Down With Democracy! Long Live the Republic!


I was sitting around Tuesday evening, trying to decide how to blog about the elections, without getting political. I know, why blog about politics if you don’t want to get political? But the truth is, I don’t feel that I have a lot of skin in the game for anything specific in the races — more of a general trend concern. Then I read something not political about getting out and voting on Tuesday, and suddenly I had a topic — or at least a place to start my usual meanderings.

It seems WordPress was supporting a push also supported by Google and the Pew Charitable Trusts to give voters the tools they need to know what is going on and what there is to vote for in the mid-term elections. But over and over again in their blog they talked about making our democracy more democratic.


What democracy?

All these elections are about electing representatives for our representative republic. Democracy is the rule of the majority. Democracy is those who know best telling others what to do and being the nanny oppressor of those who don’t conform. Republicanism is about the rule of law and freedom.We elect representatives to act in the limited ways, with the limited powers we have given them, to protect our liberty and freedom by keeping government hedged in on every side from encroaching into areas that would limit our freedom as individuals, to act both individually and in groups, for the benefit of ourselves and others as we see fit. This freedom to act, individually and in private groups, is done by persuasion, not coercion, and thus ensures other individuals their freedom to act in like manner.  Putting this same power to benefit others in the hands of government curtails individual freedom, as government is ultimately coercive, even when intending to be beneficial. The individual is given no option but to conform.

Perhaps the best political creed I can think of is one I have seen on a blog where a certain group of libertarians, accused of a desire to grab power, jokingly talked about their evil plan to seize power, and then “ruthlessly leave everyone alone”.

That we could find leaders so ruthless!

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