Saturday, March 3, 2018

Can We Have Too Much Democracy?

   Our culture is obsessed with majority rule and democracy as the best, most just way of making decision for a nation. Well at least we seem to be until the majority votes against what we wanted. Then we seem to insult the majority or say that somehow the results are invalid. When things do not go as expected, our culture's dislike of rule by the majority is fleeting. Soon they will have forgotten about the time "rule of the majority" did not go well and they will be back in love with determining what the majority wants so we can pick a direction.  This would be great if the best direction is always what the majority decides. However truth, reality, and the best outcomes are often not what the majority votes for. There are many times where we ought not to do what the majority wants.

Tyranny of Majority
   Our founders wanted a government for our country that was authorized by "the people", but they knew this came with risks. They feared tyranny of the majority in similar way that they feared the tyranny of government structure they were replacing. Our founding fathers decided to give us "A constitutionally limited representative democratic republic". This is a hybrid form of traditional government structures with specific parts to help avoid the majority of the people abusing their power against the minority. The most obvious part to this being that each state gets two senators, regardless of population size. This helps a small state to have equal power in the senate as a large state.
    Another thing to mention is that I have heard some people posit the idea that our founders would have created a pure democracy if our current technologies had existed to allow all citizens to vote instantly on an issue.  I can't say that I know their thoughts, but based on what we do know and how they structured our government, I have many doubts that this would be true.  Our founding fathers were not perfect, but they were not fools either.  They knew that what the majority wanted, would not always be what was best for the country. Also, I've seen the majority to be fickle at times, which does not fit well with law making.  Laws need to be well thought out and given time to be implemented and evaluated.

Polls and Data
   News and current events frequently mention statistics and polls. You ever wonder why? This is because most of our culture believes that what the majority of people want is what we ought to do.  If we take enough polls and gather enough data we can figure out what most of Americans want. Then we can ignore the minority and proceed with pursuing what Americans really want. The polls and statistics rarely deal with determining what we should or ought to do, but rather what most of Americans think or want to do.

How Shall We Decide Then?
   So if pure democracy is not the best way to run a country, and our current form of government while good in theory has become paralyzed, what is the answer? The short answer is that there is no easy quick solution.
   Corruption and moral failure like we have now did not grow over night and cannot be fixed with any new form of government. All forms of government fail to function if the people running it our corrupt and immoral. We first must change ourselves at the individual level and then let that transfer to our government as one generation replaces another. We can only change ourselves in the right direction if we align ourselves with The standard of rightness, God. Having a proper view of reality and a proper view what ought to be done and then spreading that to others is the only solution to our lost, confused, and apathetic generation.  Once we have a proper view of God, we can develop a proper view of reality. Once we have a proper view of reality, we can start heading in the right direction that we ought to be heading in.

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