Democracy in the Constitution: Are we a democracy or a republic? And, what’s the difference? It may surprise you to know that the word “democracy” was never used in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution – and with good reason. Our founders deplored democracies and understood them for the danger that they are to freedom. In this presentation we will discover what the founders and the Constitution have to say about democracies and why the founders wisely set up a republic to guarantee and preserve our God-given rights.
Male speaker: Hi, welcome to Democracy in the Constitution. This is number 10, presentation number 10 In the Constitution Seminar series, and the first thing we noted about this presentation is Democracy in the Constitution is a bad name, why? Because Democracy doesn’t show up, the word democracy doesn’t show up anywhere in our Federal Constitution or in any of the 50 state Constitutions. There simply isn’t democracy in the constitution.
So, it’s kind of a funny way to start off by saying it’s a bad name, but that’s something to know about this presentation. We’re going to get into this, but what I do when I do these presentations, I go through and I gather all the quotes I can possibly find and I put them together and I get all of the constitutional references and pull those altogether and come with all these ideas that I think are helpful and beneficial.
At the end of this presentation, I had [0:01:00] five or six quotes though I didn’t know where to fit them in so I thought well I’ll just put them in the beginning, and it turns out that they’re kind of interesting to look at and they apply very much to this whole concepts. So, we’re going to go through some slides and some quotes from the founders and kind of contrast those with the liberals and progressives, okay?
First one here is by George Washington, he says, “We must take human nature as we find it, perfection falls not to the share of mortals.” That’s an interesting thing to say isn’t it? That we as human beings aren’t perfect. We have to take that, we have to accept that and understand that’s just how it is.
There’s a man named Herbert Croly, a leader in the progressive movement, he said this, “Human nature can be raised to a higher level by an improvement in institutions and laws.” In other words, the way to change human nature just to give the government more power, if we just had an agency for that or a bureaucrat to fix that, we could fix that, we can change human nature. George Washington says, “No, we can’t, we have to accept that how it is.”
Along the same lines here, Thomas Jefferson says, “Human nature is the same on every side of the Atlantic, and it will be alike influenced by the same causes. The time [0:02:00] to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they should have gotten a hold on us.”
Okay, that’s the founder’s view. Progressives say something along the lines of, “Some humans are more equal than others, rather it’s [inaudible 0:02:12] sort of more equal than others and they should govern those who aren’t as enlightened. They attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others — with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means. So, typically you could say, well yes we know that there’s corruption [inaudible 0:02:27], we know that communist China and socialist Germany have corrupt leaders, but that doesn’t happen here in the United States. Jefferson says, “No, human nature is the same on both sides of the Atlantic and we need to guard against that.
Here’s a pretty famous quote by James Madison, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls, then government would be necessary.”
So, in government by necessity men are trusted with power and force, the force of the government. The progressive say, “We can trust men in positions of power, who are guided [0:03:00] by altruistic goals and who have put off their self-interest and only seek the public good.”
Whereas, Madison says, like men are angels and just because someone is in government doesn’t make them an angel. If men were angels they need no government, but men aren’t angels. And so, we understand that opposite side there again.
John Adam says, “If weakness rather than wickedness which renders men unfit to be trusted with unlimited power.” And according to Adams, who has that weakness? All men, all mankind. Just like Lord Acton said that, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Nobody is immune. All mankind is immune, both those in the public and those in the public service. And so, we shouldn’t trust any of them with absolute power.
Progressives on the other hand said, “No, no we can because they understand these things, they know how to govern, they’re elite, they’re progressed in how they think and how they understand things.”
Madison says, “As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, [0:04:00] so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion esteem and confidence.” We’re kind of dual beans. There’s things about us that we can’t trust, but there’s also things about us that we need to unleash and say, yeah go for it. That’s a good righteous, godly desire. We need to get out of the way.
He says, “Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form, because I did a republic, we’re republic, we talked about this, we’re not in democracy, we’re republic rule of law.
The republic presupposes the idea that we have things we need to restrain and have government use their force to restrain us on, we also have things that government needs to get out of the way and let the people in their own endeavors become the great people they can be.
Lastly, Madison says, “We’re the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses of the human character. The inference would be that there’s not a sufficient virtue among men for self-government and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.” [0:05:00]
You can’t possibly and people are saying and Madison said it’s not true, but you can’t possibly trust people to govern themselves, they’re on a virtue they would destroy themselves and the progressive said, “People need to be told what to do. They don’t know how to handle their freedom because they’re incapable whatever they’re doing good.”
The progressive say, “We’re here to save the say because you guys you don’t know how, even though you may not like our control and our bureaucracy instead we’re here because we’re here to do good for you, we’re here to control you because you can’t control yourself.”
So, what I did is I put them together a little chart I think is interesting. I compared it to Founders and the Progressives. The Founders according to them, “Man’s nature is falling but has a high potential.” The duality of our human nature.
According to the Progressives, “Man’s nature, they don’t have any virtue. They are selfish.” According to Founders, “We’re dependent upon God and morality to fix that falling portion of our nature.” Progressive say, “We’re dependent upon the government.” Founders say, “Man’s self-interest is a positive force, if not use to infringe on other’s rights.” So, it’s a good thing to have people who have [0:06:00] self-interest that profit motive impels action.
The Progressives say that, “Man’s self-interest must be eliminated and replaced with the public interest, the collective good.” Founders said that, “rights are based individually,” as progressive say that, “rights are based collectively.” The rule of law under the Founder’s model and the Progressive’s model is the rule of the elite because after all they know better.
The proper role of government according to the Founders is to protect individual rights as a negative force. It acts on those who infringe another people’s rights. It’s negative. It’s the protective. Whereas, the proper role of government in progressives is that providential, it provides the needs and wants. It’s a positive force. We’re going to help you, we’re going to give you, we’re going to change you, that’s how the progressives see it.
Legitimate laws in the Founder’s model uphold natural law. They coincide with the natural law. Whereas, in the progressive model, the legitimate laws are there to change man’s nature. Now, the ultimate goal in the Founder’s is freedom and prosperity and the ultimate goal under the progressives is Utopia where there’s no [0:07:00] self-interest.
I don’t know, to me that’s an interesting little set of quotes and a comparison of the chart there that gives an idea and really get us I think on the right on the right foundation and saying, okay here’s why there are different thoughts about how human nature is and how government shouldn’t interact with human nature, it’s may be a good foundation for starting our presentation.
So, what we’re going to do is we’re going to work with some more models here. We’re going to discuss some different issues. A lot of times it’s interesting with this economic system we’re going to put together, we have a spectrum here.
So, in this we call things that are really economic terms, governmental terms and vice-versa. Look into this, so maybe just semantics but I think it helps [inaudible 0:07:36] a bit of understanding to the whole issue at hand here.
So, in an economic system the whole point revolves on this idea of the ownership of capital. Capital is the means of production. Now, in parenthesis there we have its title and its use. You can have title to capital, to property but if you can’t control its use, then you really don’t know [inaudible 0:07:54]. In fact out of the two aspects, it’s more important to have control over the use of the capital rather than just to have [0:08:00] the title of it.
So, the two different spectrums, on the right hand side here we have the individual ownership of capital. On the left hand side, we have the state ownership of capital. So, on the right hand side, the economic system based on individual ownership of capital is called capitalism. But as we discussed just a few presentations ago in the economics and the constitution presentation, all forms of economic systems are capitalistic.
So, we’re going to replace this word capitalism with the word free market. Free market is individuals own and control title and the use of the capital. We’re going to have to scale it [inaudible 0:08:34], we had this thing called the fascism.
Now, fascism is private ownership that government control. The famous fascist dictatorship is Mussolini of Italy. He says, “We’re going to tell you what to produce, how much, who to hire, at what cost, where to get your production supplies, who to fire, all that stuff. But then you can decide the rest.” [0:09:00]
So, they have completely control even though you have ownership. It’s actually a very effective way to run it because you end up people own the building, paint it, keep it clean, take some pride in it, it really is completely controlled. They have the title but the government controls the use of the resources, the use of the capital. That’s fascism.
One step further is called socialism which is government ownership, control and use of the major industries. Major industries like banking or student loans or automobiles. That sound vaguely familiar or you’re like the United States of America, government ownership of the different banks, the money system, the automobile.
So, he would say we’re progressing towards socialism, they’re not just saying how things fall harder and look at what’s going on. If the definition is ownership, control and use of the major industries that’s exactly that’s happening in America.
One more up the scale here is communism. Communism is state ownership, control and use of all the capital in every industry of the country. Socialism is just major industries, [0:10:00] communism is outright, openly own everything. The state owns it and controls it.
Now, there’s a different scale here and you can see that communism is all the way to the left where the state is, whereas the free market is all the way to the right, where the individual controls that market.
On the side note, it’s interesting how advocates of communism, the socialism, and the fascism always say it’s the people movement is for the common men. But under communism and its various aspects, the common man becomes a slave to the system. They’re not enabled, it’s not really a people’s movement, its a people-suppression. They become slaves in the system. That’s an Interesting economic side note there.
In relation to that last comment, [inaudible 0:10:40] put it this way, America extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. America touches all possible value to each men, socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. America and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference, while America seeks equality and liberty, socialism seeks equality and restraint and servitude. [0:11:00]
The next spectrum we’re going to deal with here is regards governmental systems. Governmental system has everything to do with governmental power. On the right hand side, you have no governmental power and on the left hand side you have a 100% governmental power. What’s it called when there is no governmental power? What’s that system of government called? That’s anarchy. Anarchy means rule by no one. No one is in charge.
Now, all the way to the left up on the upper left hand corner we have what’s called the monarchy. What’s monarchy mean? Mono rule by one. Rule by a king or a dictator, potentate. A little bit farther down is an oligarchy. Oligarchy means rule by a few, a rule by the elite. A little bit farther down then, the scale is what is called democracy. There we find democracy. Democracy is the rule by majority. The last thing we have somewhere towards the right but not at the very end of the right is what was called the republic. [0:12:00] Republic means rule of law.
All right, let’s look at each of these. There’s five different governmental system, let’s try to discover some that are truly don’t exists or not really permanent. When you look at the monarchy for example, you have a king, you have a potentate, you have a dictator but there’s one person really rule or where they really surround themselves of a small group of [vetus 0:12:23] who really rule in their place. Rule with them, it’s rule with them.
So, really a monarchy disappears. It’s not a legitimate long term form of government. And oligarchy is what 99% of the nation’s rule under it is the rule of the elite, and oligarchy is very much alive and well in today’s world.
Move on more down is the democracy. The democracy has a government, a lot of attention from the founders. There’s tons and tons of quotes so let’s read a lot of them today. First one that I want to attention to is John Adams. He says this, “Democracy never last long, it soon waste, exhaust, and murders itself. [0:13:00] There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” If it’s rule of majority, who are the majority going to start praying on minority? And eventually minority is going to run out resource, the majority is going to say, “Hey, what’s going on here?” And things collapse and they commit suicide. The system itself has no other choice but to commit suicide, there’s no one else to pray on. The majority can’t vote in benefits from the minority.
Madison concurs he says, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention. Have ever been found the incompatible of personal security or the rights of property and in general have been short in their lives that they have been violent in their deaths.”
So, we talk really quick with me about The Arab Spring. The democratic uprisings, how long did those last before they turn into dictatorships in Egypt and Syria and Libya. [inaudible 0:13:48] the history.
This isn’t the founding father obviously but this is very much an interesting quote that I think sums up really concisely what we’re trying to say. “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. [0:14:00] It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates that’s promising the most benefits from the public treasury but the result that the democracy always collapses and that we lose physical policy always followed by a dictatorship.”
So, we’ve got Adams saying they commit suicide and Madison saying that it’s violent in his death. We have Alexander Tytler saying that it is followed by a dictatorship, they’re all saying the same thing as democracies are bad.
So, let’s look again on the spectrum. What happens to democracy? All three of these witnesses say, well democracy always turns into anarchy. Complete chaos, no government by nobody because the democracies today, majority doesn’t have anybody else to pick on anymore and it turns into anarchy.
Now, when you look at what happens within anarchy though. How long does an anarchy really last? Not long at all. Rule by no one, of course someone is going to step forward and say, “I’ll rule.” What happened with Hitler, “I’ll take care of this chaos, just give me your guns and let me be in charge of all the laws [0:15:00] and I’ll give you security,” and people clamored for him and said, “Yes, let’s do that.” Anarchy never last long. It’s not a permanent form of government.
So, anarchy turns into an oligarchy which is a dictatorship which coincides with the things that the founders have said. George Washington says this too, “There’s a natural and necessary progression from the extreme of anarchy to the extreme of tyranny.”
Witness after witness is saying this is how it works. And so, what really comes down to the only two stable forms of government are an oligarchy which is rule by the state, governmental power or a republic which is rule by law. Those are two choices. That’s what it comes down to in the governmental systems.
Now, our third spectrum, the final one that we’re going to analyze the philosophical system, that all has to do everything with rights and duties. In the right hand side once again, they have individuals. [0:16:00] On the left hand side, you have the state. It’s really a simple model, we’re not going to spend so much time on it, but on the right hand side you have what’s called individualism. Rights and duties are based in individuals. On the left hand side, the rights and duties are based on the state that’s called collectivism, where the group is more important than the individual.
So, when you combine these three together, we’re going to look at this and say philosophically on the right hand side, well first of all the basis behind this spectrum is the ownership of capital, the power and the rights. Right hand side you have individual election side of the state. So, philosophically you have individualism on the right, collectivism on the left.
Economically, you have capitalism or free market. You have communism on the left and communism and all its forms. Governmentally, you have either the republic or you have an oligarchy. So, look at this, collectivism, communism, and oligarchy or individualism, capitalism, or free market and the republic. Interesting to look at that and understand, that’s what America is and really what it comes down to is liberty versus tyranny, that’s what it really is.
So, hopefully I get our minds on those definitions. [0:17:00] Now, let’s go on to the definition of democracy itself. This is kind of long definition it’s very well done though. The government of the masses, authority derived through mass meaning or any other form of direct expression results in [inaudible 0:17:14] added into our property is communistic negating property rights. Added to the laws that the will of the majority shall regulate whether it’s be based on deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice and impulse, without restrains or regard the consequences, results in demagogism, license agitation, discontent and anarchy.
That sound like a [inaudible 0:17:33] extreme definition of democracy. Here they go on to say this, this definition. The [inaudible 0:17:39] of constitution quote made a very marked distinction between the republic and a democracy, instead repeatedly and emphatically that they had formed a republic.
Who wrote this definition of democracy? What a surprise you to know that it was written by the War Department in 1928. The [inaudible 0:17:56] to the department of defense. The War Department in 1928 [0:18:00] in their training manual said, democracies are bad. They’re saying they’re communistic, they’re saying they’re governed by prejudice, agitation, discontent, anarchy, we’re republic, we’re not democracy. Pretty good and the government printed it and published this for the training manual for the people in the armed forces.
Now, we’re going to go to another definition and this is 1952, a mere 25 years later approximately, the U.S. Army publishes the Soldier’s Guide in which it states, because the United States is a democracy, the majority of the people decide how our government reorganize and run.
So, from 1928 to 1952, the complete reversal, they’re all of a sudden saying, we are democracy and they’re not saying all the ills of the democracy, they’re saying we are democracy and all the people go to the armed forces and get this idea we’re democracy and that’s what we hear today isn’t it? We’re democracy, in this democracy they uphold democracy.
Wait a second, according to 1928 and according to the two principles and according to founders too, democracy is a bad thing, so why are they calling us democracy? There’s an interesting little [0:19:00] side note there isn’t there? Because once people learn what the democracy is they buy into the idea of, “oh just the rule of majority. Whatever the majority wants they get. Cool, I like this.” And you can more easily plan their passions and get things done that you want done by emotionalizing the shoes and by propaganda and by doing whatever you need to do that way.
Alexander Hamilton says this, “It has been observed, that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved, that no position in politics is more false than this.” So, a lot of people said, “Look if we can have a pure democracy where all the people come together and decide on things, that’s would be the best. Why isn’t that practical?
[inaudible 0:19:35] they said, the ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberate and never possess one good future government, they’re very character is tyranny, their figure deformity. Why would that be? Because if all the people have to come together, the merchants, the farmers, the sailors or whatever it is, they all have to get together and make decisions like, “I’ve got to go, I have stuff to do and they come and [inaudible 0:19:52] “oh you’re going to promise that, fine let’s do that. Let’s just move forward, we got things to do,” and the next thing you know, this democracy becomes a popularity contest [0:20:00] and efficiency issue rather than wait a minute deliberate make the right decision about these things, its deformity, it’s tyranny, it’s craziness because if everyone has to weight in, you’re never going to get anything done and if you do get something done that’s because we’re going to have one big popularity contest to make something go forward that way.
Hamilton states emphatically, “We are now forming a republican form in government. Real liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy we shall soon shoot into a monarchy or some other form of dictatorship.
So, once again this is the four witness to say, look you go for democracy, you hit anarchy and you end up in a dictatorship just like our model show before, just like Washington said and Adams said, and Madison said. That’s what happens, that’s the democracy leads towards.
Now, there are some people who know a little bit about socialism and communism on this next slide and they’re equating democracy into their schemes. First one is Mikhail Gorbachev, he says this, “We want more socialism [0:21:00] and therefore more democracy.” Interesting.
Mao Tse-Tung, does he know anything about communism? Well, he killed 60 million people with it, he may. He says this, “The democratic revolution is the necessary preparation for the socialist revolution.” And the socialist revolution is the inevitable sequel to the democratic revolution.” Inevitable sequel, when you have a democratic revolution inevitable, you’re going to end up with the socialist revolution.
Karl Marx, the founder of communism, he says, “The first step in the revolution is to win the battle of democracy.” Next, Vladimir Lenin, “Justice socialism cannot be victorious unless the it introduces complete democracy, so the [inaudible 0:21:40] must wage in many side a consistent revolutionary struggle for democracy.”
Isn’t it interesting when you have Adams, Washington, and Jefferson everyone saying democracy is bad and then you have those who are pro-communist saying democracy is good because it creates socialism and communism. I think it becomes very clear people on both sides [0:22:00] of the fence understand that democracy is the necessary precursor, it is the first step to communism and it’s the inevitable step to communism.
So, when you get quotes like this from some of our previous presidents, I don’t know, to me it makes me a little bit nervous. Woodrow Wilson says, “We must enter World War I to make the world safe for democracy.” Franklin Roosevelt, “America must be the great arsenal democracy by rushing the England aid in World War II.” You start to see that word differently now don’t you? You see democracy is a bad word instead of appositive word and go, why are they advocating for this negative thing?
George W. Bush says, “To seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture.” If we’re seeking to grow these democratic movements and institutions, what are you really seeking according to Marx and according to Washington? We’re seeking socialism.
Now, this is the side note, what surprise us is that what we’re doing domestically I think no one had argued that domestically what we’re creating is socialism. Internationally, what a surprise that what [0:23:00] we’re really advocating is socialism, if that’s what we’re domestically why are we doing that internationally as well, that only makes sense doesn’t it?
Let’s get to one more quote by Woodrow Wilson, he says this and it’s interesting because he’s right on, this is very true. He says, “Democracy is bound by no principle of its own nature to say itself nay as to the exercise of any power.” Democracy in of itself can do whatever it wants to do. It doesn’t have to say no to itself at all. They can do what everyone else do, the only stipulation is that the majority wants it and the majority can do whatever they want to do. There is no necessity to say nay to any of its power, he goes on to say, “here then lies the point, the difference between democracy and socialism is not an essential difference, but only a practical difference. It’s a difference of the organization and policy not a difference of primary motive.”
So, just equating the two, democracy and socialism really are the same thing and it’s like the 15th time now we’ve heard this, that’s true. Democracy leads to socialism and it’s really the same thing.
Are we clear [0:24:00] on that? Does that makes sense why they’re the same? Because the rules of majority is no rule at all, it’s just complete chaos and anarchy and it ends up in a dictatorship because someone comes along and says, hey that chaos isn’t going to work or solve the problem. All solve the problems that I caused by promoting democracy. That’s the story of the Lenins and the Mao Tse-Tungs and Stalins and Gorbachevs of the world.
Kind of a long introduction, we’ve got a good idea who [inaudible 0:24:29] quotes and all the concepts and the charts to get a good foundation, now let’s get in to the declaration. The declaration of independence, we’ve hit this many, many times during the presentations and I want to review it one more time because it’s critical to this conversation.
We hold this true to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that their [inaudible 0:24:44] certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. An interesting question here is we always understand, who’s the great law giver? The great law giver is God. Whose laws are we talking about here? When we talk about the rule of law, [0:25:00] we’re talking about God’s laws, are we not?
What unalienable of the rights are ours? The right to do whatever we want to do, as long as you don’t infringe on someone else’s rights, that’s what the declaration says. These are natural rights, they’re unalienable. What’s the meaning of unalienable? You can’t alienate yourself and that the fact that you’re born, you’re born of life liberty and the opportunity to pursue your happiness. You’re born with that, it’s unalienable, you can’t say, I’m alienating myself from that, you can’t.
Now, to secure these rights government is instituted among men. Government’s job according to the declaration is to protect our [inaudible 0:25:34] rights, not to reflect the will of the people. That’s not their job. There’s actually a big difference.
There’s a distinction here between natural rights and positive rights. Natural rights come from God, they’re unalienable. Whereas, the positive rights that are also called granted rights or created rights, sometimes they call it vested rights, those comes from men and if men gives you rights, the government gives you rights they can [0:26:00] take them away. So, there’s actually no right at all, are they? We talked about that in the last presentation.
And these natural rights coincide with the laws of nature and of nature’s God, natural right. And they should be protected by government because it make sense for nature to comply with the natural law and government to make sure that exist, that is the protection of those rights.
Lastly, [inaudible 0:26:25] just powers and the consent of the government. We talked about this a million times, this is the great idea. The government only has the powers that we ourselves have possessed and the consent to give them to act on our behalf as our agent.
So, now you’re establishing what the declaration talks about as far as the purpose of government, the rights of men etcetera. Now, we’re going to get into an interesting thing that you can get very confusing and the slide says popular sovereignty versus democracy.
Popular sovereignty is essentially the people rule. In democracy we’ve already established [inaudible 0:26:57] democracy and its bad. So, to understand that we’re not [0:27:00] governed by the will of the people and yet the source of all power according to the way our government structured is the individual, it’s the person. So, the question is, do the people rule or the people not rule?
Popular sovereignty, democracy how does that work? It can get fairly confusing and people can fall for that and say, no the people are in charge, the people are and the people are the source of all the power, they are. The real question to be asked though is who is the source of all the power? It’s the people. What’s in charge? It’s not the people, it’s not the will of the people, the will of the majority, what’s in charge is the law.
It’s important to understand the distinction there because we can get really quickly confused of the thing, well people are in charge and therefore majority rule and then whatever the people want is what we get. Well, and what governs us, that’s not what governments us, what governs us is the law. Now, the source of the power for that law, those who made the law are the people but the people don’t govern, the law governs. [0:28:00] And the law governs over the people and over the government. The law is what rules.
So, this is clearly pointed out in the preamble of the constitution, the first three words, “We the people of the United States.” Remember popular sovereignty, the source of all power is we the people. There’s a little known part of the constitution and I think makes this point, I think it’s interesting to look at.
Article one, section nine, clause eight says, no title of nobility shall be granted by the United States and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them shall without the consent of congress except of any present emolument office or title of any kind or whatever for many king, prince or foreign state.
What this points out to me is that, we the people are the important ones, the government is simply the people’s servants and so to have the government take on titles and nobility is anti-people. It’s pro-elitism and its anti-individualism, [0:29:00] it’s saying I’m a king, I’m a duke. You can hear the founder saying, we reject this whole British idea of titles and nobility because it’s not the people who are in the government that are important, it’s the people who are in the nation. The people in the government are simply serving the people who are the source of all the power. Interesting side note there.
Getting back to the preamble, towards the end here it says, “Do ordain and establish this constitution.” What does it mean to ordain and establish? It means to establish of how it is, right? To write it down. Ever played the telephone game where you say one word by the time it gets the end that’s a totally different phrase? Well, that’s what would happen if we are just an oral tradition.
The oldest, longest established written constitution in the world is United States constitution. It’s written down. It’s a beautiful thing and we can read it, we don’t have to wonder why. I wonder what that means. I wonder if someone interprets it, no, it’s written you can read it. That’s critically important to a republican form of government. [0:30:00] If the law is the rule and if it’s the rule of law, then you need to be able to read that law, have it ordain and established.
Article six is pretty [inaudible 0:30:08] about this, the supremacy cause it. It says, this constitution that allows the United States which shall be made [inaudible 0:30:12] shall be the supreme law of the land. The law is supreme, the constitution is supreme and the supreme over the people and the supreme over the government.
George Washington has this to say about our supreme of the land, he says, “The constitution which anytime exists to change by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people is sacredly obligatory upon all.” In other words, the law rules, the law prevails not the will of the people, and you don’t change that law, you don’t just disregard the law, you follow the law, the only way to change it is to authentic and explicit act as he terms it. What’s the authentic and explicit act? It’s the act of the amendment. We’ve already talked about this in other presentations, but just to point out, in article five it says, the congress whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments of the constitution. [0:31:00] In case two thirds of both houses and then the legislature has to ratify it by three quarters. As we notice those aren’t just simple matter majorities.
Two thirds of the super majority and three fourths is what I guess a super, super majority. It’s not just simple majority because when they change the law of our land and we’re not just going to do it by majority of the rules and the sacred obligatory law has to be changed by an explicit and authentic act that is a great over majority deciding and understanding all the implications etcetera in order to change that law.
Now, we’ll talk a little bit more into the constitution, what it has to say about this republican form of government? In article four, section four, clause one it says, the United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government.
So, somebody asked me what type of government are we? I think the best answer is we’re a constitutional republic because republic means rule of law. What’s our law? The constitution, so we’re constitutional republic. [0:32:00] Our freedoms are strengthened by the idea that in every level of government we have a republic.
Article four, section four, clause one says that each state has to have a republic in their form of government. The states aren’t even allowed to have democracies because the republic — the only way for the federal republic to survive is to have republic [inaudible 0:32:19] you need to have a rule of law otherwise there’s chaos and anarchy like we talked about before.
So, Madison offers a little bit of explanation of the difference between the democracy and a republic when he says, “pin the democracy the people meet and exercise the government in person and the republic they assemble and administer it by the representatives and agents.“
So, like Hamilton talked about before, somebody asked me what’s the best way? They just all meet together and that’s not a good way and Madison is making the point here, as the republic you have representatives, that’s the essence behind the republic, you have representatives who are empowered and the grant to be the authority to make laws on behalf [0:33:00] of the citizens.
Now, in regards to those laws that are made in the republic, an interesting side note that Madison makes here, I just have to [inaudible 0:33:07] saying that’s very, very prophetic. He says this, “It will be a little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous so they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood. If they be repealed or revised before they’re promulgated, or undergo such incessant change that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be tomorrow.” Does that ring a bell to anybody? Does that sound familiar?
Talking about what we got in the past [inaudible 0:33:36] to define what it, such of those types of ideas, voluminous, always changing, wow Madison makes his comment and he says, look Laws define to be a rule of action but how can that be a rule which is little known and less fixed.”
So, referring to republic there can be some challenges in the rule of law, if those laws are always changing and never known, so voluminous and no one ever reads them, he make some [0:34:00] good points doesn’t it? He had some prophetic points.
Another thing he makes is this is also kind of a side note but I think it’s interesting, he says, “that the spirit shall ever so far to base as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature as well as on the people. The people will be prepared to tolerate anything but anything but liberty.”
So, talk to you about the government’s healthcare program, talk to you about the government’s pension program there, this sort of one term and they’re paid for life. Talk to me about all the different laws that are put upon the people that are given exemptions to the government. Is that a challenge? Madison says it is and he goes as far to say, if we are to actually tolerate that, we’ll be in a position, we’re tolerating anything but liberty and I think we might find ourselves there today, aren’t we?
All right, so he goes on further to define what a republic is, we’ve got Madison after Madison after Madison but I guess he’s the father of the constitution, so we’ll let him. “We may define a republic to be a government which derives all its powers directly [0:35:00] or indirectly from the great body of the people for unlimited period or during good behavior.”
So, it’s not like someone just forever is now public servant, there’s a limited period that’s during good behavior there are some restrictions on that and grant of power. It is essential to such a government that it’ll be derived from the great body of society not from an inconsiderable proportion or a favorite class of it, because if it’s an inconsiderate proportion or a favorite class then what would it be? It’d be a government by the elite, it would be an oligarchy.
He’s saying in republic it needs to be all the people who get together and they choose who their representatives are, it’s critical. He concludes by saying, it is sufficient for such a government that the persons administering it be appointed either directly or indirectly by the people. I want to point out what does that mean. How do the people directly appoint their public servants? By the vote and the ballot box. How do they indirectly appoint their public servants? Well, those who they vote for appoint positions within the government. [0:36:00] And there’s a separation because sometimes I hope you’d say, we should vote for every single position, well maybe not.
The founder said, no, let’s make a distinction in some cases because we don’t want the passions and the masses, the easily persuaded ideas and opinions and demagogues just all these different ideas and have people say, yes let’s do that, let’s do that and make every single position elected, position that becomes a popularity contest.
We want to have some type of republican form of government where there’s some presentation or some distance between the people and the public servant. So, there are certain areas where that’s advisable so it’s less of a democracy and more of a republic.
One last little insert I wanted to have that I’ve been — I find these little things I want to threw in and this is really a funny one I think. Article one, section four, clause two says, the congress shall assemble at least once in every year. Were the founders serious about limited government? Yes, they were. Essentially is that look we only gave you few things to do, but you better at least show up once a year. Isn’t that so ironic when you compare it to today? [0:37:00]
You know Jefferson’s quote where he said something that affected that government which governs best is the government which governs least. Gets out of the way, we talked about that in the economics presentation.
So now, let’s get into this idea of those people, those public servants who are directly elected by the people. We’re going to start talking now about the house. Article one, section two, clause one, the House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states.
Couple things to emphasize here, the first thing is by the people of the several states. Very simple, we all know this, the house is chosen by the people, correct? The House represents the people. Now, another thing to emphasize, they’re chosen every second year. What does that do? Every second year, they’re essentially campaigning all the time with all your votes. You’re staying very, very close to the people who are the source of the power in our government. So, we want to keep them close, we want to make sure that happens, so the founder set it up so that they’d be very, very close to what the people want and it kind of [0:38:00] leans toward this idea of the democracy in some ways.
The other thing about the house is the house has the power, a very important power over the purse, and so the founders limited their length of service because they have power over the purse. They need to make sure they’re not just getting away with stuff, they need to always be held accountable by the people.
So, that’s that side where the people are represented. Another little thing I like to bring up is in Article one, Section two, clause three, it says, representative shall be a portion among the several states which may be included in this union according to respective numbers.
Now, notice this is something that may or may not be discussed or mentioned, notice the congressional districts don’t cross stateliness. We don’t take our 300 million somewhat people and divide it by 435 congressional districts and therefore every single person is equally represented in the House of Representatives. It’s not, it’s within the state.
So, you get states like Wyoming that are highly represented. We have one representative for every 550,000 people. You have states like Montana, actually that has about 1.1 million people that are represented [0:39:00] by their representative. So, it’s interesting and people like to say in Wyoming, well our voted doesn’t count. Well, it counts in the House at least, nearly twice as much as the House vote in Montana. Now, Montana its one rep per one million people, in Wyoming it’s one rep per 550,000 people.
Now, let’s go over to the state side, the senate. Article one, section three, clause one says, the Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from each state for six years. Now, [inaudible 0:39:32] on the same idea we just talked about as far as representation goes, in the senate it’s even more disproportionate. The people are even more disproportionately represented. In Wyoming, we have two senators for 550,000 people. That means they’re represented in a rate of one senator to 275,000 people. You know what it is in California? Their rate is one senator per around 19 million people. We’re 40, 50 as much represented [0:40:00] in the senate as California is and people so often say, Wyoming doesn’t have a voice anyway.
We only have three congressional delegates and I say we have the best voice out there. There is no citizen of any state who’s more represented than it is in Wyoming. And why is that so? Somebody said, that’s not fair because you guys get more representation. The reason it so is because of the principle of federalism. It make sure the states are represented and the states have their say and we have a republican form of government with different levels of federalism, different levels of government being represented instead of just the mass population being represented equally at the federal level, that’s why that’s important.
Going on and discuss a little bit more, the emphasis on this ideas of every six years. Remember the house is chosen every two years to keep it close to the people and that’s more of a democracy idea, keep it close to the people, whereas, the senate is every six years. It’s more of a distant and emotional, logical what’s the word here –thoughtful approach. [0:41:00] The stifle, just the reaction to their constituents through the people who want this and that and the other, I want to get re-elected so I must do this.
In the senate it’s every six years and they’re able to see out, they may pass a bill in their first year or second year in service and they see that bill is going to come to fruition within the next four years. I have to make sure it’s a good bill, whereas in the house, man they can pass bill [inaudible 0:41:21], you may never even see him come to pass during that term and he can explain [inaudible 0:41:25] to our constituency etcetera, but in the senate it’s more of a reserved thoughtful approach.
All right, long term perspective. Madison has this to say, “It is a misfortune incident to republican government that those who administer it may forget their obligations to their constituents and prove unfaithful to their important trust.”
In this point of view, a senate as a second branch of the legislative assembly distinct from and dividing the power with the first must be on all cases a salutary check on the government. It doubles the security to the people by requiring the concurrence of two distinct bodies and schemes [0:42:00] of usurpation or perfidy, whether they ambition it or corruption of one would otherwise be sufficient.
Notice once again the founders put in by having a senate which is a bicameral legislature, two different houses by having the senate, once again they put a check on democracy. They put a check on the idea of just running whoever the people want by having a second body, the senate. The people don’t just get whatever they want, the senate can block bills that don’t represent the state well, that aren’t run by the mandates, they don’t make sense that are popular billed by destructive bills. The senate can block that and preserve the state’s rights.
Now, article one, section three, clause one has an interesting little ellipse here and the ellipse is kind of a powerful and important issue because what happened originally, it says in article one, section three, clause one that the senate was chosen by the legislature [0:43:00] thereof in each state. So, the states had their rights represented at the national level, the federal level but as we all know the 17th Amendment changed the wording to be elected by the people thereof.
A lot of people claim in 1913, in the 17th amendment it destroyed our republic and made it into a democracy and you can see where they’re coming from. I don’t think it did an entire [inaudible 0:43:23] because you can see where they’re coming from because essentially what happen was, the people are already represented in the house and then because of the 17th Amendment the states are no longer represented in the senate, the people are double represented in the senate.
And so, this nice check on [inaudible 0:43:36] the mandates, on top down [inaudible 0:43:39], that was there, got eliminated with the 17th Amendment and the states no longer have that and we destroyed one level of our republican form of government. Why does that matter? Well, it matters [inaudible 0:43:48] for these under presentations. For instance, with ObamaCare. In ObamaCare, these 30 states [inaudible 0:43:53] the federal government somewhere in that number of 30 states, we presumably what we’d have 60 senators in the senates wouldn’t they? [0:44:00] And presumably they would have allowed ObamaCare to get passed. If the states are against it, then one of their senators be against it as well, yes they would and we wouldn’t have ObamaCare today.
So, you see it kind of a real fruit of the consequence of not following the constitution but amending it for what was this popular idea, well everyone’s vote should count. My vote should count, that’s a popular idea, it’s a populist idea, it’s a democracy idea. My vote should count, not recognizing that by doing that they destroyed the power of the senate to represent the states and check any crazy ideas, bad ideas that come from the populist or from popular ideas out of the house.
All right, so moving forward, article one, section five, clause three talks about accountability to the people, because worthy people are in charge, so they should be held accountable to us, they’re our public servants. It says this, each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings from time to time publish the same. That makes sense, we want to know what they’re doing. [0:45:00]
[inaudible 0:45:02] a part that there are not a lot of people believes in the constitution says, accepting such part is [inaudible 0:45:06] their judgment require secrecy. Is that really in there? Yes it is. When would in their judgment whenever they need to remain in secrecy, not anyone know what their plans are. Maybe war or national security issues, they may need to do that.
What about let’s look back at 1787 when they’re constructing the constitution, they mentioned it there, constructing our constitution, what did they do? A sworn oath of secrecy, they draped all the windows, they locked the door, put a [inaudible 0:45:38] there to make sure no one was listening in and for four and a half months they worked in secret, why? Because the people, the popular movement said, no we don’t want a stronger central government, we already had a central government, we don’t want that but the founders knew we need a stronger central government, without a stronger central government we’re going to fall apart. Our [inaudible 0:45:53] and federation aren’t cutting it, we need a constitution.
And so, what they did is they had secrecy in order to give to the people [0:46:00] what they would have rejected, but what was in their best interest. Interesting, we had good moral and virtues men do that, nowadays, we tend to go, no don’t keep anything secret to us, we want it transparent because that secrecy cause has been, it can be and is being abused. So, it is in there though because it makes sense as part of what needs to happen if we’re going to have moral and good virtuous people in our legislature, they could do that.
Lastly, the As and the nays of the members of either house and any question shall the desire of one fifth of those present be entered on the journal. So, 20% of the house said, want to have a roll call about what happens, they go through an actual list what people vote, why? Because the people have learned that what matters is not what the representative or the senator says, what matters is how they vote. They can talk all day long on how they’re against welfare, redistribution of wealth but then they vote on a bill that does so, it doesn’t matter what the redirect it matters what their vote is. [0:47:00]
So, that’s article one, section five, clause three an important one. In other words, article one, section five, clause one is this idea of what a quorum constitute. It says, the majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to do business.
Now, we in Wyoming have one representative in the house. Let’s say that one representative isn’t there one day, they’re sick, have to stay home then we’re not being represented so the business of the nation shouldn’t go forward because Wyoming citizens aren’t being represented? No, because what would that do? That would put one person in charge of stopping the business of the nation and talk about rule by the people, rule by a small minority, just one person couldn’t stop that.
So, they say it’s important that the business goes forward, so we’re going to base this on a quorum. As long as the majority of each house is present that will constitute a quorum and they can go forward and do things.
Another interesting aspect of this idea is in article one, section five, clause two it says each house [0:48:00] may determine the rules of its proceedings. It’s important that each house is autonomous, they get to choose how they act, what are the rules and in each case — everyone has heard about the Robert’s rules of orders and they all think that both the house and the senate work on the Robert’s rules of orders, that’s not true. It’s very, very similar but in the house their rules are governed by what’s called the Jefferson’s Manual and in the senate, their rules are based on what’s called the Standing Rules of the United States senate.
These are the rules that the house in the senate put in to place with article one, section five, clause two authority to govern how they run things and let’s think how do they run things when they’re going to run a bill, what do they do? Do they need a super majority? Do they need a minority vote? What do they need? They just need a simple majority, that’s how they pass bills.
So, there’s rule of majority, does democracy show up anywhere in the constitution? Actually it does in the respective legislative houses because they pass bills with simple majorities. A little diagram that I think is very good shows this idea that in the democracy you have majority rule [0:49:00] that’s completely unrestrained. The majority rule is the rule always, whereas in the constitution of republic they do have majority rule but it’s restrained by the constitution. So, there are elements of democracy in the constitution, but they’re very much restrained by the law within the republic.
So, another part of the constitution that talks about majority rules in article seven. I’m sorry I’m just kind of rallying off clause after clause after clause that addresses these things but I think it shows interesting points. Article seven says the ratification of the [inaudible 0:49:30] nine states shall be sufficient for the establishment of this constitution between the states ratifying the same. They could then chose seven out of 13 is even in a simple majority where they choose nine out of 13, the super majority and that’s consistent is what we see the founders do. We’re talking about the law, we’re talking about changing law or adapting the law, we’ll go to super majority.
Now, majority rules an important part of how we operate because when it comes –there’s really only two options, either rule by majority or by minority [0:50:00] and minority doesn’t make any sense. Some people say that the third option is unanimity, that’s what the article [inaudible 0:50:06] federation said. They said 13 out of 13 states. The founders says it doesn’t make any sense because what unanimity really? It’s really the minority rule because all you need is one out of 13 states to say no and then the next thing you know we have major, major minority rule because only one out of 13 says can stop the whole process. So, it makes sense to do majority rule, there’s no other option. Super minority rule or minority rule or majority rule, of course majority rule.
We have to move forward. Madison put it this way, the public business must in some way or another go forward and for portentous minority can control the opinion of the majority, the majority in order that something may be done must conform with the use of minority, it doesn’t make any sense the way you set things out. And that’s the sense of the smaller number who are overruled out of the greater and give a tone to the national proceedings, hence, tedious delays, continual negotiation [inaudible 0:50:55] contemptible compromises of the public good, so, I think it kind of nails on the head. [0:51:00]
Jefferson says, okay hold on, remember Jefferson is always the people’s person. Let’s make sure all two will bear in mind the sacred principle that though the will of the majority is on all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable. That the minority possess their equal rights which equal laws must protect and to violate would be oppression.
So, yes majority must rule but we must always protect the minority and that’s why it’s the rule of law and not just the rule of the majority. All right, the majority establishes those laws but those laws must be rightful and must protect the rights of the minority and the majority.
So, up to this point we’ve talked about these directly appointed elected officials and how all these works out and how the majority rule plays in a little bit. Now, we’re going to talk about the indirectly appointed officials and public servants. Probably the most well-known public service position in the United States is the president of the United States [0:52:00] and the president of the United States is not popularly elected, [inaudible 0:52:04] popular opinion, it’s not popularly elected.
Let’s look how the constitution set this up. It’s really kind of interesting thing that they give us some insight in some of the republican form of government they put together. Article two, section one, clause two says, each state shall appoint in such manner as a legislature that are made direct a number of electors, equal to a whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in congress.
The emphasis is, first this idea that each state shall appoint electors. The original wording and intent of the constitution was to maintain a republican or a representative form of government in which the states were represented by electors and those electors elected the president.
That was good because what it did is it kept this whole idea of a popularity contest, the populous vote out of the system. We’re not going to have just a popularity contest to have our president and it [0:53:00] keeps that away from these empty campaign promises, the expensive ideas and campaigns and slogans etcetera, keeps that out of the hands of just the popular passionately swayed, easily tricked or confused populous.
The idea is when it comes down to the president really doesn’t have much to do with the individual’s personal lives anyway. The president is the president of the United States, so why would not the states be choosing the president who’s the chief executive of the states when they act in concert on external duties. It makes sense that the states would be the ones to appoint the electors who then vote for the president.
Second part of this is t ways that the number of electors is going to be equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in congress. So, in Wyoming for instance, we have one rep, we have two senators therefore we have three electors, pretty simple, pretty straightforward.
Now, the process by [0:54:00] which they vote that says in article two, section one, clause three the elector shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for two persons of whom at least one shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the president.
So, each elector in each state is free to choose and decide whoever they wanted to vote for for president with one stipulation, they had to have one of the people they vote for, and two votes cast cannot be a resident of their state. Very clearly this system is not based on a popular vote. George Washington was never elected on popular vote, he’s elected unanimously actually by all the electors in various states but it wasn’t a popular vote. The person who gets the greatest number of votes is the president, it’s pretty simple.
Next, after the choice of president, the person having the greatest number of votes of electors shall be the vice-president. So, first place gets the presidency, second place gets the vice-presidency. Now, what could happen and what did happen, [0:55:00] first and second place may not be in the same party, they may not have similar ideas, they may be enemies, that’s what happened very early on in one of the very first elections and they certainly didn’t run on the same ticket, so the president and vice-president could be on different tickets.
Now, one thing that’s interesting to point out is that in the beginning here we skipped through this, we didn’t focus on it. It says, each state shall appoint in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct in number of electors. So, each state is in charge of pointing their electors but the states can choose to have a different form on what the original intent of the founders was. And what happens nowadays is nearly every state legislature has passed laws is use their article two, section one, clause two authority to pass laws, to say that what we’re going to do is a win or take all popular vote. Whoever wins the popular vote in our state is going to get all the electors and those electors are bound to vote for the party who ends up the popular vote.
What does that do? It makes it more and more feel like a popularity contest [0:56:00] which it is and it is destructive of what the original intent was, that each elector gets to choose, each state is represented instead it’s for the people, the people, the people and that’s why you have all these empty campaign [inaudible 0:56:13] expensive advertising commercials, signage and all that, trying to reach the people, you don’t need to reach the people in the original way or setup because they’re not going to be these electors are going to look into the issues, they’re going to decide for themselves based on their experience of government and see right through these empty promises that the masses may say, “give me that, if you promise this sure I’ll vote for you, you bet.” That can usually happen.
Now, there’s something called the national popular vote movement, so let’s take it one step further. The national popular vote is going on the same idea, the same concept of the 17th Amendment was, your vote should count, every person’s vote should count and we should have a national popular vote for the president and what they’re going to do is there’s circumventing, what the intent of the elector [inaudible 0:56:56] and they’re saying, we want each legislature to use their article two, section one, [0:57:00] clause two power to write a law that says, regardless of what happens in our state, whoever wins the national popular votes that’s where our state’s electoral votes will go.
So, for instance in Wyoming we’re very republican state, republicans always win here, our three electoral votes would be up for grabs if in the national popular vote, a democrat won the vote, then our three votes because the law that was passed by our state legislature actually committed to the democrat party instead to the republican party with the national popular vote movement. What they’re trying to do is say, oh that’s good because it’s just the popularity contest, it’s more democratic, we don’t want it to be more democratic, we don’t want to have it just to be a popular movement, that’s the whole point of the electoral college, to keep that level of federalism and to keep the states choosing instead of the people choosing.
Thinking about the national consequences, you have a dozen or so highly, highly populated cities that may call the decisions about who’s the president because that’s where populist is. We already know the populated cities [0:58:00] how do they vote? They vote where they can get the most benefit. They vote to more of the popular side, they’re more of the democrat liberal progressive idea because they know they can get more out of the government.
We’re going to end on two different quotes that talk about this and I think wraps up this whole idea again. This is actually a repeat from earlier in the presentation, I think it says it so concisely. Alexander Fraser Tytler says, “A democracy cannot exist as the permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discovered that they can vote themselves largest from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that the democracy always collapses over lose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship.”
Remember that quote and that concept? It’s comes very clear when we start to look at some of these things. I’m going to end with a quote that I think is pretty powerful, Dr. Adrian Rogers says, ”What one person receives without working for, another person must worked for without receiving. The government [0:59:00] cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.”
When half of the people get the idea that they didn’t have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does not good to work because somebody else is going to get what they worked for, that my dear friend is about the end of any nation. And that’s why we need to avoid democracy. Democracies always [inaudible 0:59:23], they always commit suicide, they don’t last long, they’re violent [inaudible 0:59:26] shorten their lives as the founders have said. It’s very, very important that we understand democracy and to understand how to avoid it and not promote it.
So, when people are saying oh we’re democracy, democracy, we don’t want that to be promulgated, it’s not true. Once people understand what a democracy is and they think we’re democracy they’ll say, “hey I guess it’s all just in the will of the majority. It’s not just the will of the people.” That is not what America is, America is a republic. It’s meant to be so and it should be so in order to protect our freedom.