Pay attention to the news and opinion you see, hear, and read these days, especially that of a liberal bent. Pay attention to the words they use, and see how often you are fed the word “democracy.”

I’ve noticed it quite a bit of late, especially surrounding and in the wake of the Brett Kavanaugh Court confirmation process. And, now I’m seeing it pop up all over the place, as both a challenge to liberal voters to get to the polls and, somewhat disturbingly, as a challenge to fundamentals of our political system.

Of course, the latter isn’t presented in a sinister or inciting manner. Instead, it’s being asserted that the democracy that is our nation isn’t working as one, and that something needs to be done about it.

What’s the problem? It seemed to start with George W. Bush winning the Presidency without winning the popular vote, got amplified when Donald Trump did the same, and got turned up to 11 with the confirmation of Kavanaugh by a Senate that “over-represents,” in the language of a since-archived NYTimes article, small states (in 2013, one-fourth of the nation’s population put 62 of 100 Senators into Congress).

Since Bernie Sanders entered the national spotlight, we’ve been hearing the farcical phrase “Democratic Socialism,” a phrase that seems to mean whatever’s convenient and beneficial to its utterer at a given time. The Left’s party is named the Democratic Party. And, now, we hear, far and wide, that our “democracy,” isn’t working.

Well, this is where the lack of civics education in our schools bears its rotten fruit.

America is not a Democracy. Never has been. Since her founding, she was and remains a Constitutional Republic. A democracy puts power in the hands of a majority, with no protections for minorities. Our system distributes and limits power, restricting what majorities can do to minorities, and what the people of one part of the country can do to the people of other parts. Protection for minorities, in terms of liberty and in terms of political power, are woven into the very fabric of the nation’s being.

Because those limits are producing results that make the Left unhappy, the Left is now attacking the system that has served the nation for nearly a quarter millennium. Electoral College: Bad. Senate: Bad. Any Supreme Court ruling (Citizens United, Bush v Gore, Heller, McDonald, Shelby County, et al) that runs contrary to progressive and “popular” preference: Bad. Senate supermajorities required for federal appointments: Bad… until the balance of power shifted and they became Good again (good luck stuffing that genie back in the bottle).

The fundamental disconnect between this demand for simple, unfettered majority rule and the Left’s positioning itself as the champion of minorities seems not to occur to its adherents. Indeed, the Left cares not one whit for minorities, when those minorities do not conform to the Left’s ideology (ask any conservative woman, black, or Latino whether the Left cares about them). In other words, we’ll stand up for you and champion you, but only if you want what we want.

Having lost the reins of power due to the rules of the game, they are now attempting to defenestrate those rules after the fact, and thus cast doubt on the legitimacy of the people and party currently in power. They forget, or more likely don’t care, that the rules were put in place to keep such as themselves from running roughshod over everyone else.

They also ignore another reality: that it’s by no means a given that, should changes be made that shift our system more towards an unfettered majority rule, they’d win. Fact is, people, both those running for power and those voting, know the rules and act accordingly. If you’re a Democrat in a deep Red state, or if you’re a Republican in a deep Blue state, you might be less inclined to go to the polls on Election day, given the improbability of your vote mattering. Candidates recognize this as well, and tailor their campaigning and messaging according to the electoral map. Change matters to simple majority vote for the Presidency, and eliminate the Senate (or turn it proportional like the House) and both candidate and voter behavior will change.

Meanwhile, the protections for minorities and the distribution of power away from central authority will have been undermined, and only a fool ignorant of history would think that’s a good idea.

Well, check that. Those rapaciously hungry for power, at any cost and no matter the carnage and earth-scorching, don’t care about the fallout. They buy into the overwhelmingly disproven fantasy that simply getting the right people in positions of unlimited power will make everything better (or at least make everything the way they want it).

I’m reminded of the refrain from a Black Sabbath song:

If you listen to fools, the mob rules.

“Democracy,” unchecked by the limits of a Constitutional republic, is mob rule. It is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner. It is the death knell of liberty, and the doom of prosperity (what happens to the wolves after they eat the sheep? Won’t be long before they go hungry). Beware of those using the word, proudly and repeatedly, to challenge our system and the results it produced (or at least those results they don’t like). They’re up to no good, and if they get their way, we’ll all suffer.

Blowing up the system because it didn’t give you what you wanted – this time – is a child’s tantrum. Unfortunately, far too many adults are acting like children.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

3+

Like this post?