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  • Arne Mortensen

We Are Not a Democracy


March 2010

We are not a Democracy

Many are familiar with the Alexander Tyler quote about Democracies being short lived because folks discover that they can vote themselves money. So, are we doomed? Probably yes because we behave as if we are a Democracy, leaving every issue in the hands of a “popular” vote. Even our recent and current Presidents claim we are a democracy. But, in truth, our founders knew that Democracy was not a tenable form of government, and so they formed a Constitutional Republic with protection for the individual from tyranny, especially from that of their own government. The word “Democracy” does not appear in the Declaration of Independence or in the US Constitution.

The concept of our Republic is very simple: only specific items are up for vote; your money, your livelihood, and your life are not up for vote. While this concept is simple and our elected officials swear to uphold the US Constitution, they violate this principle with our consent. Is it any wonder that our country is slipping in quality of life? Can a business succeed if its till is open to the ravages of government?

If we are to survive we have to mend our ways and listen to our (fore)fathers. Reread the US Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, George Washington’s farewell address of 1796, and everything from Thomas Jefferson. Do not succumb to the idea that it is different now; the fundamental principles of a just society are based upon the eternal principles of individual liberty.


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