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Now, when I've raised this issue in the past, I've been criticized for "splitting hairs" over semantics.
For years, I have been cringing, shuddering, rebuking at the frequent use of the word "democracy" by U.S. policymakers who hold up this political system as the best the world has to offer.
Why would we here in the United States – the beneficiaries of the rejection of democracy by our founders – want to foist that failed, corrupt and immoral system on the rest of the world?
That's right. I called "democracy" a failed, corrupt and immoral system of governance.
I can't believe people no longer comprehend the difference between "democracy" and "freedom." They use these terms as if they were interchangeable.
Worse yet, some in the United States actually expect to see good results from experiments with "democracy" in places that have no experience with self-government, places that have long histories of ethnic and religious groups victimizing one another, places that have no understanding of basic human rights.
Here's the truth about democracies: They always descend into tyranny. Our founding fathers knew it. That's why they avoided creating one here in America. Even among populations fully capable of and practicing self-government, democracy always represents a lethal deathblow. Yet, somehow, too many of us fail to understand the critical distinctions between constitutional representative governments – that protect the absolute, inalienable rights of minorities – and democracies, in which the mob rules.
Yet, everywhere I turn, I am still hearing seemingly well-informed people calling for the spread of an evil system known as democracy.
No sooner did I get off the radio the other day, after three hours of railing against democracy, than I got an invitation from a university journalism program nominating me for an award for my role in support of "participatory democracy."
I wrote back explaining: "I don't believe in democracy. Does that disqualify me?"
The astonished representative of the program wrote back inquiring as to what I meant.
"America is not a democracy and never has been," I explained. "The founding fathers were careful to craft an alternative system to democracy, which, they warned, always leads to tyranny. They were cognizant of the democracy in France that led directly to the guillotine. 'Democracy' appears nowhere in our founding documents. It is a mistake to equate democracy with freedom, as too many politicians do. I cannot participate in the promotion of a concept I find truly repugnant. I believe in a constitutional republic that protects the rights of minorities and individuals. Democracy does not offer that."
I guess the roots of this confused thinking about democracy may have begun in America with President Woodrow Wilson who plunged the nation into the Great War, as it was known then, "to make the world safe for democracy."
What a dreadful idea that was.
Just 24 years later, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt led America into World War II by proclaiming the country "must be the great arsenal of democracy."
How about an "arsenal of freedom"?
Whether this redefinition of American ideals was intentional deception or simple ignorance, the effects were the same. Americans have come to embrace democracy, which is a perfectly dreadful form of government – one that always leads to tyranny.
Perhaps the most concise and definitive condemnation of democracy came from Lord Acton: "The one prevailing evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections."
But my favorite analogy illustration of democracy is the one that equates it with two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.