Jimmy Carter: “We Are No Longer A Democracy”

Recently, in an interview with Thom Hartmann, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said regarding 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheon decision, “It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president.” Huffington Post goes on to explain that the decisions were rendered by “five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

According to liberal left commentators, experts, political minds, and the Huffington Post, the two rulings “enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns.”

The Huff Post article then goes on to explain that in politics, there are only two choices. Either, we are an aristocracy (oligarchy) where the richest citizen’s desires are reflected in governmental actions, or we are a democracy where the leaders represent the public at large.

Upon hearing such a thing being perpetrated by the liberal left Democrats, the political minds that reside right-of-center react, attacking what Carter, or Huff Post, had to say, without fully understanding that the premise is wrong in the first place. While fighting on the liberal left’s terms, the “right-wingers” make fools of themselves trying defend plutocratic activities and damning what the Democrats consider to be the “will of the people.”

“See?” is the inevitable response by the Democrats, “those conservatives and Republicans are quick to defend the rich, and stand against the democratic will of the people.”

First of all, calling the five Supreme Court Justices “Republican judges” is a trap in itself. Judges are supposed to be “apolitical,” leaving their ideology at the door, and ruling based on the application of the law, rather than their membership to a particular party. “Republican judges” is inserted into the conversation by the liberal left because they believe the word “Republican” has been soiled by their ongoing onslaught of propaganda, and to a point, they are right. The uninformed voters that consistently vote Democrat twist into idiotic contortions when they hear the word “Republican.” Immediately, the terms “racist,” “bigot,” and “anti-democratic” comes to mind. They believe the Republican Party is the party of controlling their lives, saying “no” to their dear Democrat Party leaders, and wanting a religious oligarchy, when in reality the opposite is true. The liberal left has made projecting their own political sins upon the opposition an incredible science, slamming their followers into obedience with mere language, be it with the term “Republican,” “Conservative,” or “Tea Party.”

The second part of the puzzle gets even deeper. The question to the question regarding what the American System is, according to the writers at Huffington Post, has only one of two answers. Either, we are a democracy that is defined as being of the people, or we are an aristocratic oligarchy where the rich (and presumably the religious right) controls everyone with gobs and gobs of cash and religious rules. It’s one or the other. Choose.

The problem is, the choices are not honest, nor fully accurate.

An oligarchy is “rule by a group,” and often such a government plays favoritism to those that provide its political leaders with the most funding. So, Carter is sort of right. In an oligarchy, money pumped into the ruling elite by some members of the wealthy class can be a part of the oligarchical system. A sound financial base supplied by the wealthy, however, does not necessarily mean that the system is automatically a plutocratic oligarchy. What makes it an oligarchy is the fact that a few powerful members of a “powerful elite” rule over the many, regardless of where their funding comes from.

The liberal left is always quick to call the United States a democracy. In truth, a democracy is a dangerous form of government, and in history always serves as a transitional form of government, more often than not using “the will of the people” to move the system towards an oligarchy.

We are not supposed to be either an oligarchy, or a democracy, in America. The Founding Fathers, in fact, warned against our country being a democracy, and they fought against an oligarchy in the form of a monarchy in Britain to achieve independence.

When Elizabeth Powel walked up to Benjamin Franklin after the completion of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the politically involved, and well known woman among the political folk, asked Franklin, “Well, Sir, what have you given us? A monarchy, or a republic?”

“A republic, Madam, if you can keep it,” replied the senior statesman.

A Republic.

The problem is, most Americans in today’s society are convinced we have a democracy. This is nothing new. Andrew Jackson, though I believe he was a champion when it came to economics, had a flawed desire to fundamentally transform the United States from a republic, to a democracy. This is one of the reasons many Democrats view Jackson in a favorable light, and why he is considered by many to be the “father of the Democratic Party.”

James Madison, while composing essays to be presented to the State of New York to encourage the citizens to call for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution (commonly known as The Federalist Papers) found the need five times to explain what a “republic” is. The reason for him feeling the need to define “republic” is because the nationalists of the time who opposed the Constitution, because it did not create a powerful enough central government, in their opinion, were trying to convince the people that a republic and a democracy was the same thing so that the people would begin to demand that the government act more “democratic.”

In quote after quote the Founding Fathers warned us against allowing the United States becoming a democracy.

The Electoral College (a method of election created in the Constitution, but not named as such until well into the 1800s) was created to protect our country, and the smaller States, from the excesses of democracy.

Thomas Jefferson called democracies the “Tyranny of the majority.”

John Adams was quoted to say, “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”

Thomas Jefferson said, “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

The Founders are not the only historical figures to recognize that a democracy opposes liberty.

Karl Marx once said, “Democracy is the road to socialism.”

Karl Marx, the father of communism, understood that the implementation of a democracy is a necessary step in the process of destroying our Constitutional Republic. Once the people are fooled to believe that they can receive gifts from the treasury rather than achieve for their livelihood through their individual aspirations, they will continually vote in the people who ensure the entitlements continue to flow. Eventually, this mindset becomes the majority. This group of government dependents then changes over time from an involved and informed electorate to a populace who lacks the understanding of the principles of liberty and can easily be manipulated into believing that sacrificing individual liberty in exchange for social justice, artificial security, and gifts from the treasury is a price that we must be willing to pay. A group dependent upon the government in such a manner, then, is primed to vote into power a potential tyranny.

Once the majority of the voters in a democracy becomes the recipient of benefits from the federal government, the government achieves unchecked power, and may then violate the property rights of the productive members of society in order to provide benefits to the non-productive members of society. This is best characterized in the “tax the rich,” or “redistribution of wealth,” scheme we are now seeing emerge as the rallying cry by statists in government. Samuel Adams called this method of a redistribution of wealth “schemes of leveling.”

The delegates in the federal convention of 1787 were aware of the danger of collectivism, which is why they established our system of government, and the Electoral College, in the manner they did. A true democracy becomes mob rule, and the principles of liberty become a target for elimination.

“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” — Thomas Jefferson

Winston Churchill understood the dangers of trusting an uninformed electorate with the capacity to govern. He was quoted as saying, “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

Democracy is a transitional governmental system that ultimately leads to tyranny, an oligarchy like socialism, fascism, or a totalitarian system. This was true in the days of the French Revolution no less than it is today.

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner — James Bovard

My friend, Tim “Loki” Kerlin, used to say, “A Republic is two wolves voting on what to have for dinner, and a well-armed sheep contesting the vote, and ensuring nobody is on the menu.”

Our country is not a democracy. Our nation was founded as a constitutionally limited republic. The indirect election of the President through the Electoral College reflects that truth, and the Electoral College is one of the last vestiges of the system of checks and balances as they apply to the voters.

A limited government is the essence of liberty.

Most of the nations in the world, and throughout history, have been ruled by a powerful few. These oligarchies are most often despotic, and restrictive in terms of choice and individuality.

The word “democracy” comes from two Greek words. “Demos” means “people,” and “Kratein” means “to rule.” Therefore, “democracy” means “The rule of the people,” or as Jefferson reminded us, “The rule of the Majority,” and ultimately, the “tyranny of the majority.”

The “will of the people,” or the “rule of the people,” sounds good on the surface. Does not the U.S. Constitution begin with the words “We the People?” The Founding Fathers agreed that a government that includes an element of the people is necessary, and a good thing. However, they also understood that too much power in any one place could be dangerous. The checks and balances throughout the government as applied by the Constitution are there to ensure that no part of the government can consolidate too much power. That effort extends also to the people, and their vote, for even the people, with too much power, can misuse that power, and lead our American System towards becoming an oligarchy.

In a democracy, majority rule can quickly become “mob-rule,” where the majority begins to vote for tyrannical practices that may, for example, single out one group, or give preferential treatment to another group. Suppose the majority decides to vote away any of our natural rights, or the possessions of a particular group because that group of people has been labeled as being undesirable by propaganda, or a complicit media? Suppose the majority votes away parental rights, or through their vote outlaws possessions because they have a beef with the wealthy having more than them? In a pure democracy there is no check against the vote of the people, and once the mob realizes they can vote into place their selfish desires, or gifts from the treasury, the downward spiral of the civilization into chaos, collapse, or oligarchy is inevitable.

The word republic comes from two Greek words. The first part comes from “Res,” or “Thing,” and the second part comes from the Greek term “Publica,” meaning “Public.” A republic, then, is a “public thing,” which means it is a system that is a public thing, “The Law.”

The rule of law is the foundation of a republic. When we discuss the rule of law, it does not mean the opinions of judges, but instead what the law actually says. In our case, the Law of the Land that the rule of law must be based upon is the United States Constitution.

In a republic, the judiciary is not supposed to rule based on their opinion of the law, but instead they are supposed to apply the law to the cases they hear. In a republic, nobody is above the law, which means that all parts of government must also adhere to the law. Government, in a republic, is limited by the law. In the American republic the Founding Fathers included other mechanisms to protect the rule of law against oligarchs, collusion, and corruption. While no system is perfect, the founders believed that the American System would be able to stand the test of time, and have the best chance to withstand the constant assault that is always a threat by those seeking power in government.

Among the mechanisms in place to protect the American System are Checks and Balances, a Separation of Powers, State Sovereignty, the authority by the States to be the final arbiters of the Constitution (which supports a State’s right to nullify unconstitutional federal laws), and a weak federal judiciary tasked with only applying the law as originally intended and established by Article III of the Constitution.

In our republic, the President has no legislative powers, the Judicial Branch has no power to enforce the law or interpret the Constitution, and the Congress cannot be judge and jury when the laws they propose, and were signed by the President, are not followed. We the People have a right to due process, and local governance over local issues. And to ensure the federal government leaves our natural rights alone, the early Americans also demanded the existence of a Bill of Rights, a set of amendments telling the federal government “hands off our rights! Don’t touch!” As free Englishmen, the demand for a Bill of Rights was a natural expectation, considering the existence of the English Bill of Rights from 1689, after the Glorious Revolution in Britain, and the existence of the Magna Carta from 1215 where “Any freeman” showed The Crown that they believed nobody was above the law, including the king.

The Greeks stated that without law, there can be no freedom. The Founding Fathers understood that a balance must be found, somewhere between big government, and democracy. That is why through the Constitution, they mixed political philosophies, giving us a mixed constitution that provides a proper distribution of governmental powers where for external issues the federal government was created to be powerful and authorized to navigate the waters of protecting, promoting and preserving the union, while leaving local and internal issues reserved to the States, and the people. The federal government is a representative style of government, with a House of Representatives voted into office through a democratic process, and originally (before the 17th Amendment during the Progressive Era) the Senators were appointed into office by an indirect vote of the people, through their representation in the State legislature.

The proper application of government preserves freedom, while too much government leads to the emergence of a ruling class that limits liberty, and too little government leads the people voting into place a powerful oligarchy once the people are fooled into believing that the pure and unadulterated will of the people, and voting themselves gifts from the treasury, are in their best interest.

Jimmy Carter, and the Huffington Post, may also be surprised to learn that the word democracy does not appear anywhere in the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or in any of the State Constitutions. The Founding Fathers purposely did not create our American System to be a democracy, nor was it ever intended to be. So, while the liberal left claims our democracy has been lost because of Citizens United, they fail to admit (and perhaps realize) that we were never intended to be a democracy in the first place.

Interestingly enough, while these folks on the political left claim that Citizens United gives government over to the rich, they fail to mention all of the money that pours into the Democrat Party and leftwing allies from rich and powerful leftists, both in the United States, and abroad, and all of the fortunes that befall Democrats from labor unions, despite the will of those that paid for those funds through their labor union dues (funding that Citizens United, if overturned, would not limit).

In the end, it is not that the liberal left believes that the “right-wing conspiracy” wants an oligarchy, and that they, the Democrats, are the champions of “democracy.” The truth is, the liberal left desires oligarchy, and those that defend our republic stands in the way of their goal. They use language and deception to confuse the voter, and convince the voter that the liberal lefties are not guilty of the things they are actually champions of. It is the opposition, they claim, that are the guilty party.

The liberal left has learned well from their idols in history. One quote from one of their biggest idols probably says it best. “The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.” – Karl Marx

No wonder, when Chris Matthews asked DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz what the difference between socialism and the Democrats was, she couldn’t give a clear answer.

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