Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily wrote an excellent article called "No to Democracy". It is unfortunately the dominant misconception of the last century (and continuing so far into this one) to equate freedom with democracy and to claim that we are living under a democratic system in the United States. If the Founding Fathers could hear this they would turn around in their graves. Here are some choice excerpts:
Why is it that so many Americans think democracy is the best form of government? Why is it that so many Americans believe we live in a democracy? Why is it that democracy, once regarded as a terrible form of government, is now elevated to the status of an ideal?
It must be the profound failure of the education system and media in America...
...our Constitution and Declaration of Independence and other founding documents never mention the word "democracy"...Democracy means the majority rules. That was never the intent of our founders. They believed in the rule of law, not the rule of men. They understood that because of the fallen state of man, he would inevitably vote himself into slavery and tyranny if provided the tools.
Since I am not a Christian, I wouldn't blame it on the "fallen state of man" (I would blame it on philosophy -- there is no so-called "fallen state of man", only ordinary men, their ideas and choices) but that's pretty much what we've done in numerous ways. Farah concludes:
It wasn't that long ago that most Americans understood these issues. In 1928, for example, the U.S. Army published training Manual 2000-25 for its officers. Here are some two definitions included in it:
"DEMOCRACY: A government of masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any other kind of "direct" expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic – negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice or impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Results in demagoguism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy."
"REPUBLIC: Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them. Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure. Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard for consequences. A great number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass. Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy. Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress."