There is no god but democracy and the Founding Fathers are its prophets.

Last week in Our Best Days Are Behind Us, Patrice Lewis (whom I generally admire) wrote:

Individual liberty corrected many of our nation’s wrongs over the subsequent century.

So here’s a question – what changed? Why should America’s best days be behind it?

…Today we’ve reversed our good-to-bad ratio. Many of the things that were very bad (slavery, etc.) have been corrected. Many of the things that were very good are being crushed.

Belief in, and reliance upon, God has dropped precipitously. Government interference in our personal lives is high. Morals and responsibility are low. Illegitimacy has skyrocketed. Men make babies and walk away. Women have turned to government handouts to support those babies, or have government-funded abortions to kill them. Thrift and self-sufficiency are distant memories. Handouts are now multi-generational legacies.

The trouble is that progressives have taken over. They’ve gone far beyond the notion of correcting legitimate grievances to the creation of a fake “utopia” based on goals that can only be achieved through coercive force […] Our nation will continue its decline unless its people recapture the qualities our Founding Fathers envisioned: minimal government, a balanced budget, maximum personal responsibility, thrift, strong families, hard work and an unshakeable faith in God.

I suppose this is all cyclical. After all, the famous quote attributed (probably incorrectly) to Alexander Fraser Tytler remains eerily prescient for America:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.


I admire Mrs. Lewis’ homesteading skills and enjoy her social commentary, and she comes so close to getting it, understanding that liberalism is the crux of the problem, but then she just couldn’t connect the dots that the Founding Fathers were the original American liberals.   I think of this blind faith as Founding Father Worship.

The disconnect is so odd because it’s like saying, “Hey this democracy train is actually heading straight for Tyranny-ville and I’ve got the Tytler Train Schedule right here telling me that’s where this train is bound for, but if we can just somehow throw the democracy train in reverse for a spell, surely we will somehow get to some other destination instead,  as opposed to just taking longer to getting to Tyranny-ville!”

Trying to back up the democracy train, which is what the most conservativey conservatives want (as opposed to plain ole’ conservatives who just want to slow it down a little), is kind of like the Ferris Beuller kids trying to turn back the odometer on Dad’s Ferrari by setting its wheels up on blocks, throwing it into reverse, and putting a brick on the accelerator:

Which, as you know, worked oh so well:

Odometers by their nature go forward.  It’s what they do.

But people just can’t seem to let go of the idea that democracy itself would be an awesome form of government if only it didn’t keep doing what democracies by their very nature must always do – collapse into tyranny.

But point out that there are other forms of government – such as monarchy, for instance -and even the most conservative folks look at you with bafflement and even horror:

“B-but what if the king is a tyrant?!”


23 thoughts on “There is no god but democracy and the Founding Fathers are its prophets.

  1. Hermann Hoppe described democracy as a devolution of theocracy. And we know from the OT that theocracy was itself a step down from the time of the judges.

    But that’s a hard sell to the average voter.


  2. As a point of order, there is a difference between a political system (as process) and the overriding belief system of the populace in that political system (as substantive policy to be processed).

    In America, the political system is representative democratic republicanism, and the belief system is liberalism.

    You could change the political system, but as long as the belief system remains the same, you would still get liberal outcomes.


      • @ Hrdogar,

        Very true. They are not independent of one another, both have an effect on the other.

        America’s predominant liberalism (the belief system) is one that favors democratic republicanism-hence the electoral system we use (process).


  3. Hmm, I think I tend to agree with what Patrice has written, Sunshine. You bring up a good point here, however, ” I think of this blind faith as Founding Father Worship.”

    We have been blessed with a country built on biblical values, deeply flawed and imperfect perhaps, but something rather unique in the history of the world. Even where I live, in an area with the highest number of non believers in the country, we are still at 77%. The vast majority of us are Christian, living in a Christian nation, attempting to bring to fruition those values in real people’s lives. It is not so much Founding Father worship that afflicts us, but rather a determination to make sure people are aware of that, that they remember that. Our country, that we so often take for granted, that we often fear calling exceptional, has blessed us so greatly because we have created ideals heavily rooted in scripture and based on trusting God. Prgressives today believe our founders were all atheists, secularists, and they believe that it is religion that ails us.


  4. I’m not familiar with Patrice Lewis’ writings, but nowhere in the quoted post does she lead us to
    believe she worshipped the Founders or possessed a blind faith. Nowhere.

    A healthy respect – dare I say reverence? – for our Founders is in order. After all, it was they who put their lives and livelihoods on the line so that future generations could historically critique their political failings in relative ease, comfort, prosperity and with impudence.


  5. What worries me is no so much looking at the past but, where we are going. I think that the largest block of voters wants to see us headed to socialism and totalitarianism. There are rumors that that was tried elsewhere and didn’t work out too well.


  6. Hmmm, there is a difference between those that hunted the wild auroch , and those that hunted down the really truly scary fierce-some wild turnip ;-D


    • Hmmm, you have to laugh about the differences. My late wife loved white turnips in the garden with a sprinkle of salt, likewise with her heirloom tomatoes. While I enjoy yellow turnips in stews. But the true difference comes in the presence of wild liver, my wife lived for me bringing it home, slicing it up, frying it with onions and gravy, on mashed potatoes. Yeah, I was probably going to be really, really, lucky ;-D


  7. Let us first make very clear that the founders weren’t democrats. They founded a republic. The cornerstone of which is the idea of a government of laws not men. They no more trusted the instincts of the general mass of the people than did the monarchists. They instead believed that a natural aristocracy of merit, drawn from men of good stock, using a relatively light touch, would bring about the advancement of whole. Democracy has always been the counter to the founders republicanism, not its natural evolution.


  8. Pingback: The case for constitutional, representative oligarchy, part 1 | Morally Contextualized Romance

  9. Something horrible entered my ear canal recently. Notable constitution quack Glenn Beck was declaring “The Bible and the Constitution both come from God! They are both sacred Scriptures!” This is a new level of insanity. A mere 200 years ago, this would have gotten you burned.


  10. Right Sunshine. Democracy guarantees widespread corruption and incremental devolution, disproving the basic humanistic assumptions. Satan sticks around but each generation dies, and must re-learn from Scratch, so to speak. Not really a fair fight.

    As Scripture illustrates, monarchy at least offers a chance at a decent leader, though Yahweh in the OT never wanted folks to have kings, and only allowed it b.c. they whined endlessly etc. The Bible records that humanity also will come to the monarchist conclusion, or be led to it. First a false king and afterwards, the eternal King arrives. Neither will be democracies however.


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