Why was the United States setup as a Republic, and not a Democracy? Two quotes exemplify the reason:
The first is from Mather Byles, during the Revolutionary era:
“Which is better – to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away, or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?”
You may remember Mel Gibson saying a variation of the same thing in his movie, The Patriot…
The second is more recent. Milton Friedman said the following:
“Democracy is by far the best means for running a government, but government is by far the worst means for running a country.”
Milton Friedman was not advocating for the abolition of government, but he was advocating for government to be constrained to its true Constitutional limits.
Understand that as soon as you put limitations on government, you no longer have a democracy, as those limitations define either what the majority CAN do (Article 1, Section 8, of the US Constitution), or what the majority can NOT do (the Bill of Rights).
A true democracy can do whatever the majority wants, without limitation.
Note too that the US Constitution does not constrain the individual states. If California, for example, wants to implement universal healthcare, let California tax their own people to pay for it. There is nothing in the Constitution stopping California from having universal healthcare…
California should have no power over, say, Texas, or over my sovereign state of Michigan, though!
Each state was supposed to be able to experiment with whatever social, and economic frameworks, they wanted, with the only exception that they could not violate the Bill of Rights (and even that constraint was unclear for over 100 years, until the Supreme Court ruled that the Bill of Rights applies to the states). The assumption was that the free movement of people between states would force states to coalesce around those social and economic forms that work best. In other words, federalism is a system of experimentation, with adaptation of those things that work. It’s like a laboratory for better governance…
Socialists do not like this framework for one reason, and one reason only: if you allow the free movement of people between states, and, say, California decides to tax its people to pay for universal healthcare, then the people of California can move out from underneath it.
The only way to prevent people from moving out from under socialism is to enact socialism at a level from which people cannot escape. Hence, California, New York, and other liberal states want to do everything at the FEDERAL level. It would be even more ideal to the socialist for socialism to be implemented at the GLOBAL level.
The socialist must always ensnare as many people as possible, and the socialist cannot let them go (hence the Berlin Wall).
If socialism were about equity and justice, California could let it’s commie flag fly, and other states would see how well it works, and gradually follow suit, but that is not what would happen, and California knows it.
Socialism is not about equity. It is about control. And THAT is why socialists always want socialism at the FEDERAL level, in spite of the fact that the Constitution makes it illegal at the federal level, while allowing it at the state level.
Think of the irony of the majority of the people in the House of Representatives, today, having sworn an oath to defend a Constitution that makes the very acts they try to legislate illegal. These people are violating their oath of office, in order to pursue something they are perfectly free to pursue, as long as they do not pursue it at the federal level. They are all violating the Constitution of the United States – the highest law of the land – after having sworn to uphold and protect that very document.
If we followed the Constitution, it would matter very little who was in Congress, or who was President, as those people would have very little control over our lives. STATE elections would be what counts.
And we would all be better off that way…
Except the socialist. The socialist would not be better off, because socialism does not work, and if it were implemented only at the state level, people would move out from under it, sending socialism into the dustbin of history, where it belongs.