Friday, October 9, 2020

Quick Commentary: The USA and "Democracy"

 So as many of you likely know, Mike Lee, GOP Senator from Utah, has argued that the USA is "not a democracy"

Naturally, a lot of Democrats are arguing with him. The basis of their argument seems to be the following:

"Mike Lee does not support democracy. He thus supports fascism. He opposes democracy and voting"

This, is not true. This kind of talk - the stuff Mike Lee is saying - is related to the kind of talk and debate around the US Constitution at the time of its writing in the 1780s. In fact, then-future-president James Madison argued this exact point in Federalist #10. A section of said paper:

A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking. 

The argument isn't that "Democracy is bad and Dictatorship is good" but rather "Democracy can lead to the Dictatorship of the majority, which is bad." 

Imagine if you will a referendum where the question is "Should we ban registered Democrats from voting" and imagine if you will that 50%+1 of the voter base says yes. 

In a "Democracy", this is fine-and-dandy. In a "Republic" however, this is a no-no.

Or, so goes the argument.

I am not saying Lee made his argument well - he did not and looks rather foolish - only that he is not arguing he wants to take away your rights, and pretending he is, is simply dishonest. 

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