You hear it all the time from politicians who may or may not know what they’re saying, that the United States has a democratic government and is committed to the ideals of democracy. But that’s not true. The Founding Fathers specifically wanted a republican government, not a democratic government. They knew that democracy was nothing more than mob rule, and they knew that the only way to protect freedom and individual rights was by ensuring that democracy would never take root.
The controversy surrounding the students from Covington Catholic High School is a perfect illustration of why the Founders were so fearful of democracy. The very first publication of the incident involving the students was falsely portrayed to make it appear that the students initiated a confrontation. An online lynch mob rose up demanding that the boys be punished, immediately and for the rest of their lives, for their supposed offense.
Even once the initial narrative was shown to be false, members of the online mob continued to blame the boys for what happened, claiming that the mere act of wearing a MAGA hat was enough to categorize them as racists and bigots. This kind of thing could happen to anyone, and it’s an example of the dangers of democracy.
Remember that democracy means majority rule. If 50% of the people plus one decide on something, that’s the way it is and the rest have to follow along. Remember too that 50% of the people are of below average intelligence. Many of them, if not most of them, are unaware that they’re of below average intelligence, yet they believe that their views hold equal weight and are equally valid, no matter how wrong they are.
They’re not capable of following logical arguments, they’re not capable of understanding the long-term (or sometimes even the short-term) consequences of their actions, and they’re not capable of changing their views even when confronted with overwhelming evidence that they’re wrong. Are these really the people we want to control our society?
That’s why the Founders put in place a series of checks and balances, so that if one branch of government became too influenced by the democratic mob the others could keep things in check and keep individual rights from being trampled. Some of those safeguards have been eroded, such as through the 17th Amendment which allowed for the direct election of Senators. Others remain the target of attacks, such as the Electoral College which many Democrats would love to do away with.
Just remember that every time someone touts the benefits of democracy, what they really want is a government run by the type of mob that targeted the Covington students. We should all see the dangers inherent in that, and hope that our government remains a republic, if we can keep it.