It’s hard to believe we have to explain this one more time, but here goes. The United States is not a democracy. It is a constitutional republic. However, the fearmongers on the left, once again driven to distraction by Donald Trump, have apparently developed a sudden fondness for the form of government first introduced by the Greeks some 2,500 years ago – even though, in reality, it runs counter to their every political instinct.
Indeed, the word democracy, and their self-appointed role as its protector, has now risen to the top of the progressive lexicon these days – a classic signaling of non-existent virtue. And one look at their long history of projection – casting blame on their opponents for transgressions of which they themselves are guilty – provides the likely explanation. It seems they have decided their own patently anti-democratic worldview can be projected onto Trump.
So, how can we best characterize the difference between a democracy and our constitutional republic? Put simply, we the people don’t decide things directly. We elect others to represent us, to decide for us. If we were to adopt a referendum-based mindset inherent in direct, winner-take-all democracy, the rights of the political minority would not be constitutionally protected. That is a recipe for single party rule – and tyranny.
Democracy vs. Progressivism
Let us count the ways in which the left has become anti-democratic. Confiscatory rates of taxation enforced against the will of the people by the central state cannot coexist with genuine democracy. But that is just for starters. Is proposing to spend six trillion dollars on yet more new pie-in-the-sky social programs in the midst of the most rampant inflation in 40 years and a mind-bending $30 trillion national debt, something that would happen in a true democracy? Is silencing, canceling, and stigmatizing people who hold contrary opinions to their own the act of small-d democrats? Does it sound like a democracy to call for defunding the police despite the overwhelming opposition of the very people whose safety would be severely compromised?
How about a Congress barely controlled by one party attempting to re-jigger the entire system to turn left-leaning territories into new states, creating a virtually permanent big-d Democratic majority? Or packing the Supreme Court with new progressive justices to assure their desired ideological composition? Then there are the catch-and-release policies of woke prosecutors which so obviously compromise public safety. And don’t forget Joe Biden’s ill-fated disinformation board. These and so many other progressive initiatives are no longer the wild-eyed notions they were until just the last couple of years, but rather foundational and anti-democratic reform seriously pursued by the left.
In an actual democracy, consider what would happen the first time 50% plus one of citizens choose a path unacceptable to the autocrats on the left. Does anyone believe that if leftists don’t get their way, they will gladly bow to the majority and embrace the role of loyal opposition? As Joe Biden would say, that question is not a joke. But neither is the answer. In the type of democracy envisioned by the left, extremists and full-time activists would rule the day, while the disinterested mass of citizens in apolitical occupations will see their voices buried.
Now, we have seen the rise of so-called social democracies, especially throughout western Europe, but that does not represent true democracy as first enacted and defined – allowing everyone a voice. In fact, it is antithetical to the modern notion of a government that decides how best to spend as much of the citizens’ hard-earned money as it can possibly impound. A social democracy is neither fish nor fowl. It does not control the media, imprison its people for daring to challenge government hegemony, or declare all things mandatory or forbidden, as in a true socialist paradise like Cuba or North Korea. And yet the high rates of taxation in most European countries also make democracy an impossibility. When the central government is your nanny from cradle to grave, one man-one vote becomes little more than a matter of not whether, but how much, of your money the state will require to bolster an all-encompassing social safety so wide and deep that gainful employment in some countries actually becomes unnecessary.
Perhaps what frightens progressives most is that Trump’s populism – roughly defined as giving people what they desire, instead of relying on a giant, paternalistic bureaucracy to decide for them – actually comes closer to pure democracy than that of any president in memory. So, true to form, leftists employ their favorite weapon, projection, to lay on Trump and his supporters the very things of which they can so easily be accused. That is why they say he is a threat to democracy.
Don’t let progressives, driven by their top-down worldview, fool you with their talk of how our form of government is so threatened by the right. The hard reality is that these people represent the polar opposite of a system where the majority rules. Their statist worldview pivots on command and control, and is thus entirely incompatible with any definition of democracy – except of course their own.
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