When the Constitutional convention had concluded business a woman approached Benjamin Franklin and asked what type of government we had. He responded "A Republic, if you can keep it." All of the Founding Fathers feared the rise of a monarchy or a dictatorship. However they were also afraid of Democracy or (mob rule). This is why they established a Republic. Representative government is defined as a Republic. The Constitution is supreme along with the rule of law. Governments ruled by Democracy are defined as following the will of the majority. A Republican form of government recognizes the natural or inalienable rights of the people while Democracies are only focused on the will of the majority. If three people are dying of hunger and two of the three decide to kill and eat the third member of the group that is Democracy. In a Republic the individual rights of each person are protected. A Constitutional Republic requires the approval from the three branches of government, the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. These three branches provide checks and balances. A representative government is a slow process. Democracy on the other hand is speedier requiring approval from voter referendums and polls, which in turn is mob rule. One misconception today is that the three branches of government are co-equal. They are not. Article 1 of the Constitution established the legislative branch and was intended to be the superior branch of government. The articles are ranked by importance. The House of Representatives was the closest to the people and the Senate represented the interests of the states. The Progressive movement of the early 1900's passed the 17th Amendment which gave the people the right to vote for senators. This was a mistake in my opinion which weakened our Federalist form of government and moved us closer to mob rule or Democracy. Before the 17th Amendment the governor of each state nominated senators and the nominations were approved or rejected by the state legislatures. Article 2 established the presidency and Article 3 established the judiciary.
The great Edmund Burke of England was supportive of the American cause in the revolution but emphasized the dangers of Democracy during the French Revolution. The American Revolution was fought in order to bring about a Republican form of government. The French Revolution was inspired by the American Revolution but degenerated into mob rule during the Reign of Terror. The Anti-Federalists like Thomas Jefferson looked favorably on the French Revolution. He was in favor of frequent revolution. He said the following. "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants", and in another quote, "I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical". He also said "God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion". Yet Jefferson also wrote in the Declaration of Independence that (Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed). There was never a greater champion of limited government than Thomas Jefferson. The Civil War weakened the concept of Federalist government or states rights. This was because the South tried to hide behind the issue of states rights in order to protect slavery. Slavery was not under attack, only the expansion of slavery. There was a legitimate role for states rights in the Constitution that has been weakened since the Civil War. The Constitution has been further weakened over the years since the Supreme Court has become the most powerful branch of government by usurping powers that it does not have. The executive has also usurped powers, especially under Obama, to where Congress now ranks last. The power of the purse is their greatest and most effective power but it has been relinquished to the executive. The following Jefferson quote seems to be in reference to Congress but it can be applied to all three branches of government. When the representative body have lost the confidence of their constituents, when they have notoriously made sale of their most valuable rights, when they have assumed to themselves powers which the people never put into their hands, then indeed their continuing in office becomes dangerous to the state, and calls for an exercise of the power of dissolution. Because of the rise of Democracy we are in danger of losing our Republic. That is if we haven't lost it already. Because of the rise of mob rule we have an uninformed public electing the likes of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama who appeal more to the celebrity culture. Rather than choosing a legitimate statesman. In my opinion only the informed should have the right to vote. Jefferson said: "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government". Because the government has worked to indoctrinate and dumb down the American people in our public schools and higher education, the people can no longer be trusted with their own government.