Robert Stacy McCain asks “Who’s Democracy is this” in a post that links to his piece on the subject in The American Spectator.
My answer is “it’s no one’s democracy”.
Because it’s not a democracy at all.
Our form of government is a Constitutional Republic. The founders considered democracy as a form of government when determining the form ours would take and soundly (and correctly) rejected it. Mob Rule is hardly a recipe for efficient and effective governance.
“Fifty-one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic.”
–Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn
A Republic is based on the rule of law, not on the rule of the mob.
The fact that the US is not a democracy is evidenced clearly in the Constitution itself.
The only members of the federal government who were, as designed in the Constitution, directly elected by the people are members of the House of Representatives. Each representative represents a relatively equal sized portion of the population as determined by the census and the establishment of the congressional districts in the states and directly elected by the residents of that district.
The House of Representatives very name describes it’s purpose. It is The People’s House and is there to represent the people.
The Senate was originally intended to represent the interests of the state governments. This is why each state has two senators, regardless of size. As individual, sovereign states, each state government was considered to be of equal importance and therefore was given an equal say in the federal government. Senators were originally chosen by the legislatures of the states.
In my humble opinion, the 17th Amendment which institutionalized direct election of Senators by the people was the second biggest mistake ever included in the supreme law of the land. The biggest mistake was the 18th Amendment which was subsequently repealed, so the 17th is the biggest mistake that is still operable. By approving the 17th Amendment, the state governments basically surrendered any influence they had in the federal government to the whims of the masses…but I digress.
The President is not elected by the people, the President is elected by the state governments. The electors who make up the electoral college are selected by the state legislatures, not directly elected by the people. The Presidential election is, by nature, essentially an advisory election, the only thing that commits the state legislatures to selecting electors based on the outcome of the popular vote is the law of the specific state. If any state passed laws allowing them to completely disregard the popular vote and select presidential electors by picking names out of the phone book*, or through a Ouija board, or just choosing whoever they darn well please, that would be perfectly constitutional.
The problem is that the there are no states who’s laws allow for such. Each state has it’s own set of laws that determine how the Presidential election is to be conducted in that state, but they are all based on the popular vote. When, as was the case in 2020, several of the states just arbitrarily ignore their own laws in a bald-faced attempt to change the outcome that was probable were the election to be held in accordance with the laws, that is a subversion of our Republican government who’s primary principle is the Rule of Law.
Insisting that the laws be upheld and voiding the outcome of elections that were held in violation of those laws may very well be a subversion of democracy, but our system of government is NOT a democracy. Such insistence for the sovereignty of the rule of law is absolutely, 100% supportive of our Republic.
*For my younger readers, a phone book is a pre-internet, paper volume published annually by the local telephone company that listed the addresses and phone numbers of everyone in the locality with a telephone who didn’t specifically request an “unlisted” number.