Is America Really a Democracy? The Answer Might Surprise You [VIDEO]

“We’ll start with a few murders. Big men, little men — just to show we make no distinction.” — From H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man

While doing some channel surfing while on a trip to Houston, I came across a new ad for done by ‘Captain Obvious.’ He is seen running on a treadmill proclaiming that he’ll be “running all over America trying to win this presidential race.” At the end of his promotional, he calls for support for his campaign and adds that you don’t have to vote for him because “we live in a democracy.”

Actually, we don’t live in a democracy. Article IV, Sec. 4 of the Constitution states, “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government. . . .”

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If we were a pure democracy, then all legislation could be secured by any vote of the people that’s greater than 50 percent. If this were our form of government, we would not need a President, two houses of Congress, a Supreme Court, or a written Constitution. Everything would be done by plebiscite.

Unfortunately, our nation is moving in the direction of a pure democracy where 50+ percent of the people are ruling over the remaining 49+ percent. When a presidential candidate appeals to one group of voters by promising them free college tuition and free health care, this is democracy in action, giving the majority the authority and power to steal from the majority.

Someone has said that “democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

wolves and lambs

Wars are being fought to bring Democracy to Islamic nations with the result that the wolves are eating the lambs:

“Last February, the Islamic State blew up the major library of Mosul, wiping out over 10,000 books, some of them irreplaceable volumes dating back to the Ottoman Empire. A systematic effort to wipe out other libraries on Mosul has been under way ever since, along with the Islamic State’s efforts to wipe out ‘pagan’ historical sites.” (H/T: Breitbart)

What if a majority of Islamists vote to expel all Christians, burn their churches, and eradicate their history? The “will of the people” is not a fixed moral standard.

Giving the majority of people with a distorted worldview the right to make laws is insane. The talk from both ends of the political spectrum is that democracy will cure the ills of Iraq, Iran, and the surrounding Muslim nations. What if the “liberated” people of these nations, with a newly acquired right to vote, decide they want a Taliban-style social and political system whose goal is to defeat the infidel West and impose Sharia law on all Muslims? Democracy in the hands of wild-eyed fanatics is perilous. They will use the democratic process to deny the democratic process once they gain power through the democratic process.

It’s no wonder that our founders had harsh things to say a democracy as a form of government.

John Winthrop (1587/88-1649) declared democracy to be “the meanest and worst of all forms of government.”1 In the Federalist Papers (No. 10), James Madison wrote that democracies are “spectacles of turbulence and contention.” Pure democracies are “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property. . . . In general [they] have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”2 Francis Schaeffer described law by majority opinion, certainly a definition of democracy, as “the dictatorship of the 51%, with no controls and nothing with which to challenge the majority. . . . It means that if Hitler was able to get a 51% vote of the Germans, he had a right to kill the Jews.”3

With the near rejection of the Christian faith in our day, democracy has become a substitute religion manipulated by a cabal of self-appointed philosopher kings to grow the State. “The prevalent tendency among modern political theorists is to define democracy without reference to a transcendent ethical standard.”4

  1. Quoted in A. Marvyn Davies, Foundation of American Freedom: Calvinism in the Development of Democratic Thought and Action (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1955), 11. 

  2. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist, Jacob E. Cooke, ed. (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1961), 61. 

  3. Francis A. Schaeffer, The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1970), 33-34. 

  4. Claes G. Ryn, Democracy and the Ethical Life: A Philosophy of Politics and Community (Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 1978), 3. 


Gary DeMar

Gary DeMar was raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and Reformed Theological Seminary (1979). He has served as researcher and writer at the Christian Worldview ministry American Vision since 1980 and President since 1984. Today he serves as Senior Fellow at American Vision where he lectures, researches, and writes on various worldview issues. Gary is the author of 30 books on a variety of topics – from "America’s Christian History" and "God and Government" to "Thinking Straight in a Crooked World" to "Last Days Madness." Gary has been interviewed by Time magazine, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the BBC, and Sean Hannity. He has done numerous radio and television interviews, including the “Bible Answer Man,” hosted by Hank Hanegraaff and “Today’s Issues” with Tim Wildmon and Marvin Sanders. Newspaper interviews with Gary have appeared in the Washington Times, Toledo (Ohio) Blade, the Sacramento Bee, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Marietta Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Chicago Tribune.

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