Rick Barker | Democracy?

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

I personally have no formal education and am a high school dropout, but since early childhood I have been a voracious reader, and our founding documents and the vast writings of the founders of this country are among my favorites. 

Ask most people about this country and they will say that we live in a democracy. As I have stated in another article on these pages, democracy can be described as two coyotes and a rabbit voting on what to have for dinner — and that fact was not missed when our founding documents were written. 

We live in a republic, not a democracy, and as one of my all-time favorite political writers Walter Williams stated in a 2007 article, “In Pursuit of Happiness,” “Instead of a democracy, the Constitution’s Article IV, Section 4, declares ‘The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government.’ Our pledge of allegiance to the flag says not to ‘the democracy for which it stands,’ but to ‘the republic for which it stands.’ Is the song that emerged during the War of 1861 ‘The Battle Hymn of the Democracy’ or ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’?” 

Look at our founding documents mentioned above and the word “democracy” is nowhere to be found. 

In our Constitution, government is envisioned as a protector of rights as well as one that must be controlled. Read the Bill of Rights and it will be very clear that it was the government that the founders feared and wanted to control. They used negative phrases in reference to Congress throughout the Bill of Rights such as shall not abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, and shall not be violated, nor be denied. These are all rights that people in this country have that no government can take away. 

Rick Barker


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