Friday, June 13, 2008

Democracy: our new god

While the US continues to build its empire as an alter to the god Democracy, it important to note that Democracy is not the reason our Patriots rose up against the British. No, our Patriots fought for Liberty. And, democracy is not the same as Liberty.

In fact, democracy becomes oppression whenever the majority ignores the plight of the minority. This happens every time a majority of voters begins to use the ballot box to gain an advantage over the minority. Such a perversion of democracy has resulted in horrific incidents throughout world history, with the US having no immunity whatsoever.

Recently, we have seen a resurgence of the mentality that the majority is right simply because they are the majority. Victory at the ballot box justifies any action, with the belief that the “majority spoke” being the moral equivalent of “might makes right.” Consider three recent income tax initiatives being discussed and debated in Central Ohio cities.

In two of the cities, the income tax levy is being sold as an increase that will affect only a minority of voters. The sales pitch is that the majority can vote a burden on the minority, and the majority can do so without remorse or regret because the democratic action of voting justifies any evil.

In the third city, retired residents are advocating an income tax increase that is not theirs to bear. The tax will be on earned income, not on income derived from retirement accounts, etc. Once again, those who seek to reap the benefits are willing to use the tools of democracy to gain an advantage over their neighbors.

There is nothing ethical about using the power of politics to gain an advantage. And, hiding behind a majority of voters does not make an unethical action ethical.

Sadly, our nation has fallen for the cries of those who demand the redistribution of wealth. This great nation was not founded on such an ideal. Yet, because envy is a powerful human emotion and seductive motivator, the political class has used envy to gain power and influence; a process that started well over a century ago

Of course, all taxes provide an advantage for some over others, but we are now seeing local governments publicly advocate the division of winners and losers among their constituents. City officials are dividing residents into those who reap and those who pay, all the while selling their tax increases as a means for the majority to gain at the expense of the minority.

When the political machine uses the envy of the majority to enslave the minority, there is little hope for our future. The function of democracy is no longer the peaceful transfer of power in order to maintain Liberty. Instead, the democracy becomes a war of classes seeking an advantage over one another, with failure of your party in the elections tantamount to having your property and income looted in the near future. And, the peaceful transfer of power gives way to the chaos that robs developing world of any future.

It is high time we took stock of where we are relative to whence we came. Instead of letting democracy justify envy, we need to return to the ideals and ethics that sparked the Revolution and birthed Liberty.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Although I don't agree with every detail in the post I agree in general. This same argument is used against "activist judges" who "legislate from the bench". One of the jobs of the judicial branch is to ensure that any 51% majority cannot pass a bill that violates the constitution. Otherwise, a 51% majority in Birmingham Alabama could say that everyone must attend a Baptist church ceremony every Sunday morning. And on the other side, a 51% majority in San Francisco could say that everyone must have a gay lover.

These are extreme examples of course but I used them to make the point that a majority vote at any level does not mean that both freedom and the constitution have been applied. And that we need the judiciary to interpret such extreme laws for just what they are.