Why Democracy Fails

The 12th Principle of the 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World is “The United States of America Shall be a Republic.”

This chapter discusses the weaknesses inherent in democracy.  It expounds the differences between a republic and democracy.  Skousen offers one explanation of why democracy fails:

There are many reasons why the Founders wanted a republican form of government rather than a democracy.  Theoretically, a democracy requires the full participation of the masses of the people in the legislative or decision-making processes of government.  This has never worked because the people become so occupied with their daily tasks that they will not properly study the issues, nor will they take the time to participate in extensive hearings before the vote is taken.  The Greeks tried to use democratic mass-participation in the government of their city-states, and each time it ended in tyranny. (Pg. 153)

I think this process he describes of the public ceasing to be involved is a major component of our government marching off track.

Who is the government anyway?

The government isn’t a group of people in buildings with pillars.  We are the government – only many of us have forgotten this.  I have struggled with connecting to my responsibility at times.  Out of frustration with the ever-increasing imposition of laws and policies that threaten our liberty, growing taxes, and welfare programs that essentially enslave the public, I withdrew to nurse my perceived wounds.

Sure, I came out of my hole from time to time to write an article, try to hold study groups, and to visit the ballot box, but it often felt like swabbing the deck of a sinking ship.  And all too often, I found the apathy and ignorance of my shipmates disconcerting.

This is what Skousen was talking about!

When many people do show emotion, it’s by getting whipped up to a frenzy merely to vote along party lines.  People voice interest in study groups about the Constitution, local politics, etc, but that interest vanishes when asked to contribute in a significant way.  Lunchroom talk centers on reality TV and entertainment, and attempts to insert a bit of discussion about economics or political policy either invites the regurgitation of MSM sound-bytes, or more often, completely stops the conversation altogether.

However, I don’t wish to be a Negative Nancy.  I also see a lot of people waking up to the situation and stepping up to the responsibility of citizenship in a representative government.  The liberty movement is alive and growing.

I am growing too.  I’m sneaking out of my shell.  I continue to study to prepare myself.  I am getting involved.

In fact, I submitted paperwork to run for Precinct Committeeman!

You might be asking what a Precinct Committeeman does, and to answer I refer you here.

I’ll end with the invitation to ask yourself how you can get involved now.  We are all at different places and in different phases in our lives, but there is something you can do.  Read a book.  Campaign for a candidate you trust.  Organize a study group or contribute to one that is up and running.  Vote after studying the issues and candidates.  If you cast a vote merely because you see an R or a D next to the name, you’re doing it wrong.

There is so much to be done, and I’d love to hear about your efforts!


About Jonathan

I am a man whose life has been profoundly changed by a beautiful woman, 5 amazing kids, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Leadership Education.
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2 Responses to Why Democracy Fails

  1. Rich Alger says:

    One of the principles of a republic is that the people are not completely in charge. Yes they are the sovereign. But they are restricted in the exercise of that power. There are only so many votes and in between the freedom of expression means we talk a lot about what should be done.

    This is a principle that I was reminded of by the Hillsdale series on the Constitution.

    • Jonathan says:

      Great comment, Rich. Also, thanks for the link. I didn’t get very far into Hillsdale’s series, but what I saw was solid.

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