The difference between a democracy and a republic is important. Pure democracy, in which the law itself is up for grabs based on legislative maneuvering, is the enemy of individual rights, and it victimizes the minority. Dictatorial powers, by gaining acceptance by 51 percent of voters and colluding to suppress minorities, are every bit as harmful as a single dictator. [...] People too often are conditioned to accept the notion that as long as the consensus of 51 percent agree, something is morally acceptable. [...]
A republic, on the other hand, is a non-monarchical system that makes no claim to somehow embody the will of the people; it is a system merely for the appointment of leaders and the administration of law.
Ron Paul later makes an important clarification:
This does not mean that democratic elections can't be used to choose leaders whose job it should be to promote liberty. But that is a far cry from allowing minorities to be victimized by a coalition making up the majority.
He warns that big governments are not good, and democracy, historically, is the precipitous path towards bigger government.
He laments our hypocritical exportation of democracy around the world (with the help of the CIA!), when domestically...
Unfortunately, quite frequently, elections are not honest.
He brings up historical admissions that the LBJ senate was proven to be rigged, and his own experience with voting fraud in the 70s.
My guess is that the majority of Americans believe that citizens—especially if in need—have a "right" to medical care, free education, a house, subsidized food, and endless other services. What they don't want to hear is that governments have nothing to pass out, since they produce nothing. Any time government provides a benefit, it must first steal it from someone else who is producing it, thus violating the rights of that individual. It is important to remember that.
He goes into greater detail on politicians' near-unanimous mischaracterization of health care as a government-guarantee-able right the free market can't provide, completely ignoring the 40 years of market-abusing laws and corporatism that have led to increased cost and lowered quality that brought this conversation to the forefront.
A majority vote may gain the politicians cover for what they do, but this vote has no moral authority to violate the right to life and liberty of any individual. This means that government, even with the consent of the governed via democratic vote, should not mold personal behavior, supervise economic transactions, or try to make the world a better place by using our armies to "make the world safe for democracy".
Do read the chapter in full, there are many more points in this chapter than discussed here. It is one of the longer ones.
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