Interesting… the word “democracy” isn’t used anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. We are defined as a “republic.” We are also recognized as the oldest democracy in the modern world.
To be both simple and clear, a democracy is a government run by the people.
As we continue — before getting to today’s primary point — let us briefly borrow descriptions from Ducksters, an educational site for kids, which will help us keep with the simplicity. Note: simplicity is a gift.
There are two primary types of democracies: (1) direct and (2) representative.
A direct democracy is one in which every citizen votes on all important decisions. One of the first direct democracies was in Athens, Greece. All of the citizens would gather to vote in the main square on major issues. A direct democracy becomes difficult when the population grows. Imagine the 300 million people of the United States trying to get together in one place to decide an issue. It would be impossible.
The other type of democracy is a representative democracy. This is where the people elect representatives to run the government. Another name for this type of democracy is a democratic republic. The United States is a representative democracy. The citizens elect representatives such as the president, members of congress, and senators to run the government.
Democracies are known for some very specific, distinct traits. Most notably, citizens rule; citizens participate; there are free elections — citizens are allowed to vote how they want; there are limits on lawmakers; and the majority rule albeit the rights of the individual are protected. Explains the articulate Duckster: “While the majority may make the decisions, each individual has certain rights such as free speech, freedom of religion, and protection under the law.”
One of the refrains, no less, that we’ve already heard quite often in this election cycle is that “democracy is under attack”… The future is on the line! American democracy is in jeopardy!… Polling data would support usage of said rhetoric, as a majority of partisans tend to believe such. Americans disagree, however, as to who or what poses as the biggest threat.
Evident of the disagreement, the frequent phrase is being used on both sides of the proverbial, political aisle.
And here’s the part that gets my goat… in my semi-humble opinion, it’s indeed ludicrous…
To justify the rhetoric, multiple organized political operatives have been actively engaged in the following:
- Refusing to debate.
- Trying to squelch primary candidates.
- Attempting to actually remove candidates from the ballot.
- Suing legal political organizations for making it harder to get their party’s candidates elected.
- Creating fake websites that mimic a party, deceitfully making it look like the party is extreme.
- Advocating for authoritarian rule.
- Advocating for misuse of Executive Orders to rule authoritatively.
- Threatening third party candidates — and those who work for them
- Threatening revenge if elected.
Friends, the above efforts are being conducted and encouraged by Democrats and Republicans alike. These efforts contradict the distinct traits of a democracy.
I thus can’t say this enough. Multiple Democrats and Republicans are currently utilizing undemocratic tactics in order to elevate their candidacy or party. They are utilizing schemes meant to propel self or preserve power.
Let’s be respectfully blunt: a person can’t say out of one side of their mouth that “democracy is under attack” and then out of the other side employ undemocratic tactics. Such an approach serves only as covert participation in the alleged attack.
That’s not democracy; it’s hypocrisy.