by Edwin A. Sumcad –
We seemed to have forgotten — Democracy Is Government Of The Mob
The definition of Democracy is probably countless as when one would dare to count how many Constellation stars there are in a night sky. The futility of this attempt if anyone is determined to know, would be maddening.
It is not therefore so surprising to me why we now have this madness of understanding what Democracy is in our system of government. This challenge in understanding Democracy is like looking at recipes in a cook book a chef in panic has to select which one to cook and serve the public.
To begin with, we have developed mutative interpretations of what Democracy is all about. And the result is so staggering it boggles the imagination.
For example, as a nation, we had ideologically aligned ourselves into groups hostile to each other fighting over our own interpreted versions of Democracy as it applies and in fact as it demeans our way of life.
In order to get hold on what I mean and to know why this is happening, we can step back a little bit in time. Our founding fathers defined our concept of Democracy as some sort of compromise after ancient scholars declared that Pure Democracy is pure evil. In this compromise, they follow the trail of the ancient world when the Greeks and the Romans experimented and finally invented “The Republic”. It is a form of democratic government “that functioned at the ‘Golden Mean’ between rule by a tyrant and rule by the mob.” They have to after they found out that Pure Democracy had failed all the time.
Our present understanding of that compromise-definition of Democracy forged by our founding fathers as part of the U.S. Constitution now came out to be as simple as it is: “Democracy” is the rule of and by, the majority.
It looks like this rule is cleverly systemic and yet far from being egalitarian; it is insensitive to the feelings and concerns of the minority whose differing voices do not really matter in the making of decisions for the common good. It is only the majority that really matters.
Unfortunately as it turned out to be, I have to argue in many of my published writings that our Democracy is still a mob rule, and as such, it can be evil as we fight about it in our ideological alignment. It is this animus that divides the country after it was introduced into our two major political party system — the Democratic Liberal Left or Progressives, and the Republican Right or Conservatives. The dominance and power of this two major political party system is so great and overwhelming that the influence or significance of any smaller aggrupation between them is in effect, totally erased.
The learned of the ancient time agreed with this position I have articulated on this issue published in my writings that the rule of the majority could at any time turn out to be evil. The truth of what I am arguing about could be demonstrated this way (by the way this demonstration that follows is not original – it is universal): Five people agreed to make a decision. Four of them decided that to rape a woman is okay and one disagrees. In this Pure Democracy setting, a woman is gang-raped. All of them – the four majority and one minority –bear the consequences of the act.
To bear the consequences of what the majority had decided or voted on to do, the minority doesn’t have to agree with that rule of the majority and doesn’t have to even participate in the act, but they were together in it when the crime is committed. The innocent minority has to suffer with the rest of the guilty majority. This clearly points to how the rule of the majority can turn out to be evil.
To counter the evil of Pure Democracy – a Democracy which means the people rules, opposite to Monarchy or Autocracy which is the rule of one, and Dictatorial Oligarchy, the rule of the few — our founding fathers devised their own system of Democracy known as “The Republic” patterned after that of the ancient world.
What we have now is not a Pure democracy where the head of the government is chosen and/or elected directly by the majority of the people. It is a “Representative Democracy”, a “Republic” government that embodies the whole representations of the entire population of all the States of the Union, people of different races and cultures identified and distinguished by their disparate likings, differing preferences and contrasting and/or even contradictory interests and yet together, they call themselves only by one name — Americans. Despite of their distinct disparity, they are proud to be just one nation – the United States of America.
We must also understand that the mutations of Pure Democracy came out in many forms. The most interesting, and perhaps the most exciting of them all can be found in the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights.
But to further clarify and simplify this rather complex and involuted discourse of scholars and bring it down to the level of the layman’s understanding like what I am doing now, I take particular reference to this normative mutation of Pure Democracy called “Representative Democracy” which created the Electoral College to elect the President of the United States.
The Electoral College is the most misunderstood part of our electoral process.
Not every American understands it. Its rationale is hard to grasp because it deals with reasons and numbers. The person must be both mathematical and philosophical at the same time to be able to see the light out of this visual darkness when the mind trying to understand it gropes in the dark. That’s because the election of the President through the Electoral College is principled in the equality of representation among the population (philosophical) that live in the 50 States of different sizes and of varying interests (numbers or mathematical).
To be sure this system that I am explaining in detail is clearly understood, I must state to the point of clarity that President Donald Trump was not elected DIRECTLY by the American population. Trump was elected President in a “Representative Democracy” through the Electoral College which the people themselves created through our founding fathers representing them who then formed this greatest “American Republic” on the planet.
The inescapable conclusion of this analytical presentation as to what our brand of democracy is – a simplification coached in the layman’s language — comes out from this simple premise: If in a Pure Democracy – not Representative Democracy — the American people directly elected the President of the United States, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would be the President today. In the 2016 presidential election, the “majority” of the population voted for Hillary Clinton for President.
But this majority HAS NO EQUAL REPRESENTATION of all the 50 States because the bulk of the voters live in States of different sizes and interests.
If all the people who live in small and large States have to elect the President directly, only the interest of the States with larger population is represented because they dominated the rest of the small States.
This simply means that by sheer numerical count of voters, the different voices of the minority drowned in the ocean of this most talked-about normative rule of the majority. Here we must carefully take not of the fact that it is the States with different interests – not the States with the largest population — that is of paramount importance in the concept of “The American Republic” that was created as our form of government, where the Federal Government and State Government co-exist (with their own separate Constitutions) in what is now known as the “United States of America” (USA).
In this illustration, to elect Hillary Clinton President directly – not under “Representative Democracy” – will be Pure Democracy, and with it is its “pure evil” which our wise founding elders were trying to avoid when they crafted a “compromise” creating “The American Republic” of the United States of America.
So far, the concept of pure and direct Democracy highlights the example of the five people I have just illustrated. The majority decision was to commit rape. In Hillary Clinton’s case had she been elected President in a Pure Democracy, that “evil” which our founding fathers were trying to avoid, would have turned out to be the “rape of Democracy”.
This leaves no room for doubt that the creation of the Electoral College could not have been more necessary, appropriate and timely, thanks to the wisdom of our forefathers. It saved the nation from the “evil” of Pure Democracy had Hillary Clinton been elected directly by the people. #
© Copyright Edwin A. Sumcad. Access NWS February 5, 2019.
(Note: Know the bone of contention. Read Part II to know what kind of presidency this country would have had Hillary Clinton not barred by the Electoral College from becoming President.)