Tag Archives

Archive of posts published in the tag: democracy

Holding Progressivism Accountable

The essence of conservatism is the recognition and acceptance of the flaws in human nature, and the need to build a political structure that mitigates it. Once government accepts a mission to improve upon his nature, the moral threat of power is muted. Once democracy is in the hands of unlimited political power, tyranny is almost assured. The founders understood this. Progressives rejected the political nature of man and replaced it with a mythical general will, antithetical to individual rights.

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Frustrating Democracy is a Feature not a Flaw


As the saying goes, democracy is four wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. The Founders looked to Athens less as a political model than an object lesson in what not to do.”

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Why We Constrain Democracy

“The Bill of Rights shelters certain fundamental rights from democratic passion — no matter how terrified, how angry, how sanctimonious, how self-righteous the demos and the demagogues may be.”

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The Role of the Ruling Class

The progressive effort to remove the obstacles to a purer democracy exposed the faults of democracy.  The administrative state moved law making power away from the accountability of an electorate.  Deliberation and debate were replaced by referendums and mobs. In frustration the voters sought their objectives from the courts and the executive.  It should be no surprise that those contests have become so hostile.

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Liberalism vs Democracy

“In a liberal democracy, the role of liberalism very often is to prevent democracy from doing what democracy wants to do — liberalism is the grown-up who tells democracy, “No.”

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The Greater Threat to Democracy

“The greatest factor in hastening the end of American-style democracy over the past 125 years (at least) has been increasing government centralization and administrative rule.”

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Was Madison Wrong?

Madison was correct that a dispersal of special interests over a large land mass could protect a republic from tyranny, but he failed to foresee that special interests are no longer restrained by mere distance and geography. They now exist in the cloud.

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Populism and Progressivism

Progressivism has top down political structure, populism is a bottom up assault on the political structure.  Progressivism on one hand wants more democracy and a more powerful president to reflect the popular will.  Yet Progressivism also wants a professionally managed administrative state that is removed from the political process and thus from voter accountability.

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Liberty and Democracy

From George Will at National Review, Where Justice Scalia Went Wrong: There is no philosophizing in the Constitution — until the Founders’ philosophy is infused into it by construing the document as a charter of government for a nation that…

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Making Democracy Safe for the World

From Fareed Zakaria in Foreign Affairs from 1997,  The Rise of Illiberal Democracy: (this may require registration to read the whole article which I encourage. ) Illiberal democracies gain legitimacy, and thus strength, from the fact that they are reasonably…

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Restraint and Accountability

From The Atlantic, How American Politics Went Insane by Jonathan Rauch The Founders knew all too well about chaos. It was the condition that brought them together in 1787 under the Articles of Confederation. The central government had too few powers and…

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The Essence of Restraint

From National Affairs George Will writes The Limits of Majority Rule. : an excerpt: If the sole, or overriding, goal of the Constitution can be reduced to establishing democracy, and if the distilled essence of democracy is that majorities shall rule in…

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The Limits of Politics

from Ron Johnson at the Wall Street Journal,  Too Many Politicians Try to Hide the Real Problem Our Founders, who fought to free themselves from dictatorial monarchies and aristocracies, understood that as government grows, freedom necessarily recedes. Because our schools…

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More Than a Democracy

From National Affairs George Will writes The Limits of Majority Rule.  It is an excellent summary of the history of the court as it has moved from judicial review to activism.  The success of Progressivism has hinged on the court…

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Democracy and Freedom

by Henry Oliner “It would seem that reasonable people ought to be able to get together and get things done.” This seemingly obvious and innocuous statement, a statement of pragmatic democracy, underlies the frustration voters feel and why they think…

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Self Consuming Democracy

from The Federalist How John Roberts Begat Donald Trump by Ilya Shapiro It’s such a shame, and deeply ironic. A constitutional moment had actually arrived in 2010. Remember, the people had risen up against crony capitalism, against bailouts and out-of-control…

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Elitism and Democracy

from Why democracy can’t be democratic all the way down – and why it matters by Ilya Somin in The Washington Post: One of the standard rationales for the idea that we have a duty to obey democratically enacted laws…

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