By Nathan Barton
Most libertarians and conservatives are aware that the Federal Government – the union of States – was established as a republic and not a democracy. And of the distain (if that is a strong enough word) of the Founders for democracy.
What we apparently don’t really think about is that the Regressives, (Democrats and too many Republicans, Socialists, etc.) agree that the FedGov is NOT a democracy. Despite their rhetoric to the contrary.
But their reasoning is totally different.
These “Progressives,” Tranzis, have no respect for the intent of the Framers or the Founding Fathers. And could care less about the Constitution, or their oath to uphold it. (Not that GOP leaders do, either – just in a different way.)
The Regressivist’ reasoning, however, is fairly simple. Look at the Merriam-Webster’s definition of democracy: “government by the people; especially rule of the majority.”
By this definition, the (un-)United States’ Federal Government is NOT a democracy. There are four primary reasons:
- The president is elected by the Electoral College, in which each vote represents a different number of people. (Wyoming, for example, with just over 500,000 people selects three electors, California with 40 million people selects just 55. If their votes counted equally, California would have more than 240 electors.)
- The Senate is NOT a “democratic body” (whichever old party controls it) because each of its members represents a different number of people. Wyoming’s two, together represent that half-million, while California’s each “represent” 20+ million. And to make matters worse, many actions in the Senate are decided by super-majorities. This too is anti-democratic. They are not truly a democratic representative body of legislators.
- Because the Senate is NOT democratic, then the Supreme Court is also NOT democratic. For its justices are confirmed by those so anti-democratically-selected Senators. Worse, they are nominated by the undemocratically-elected President (at least the last two, and one before that). Of course, since majority rules (5-4 usually), at least SCOTUS is democratic in its proceedings.
- The process of amending the Constitution is itself very undemocratic. First, because super-majorities in the Senate and House are required. Second, not only does ratification require a super-majority of the states, but the states are not equal in population. Therefore, the “vote” of California can be canceled out by Wyoming, the vote of New York nullified by North Dakota’s, Deleware’s cancels Pennsylvania’s, and so on. So a Minority of a Minority can prevent amendment.
Bear with me as I do some engineering-style calculations.
Since an amendment requires 2/3 of the Senate to pass (67 votes), only 34 votes (the votes of Senators from just 17 States of the 50) can prevent it from even going to the States. Then, since ¾ of the States must ratify it, just 13 States can prevent the other 37 (a majority) from the amendment being adopted. And it gets worse.
According to 2019 population estimates, the thirteen least populous States are: Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, Montana, Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Idaho, and West Virginia. Together, these have only 14.4 million people. When we add Nebraska, New Mexico, Kansas, and Mississippi, to get 17 States, they have just 24.3 million people. So the 13 states preventing a constitutional amendment TOGETHER have fewer people than ANY of the four largest states (California, Texas, Florida, and New York) do individually. And the bottom 17 states which could block the amendment in the Senate, have fewer people than either California or Texas. No, indeed, that is NOT democracy!
(Of course, it wasn’t supposed to be – it was intended to govern a federation, a union of sovereign states who gave up a bit of their sovereignty for the benefits of free trade, defense, and cooperation.)
- A fifth point of undemocratic elements in the Constitution may be that only those 18 and older can vote. How on earth can democracy be “rule by the people” if almost 80 million people (a quarter of the population) cannot vote?
The ramifications of this should give us pause to think. And think very seriously about what these Tranzis, these Regressivists, are doing. And so we shall do in a follow-up commentary.
Post or send your comments!