . . has been repeatedly tried without success.” The founders “made a very marked distinction between a republic and a democracy . . . and said repeatedly and emphatically that they had founded a republic.”
Maybe it’s time that the Occupiers and a boat load of politicians pick up this manual and study it. It wouldn’t hurt if voters did, too.
- Quoted in A. Marvyn Davies, Foundation of American Freedom: Calvinism in the Development of Democratic Thought and Action (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1955), 11. [↩]
- Letter to Lord Say and Seal, quoted by Perry Miller and Thomas H. Johnson, eds., The Puritans: A Sourcebook of Their Writings, 2 vols. (New York: Harper and Row, [1938) 1963), 1:209–210. Also see Edwin Powers, Crime and Punishment in Early Massachusetts: 1620–1692 (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1966), 55. [↩]
- Quoted in Jacob E. Cooke, ed., The Federalist, “Federalist 10” (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1961), 61. [↩]
- John Adams, quoted by Gilbert Chinard, Honest John Adams (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Co.,  1961), 241 in John Eidsmoe, “The Christian America Response to National Confessionalism,” in Gary Scott Smith, ed., God and Politics: Four Views on the Reformation of Civil Government (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1989), 227–228. [↩]
- Francis A. Schaeffer, The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century (1970) in The Complete Works of Francis A. Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, 5 vols. (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1982), 4:27. [↩]
- Schaeffer, The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century, 4:27. [↩]