It surprises some to learn that the Founding Fathers of this country were solidly against "democracy," because the meaning of the word changed between the 18th and 21st centuries.
Today, the word conjures up images of equality, fairness, rule by the people and representative government. However, this is a relatively new understanding of the word, which even as I write this is undergoing another transition by the socialist Left who use it as a euphemism for Marxism.
Originally, democracy referred to a specific type of government in which all people have an equal say and participate in it directly. The United States, however, was founded as Republic in which citizens indirectly governed themselves through elected representatives.
"Democracy," wrote John Adams, "while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."
Thomas Jefferson said, "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."
The Occupy protests in various American cities prove that point. From Fox News:
Rep. John Lewis is one of 435 members of the House interminably frustrated by the arcane ways of the Senate. At an Occupy Atlanta protest, he encountered a process arguably worse.
He encountered real democracy.
A lengthy video posted online over the weekend showed what happened when the Democratic congressman tried to address an "assembly" of protesters in his home state. Instead of giving the floor to a man who is not just a longtime U.S. representative but a revered civil rights icon, the protesters employed a tangle of parliamentary procedures to ultimately prevent him from speaking.
A stunned Lewis could be seen watching the whole thing unfold before ambling away.
Here's what happens when a mob runs things:
The central premise, it appeared, was that no one person is inherently more valuable than anyone else. So when the group's leader, a bespectacled man with a bullhorn, said anything, he spoke in clipped fragments so the rest of the crowd could repeat what he was saying back to him. Another rule -- no clapping, because "clapping can prevent someone else who is addressing the assembly from being heard."
Instead, the leader urged everyone to use effusive hand signals to show approval.
The leader then asked if there were any "blocks."
Indeed there were. Another demonstrator spoke out to say that while he respects Lewis' contribution to society, the protesters were trying to start "a democratic process in which no singular human being is inherently more valuable than any other human being."
Lewis nodded his head in approval, then appeared to display the makings of a hand signal before giving up and keeping his hands loosely clasped while the debate mounted.
After more commentary from the assembly, the leader took a "temperature check" -- which is not quite a vote. It was evident the group was divided about letting Lewis speak.
So the leader called for a "straw poll." More hand signals followed, and from this the leader was able to infer "the group is very divided about this issue."
Lewis ultimately was not allowed to speak to the mob.