More Democracy, Less Liberty

      15 Comments on More Democracy, Less Liberty

Judging from the outcome of recent federal court cases involving Voter ID, one could be forgiven for believing two things. First, there is an unqualified right to vote. Second, the more voting by more people on more matters, the better. Voting itself would appear to be an unalienable right.

Ever expanding democracy has long been the Progressive’s means to their fuzzy, yet dangerous social justice ends. Our national experience has shown that the explosion of the democratic element since the direct election of senators, voting by women, repeal of Jim Crow, abolition of poll taxes, lowering the voting age to eighteen, extension of voting from a single day to a couple of weeks, same day registration, motor voter, voting rights for ex-convicts, and judicial overthrow of state voter ID laws . . . have all served to extend the franchise to an ever expanding portion of the public. But, to what end?

More liberty, or less? Are Americans freer or less so since the progressive onslaught? Has the circle of liberty, the envelope in which we may act without government interference grown larger with the extension of voting to ever more people?

Ironically, expansion of the democratic element was thought to be beneficial to the general welfare. When Woodrow Wilson asked congress for a declaration of war in 1917, he famously said, “The world must be made safe for democracy.” Did he mean to imply majoritarian tyranny? Of course not. Yet, since Wilson had long been a proponent of “administrative government” in which wise academics led by the people’s president regulate the nation, it follows that his support for the recently ratified 17th Amendment, which democratized the senate, served as the means to his end. While Wilson sought to make politics more democratic, the actual administration of government became less democratic.

Wilson held that the business of politics—namely, elections—should be separated from the administration of government, to be overseen by nonpartisan, and therefore neutral, experts. Subsequent history proves him prescient, for America 2016 far more resembles the vision of Wilson rather than that the Framers. To progressives, the president, as the only nationally elected public official, best embodies the will of the people; who is congress to stymie his popular mandate? Thus, presidential elections serve to identify the person who oversees an ever growing empire of  regulatory agencies that increasingly enact the rules the common man must live by. Obama, in his corrupted Wilsonian perception of Constitutional government, could honestly declare his intention to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” Since the purpose of elections is to identify the dear leader in charge of regulatory agencies armed with more legislative power than congress, it follows that the president should have the widest possible base of support.

All of this can make sense and appear rational only to those unfamiliar with, or who outright reject, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. To these people, who have been fed a steady social justice diet of group rights and supremacy of the democratic element, the will of the people expressed through majoritarianism trumps all concerns . . . except of course for the special carve outs for group rights extended to muslims, blacks, women, LGBT, etc. Voting becomes an end in itself. Elect the national leader and turn him loose to implement the interests of the majority that put him in office. Such men do not need a congress or scotus. This governing form is despotic.

On the other hand, Constitutionalists know that government exists to secure unalienable rights and not majoritarian will. Rights are imperiled when subject to simple majority rule. The democratic element in our republic was to be limited to voting for reps to make laws on our behalf. This fulfilled the Declaration’s maxim that just government is derived from the consent of the governed. This consent is one of several tools in the Framers’ design that provided the means to secure unalienable rights. Others include an independent senate appointed by the states, and a president elected by either leading men in the community or the House of Representatives.

The task before us is enormous. While generations of minds have been polluted in the progressive gutter, we are not relieved of our duty.

We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States.

Sign our COS Petition.

Hat tip:

Woodrow Wilson and the Rejection of the Framer’s Constitution by Ronald J. Pestritto PHD, Hillsdale College

Related posts:

The Democratic vs. Republican Constitution.

The Framers’ President.


15 thoughts on “More Democracy, Less Liberty

  1. cliff wilkin

    Another great blogpost, Rodney. This also calls into question for the need for more Constitutionalists (Americans) in the education system. An educated voter does not necessarily mean an experienced voter. Many voters come to understand their Constitutional (American) responsibilities only after experiencing the real world income punishing tax code. This experience is also largely shielded from politicians and bureaucrats who exempt themselves from most regulations and enforcement thereof. Additionally, they offset any major tax liabilities with insane benefit packages.

    Should there be an equivalent voter citizenship test as there is for immigrants to become citizens. Also, how can we change education from an indirect tax subsidy to a direct user fee system. Wouldn’t students and parents take education more seriously and understand the cost thereof if they had more skin in the game? We ask workers to pay for non worker retirement and ask for non students to pay for student education. Isn’t this just a socialized transfer of wealth? How do we get more young people to understand the wok ethic? Mandatory internships or military service (Israel) could help transition youth from the “free” world to the real world. How can schools be transitioned from liberal arts to business and technical laboratories?

    1. Rodney Dodsworth Post author

      Thanks. You address so many issues! While I’m not philosophically opposed to local/state-run education, I despise what teachers’ unions and the Dept of Education have done to generations of young, Americans. No parent ever stood up a school board meeting and asked to be taxed in order to make their kids ignorant and hate their country.

  2. Adam J. Blust

    I guess I’m not sure what you’re advocating here. Do you want to return to allowing only white male landowners to vote? How should a President be chosen? I’m a liberal and I don’t think the President should have power over and above the legislature or judiciary – that’s the whole point of separation of powers. For example, I agree with you that “rights are imperiled when subject to simple majority rule.” That’s why we (had) the Voting Rights Act, for example. So it would help if you would explain exactly the system you are advocating for. Thanks.

  3. Carol Menges

    Check out the website, sign the online petition that goes to your state legislators, and volunteer to help patriots throughout the nation. There are many legislative districts that still need District Captains within states. Take that on whether you live in a particular district or not. There are wonderful Tuesday evening online training calls (9:00 PM Eastern Time; they’re also recorded for watching at your convenience) that have been enormously helpful to me. They’re informative and inspirational. You’re needed on deck!

    1. Rodney Dodsworth Post author

      Cliff, that’s a great topic. I’ll put it in the queue, but I must admit I find it somewhat intimidating, especially after reading Hayek.

  4. Clayton Bink

    We agree
    I am in favor of the Article V Convention of States Project. Here is why it will work, and why it is safe. One of the few proposed amendments is for term limits. This alone puts We-the-People back in the driver’s seat. It also sends the message that, what we accomplish once we can do again. This is an exercise in citizenship. The big government people have been active at it for quite some time. Now it is time for the limited government people to step up and use social media to exert our authority.

    As to why it is safe; the Founders were brilliant when they inserted Article V. It requires a supermajority to propose and ratify new amendments. It only takes half of the legislatures in 13 states to deny ratification. We, limited government folks have enough influence, in enough states to stop any pro government amendments from passing. This is a long game strategy. It is also the only way that we can reign in these out of control faceless bureaucrats. We can put enough pressure on our State legislatures to get this done!
    If not me, who? If not now, when?

    Check it out here:

    Look here to volunteer:

  5. Cynthia Stang

    When 16 regulations are passed by unelected Agencies for every bill that is passed by Congress, you know that we have lost control of our government. Whereas the power of the government is inherent in the people is the original intent by our Founders that has been turned upside down. We are now constantly threatened by our government agencies. When you hear reports of citizens going to prison because they built on their own property that had a spot of earth that was wet for a few months out of the year, it is time to stop the overreach of our Executive Branch through the Agencies.
    We return the power to the States, which are more accountable to us, the people, by convening an Article V Convention. Urge your State Legislators to pass an application by signing the petition at This is a Convention for proposing Amendments to our Constitution to clarify the original intent that our Supreme Court has misinterpreted, as well as possible new Amendments that limit the power of the Federal Government.

  6. Don Sutton

    Thanks again Rodney for a great article! I would also like to hat tip Dr. Pestritto for the many great lectures i have enjoyed through Hillsdale college. Many people do not understand that we are not a true Democracy, but a Constitutional, representative Republic. We elect representatives to represent our interests in government. So 300 plus million Americans do not participate directly in decision making. that is mobocracy. Again, thanks for your great work in supporting COS.

  7. Gary Rosenbaum

    Great Article Rodney….Thanks for your support of COS. Here is one of my favorite quotes:

    Freedom is messy. In free societies, people will fall through the cracks–drink too
    much, eat too much, buy homes we cannot afford, fail to make prudent provision for
    health care, and much else. But the price of being relieved of all those tiresome
    choices by a benign paternal government is far too high. Big Government is the small
    option: it’s the guarantee of smaller freedom, smaller homes, smaller cars, smaller
    opportunities, smaller lives.”

    ― Mark Steyn, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon

    We at Convention of States have a solution as big as the problem. Visit here to learn
    more, sign the petition, and volunteer:

  8. Roger Teaters

    Great Article.. There is much work to be done.. We need an Article V Convention of States!! Our Current situation is precisely what the Founders feared. They knew the Federal Government might one day become drunk with power, so they gave us a solution in Article V of the U.S. Constitution. Article V says that upon successful application by 34 states, the states can convene a Convention of States to propose constitutional amendments. Under the Convention of States Project Resolution, these amendments would be limited to:
    1. Imposing fiscal restraints on the Federal Government
    2. Limiting the Power of the Federal Government
    3. Imposing and mandating term limits
    This would allow proposed amendments that limit executive orders, federal spending and taxation, and terms of office for Congress and the Supreme Court. These amendments only become part of the Constitution after they are ratified by 38 states, rendering the runaway convention objection virtually impossible. When 38 states agree on something, it’s not a runaway,,,, it’s a mandate!!

    The Convention of States Project has a very well organized strategy and is recruiting and mobilizing American Citizens in 3000 state house and legislative districts across the country. The movement is spreading. Please join the thousands of Americans who are joining the Convention of States Project as endorsers, supporters, and volunteers. The time to act is NOW!!! Visit the website, sign our petition and tell your legislators you support this last, best chance to restore liberty in America..

  9. MJAlexander

    Great article! Yes… it’s time to once and for all reduce the size, scope and jurisdiction of our over-reaching federal government, and the ONLY way to assure that is by constitutional amendment. Article V of the Constitution gives STATES the power to propose amendments to the Constitution whenever 2/3 of the states decide that Congress has failed to act.

    In an age when the president of the United States touts the power to use executive orders in contravention of the other branches of government, to kill Americans with drone strikes, and to meddle in the relationships between doctors and patients and mandate that individuals purchase health insurance or pay penalties; when he pushes the country to increase the national debt to an amount higher than the total sum of the debt incurred in the first 227 years of the nation’s existence; when the National Security Agency spies on citizens using mass surveillance technology; when the Federal Communications Commission seeks to control what stories newsrooms may run; when the Internal Revenue Service targets particular groups because of their political beliefs; when the Department of Defense seeks to indoctrinate soldiers to accept that people who extol the virtues of the Founding Fathers, or who believe in the fundamental teachings of biblical Christianity, are extremists and potential terrorists; when the Department of Education can order schools to allow students to use restrooms irrespective of their biological gender; when the Supreme Court invents doctrines that subvert the Constitution from which they supposedly derive-when, in short, the federal government has run amuck, is it not time to at least try an Article V convention?

    All things considered, doesn’t the ominous size and scope of the current federal order suggest that it’s more dangerous NOT to attempt an Article V convention?

    1. Rodney Dodsworth Post author

      “All things considered, doesn’t the ominous size and scope of the current federal order suggest that it’s more dangerous NOT to attempt an Article V convention?”

      Well said.

  10. Monica

    I enthusiastically support the Convention of States Project which I think is the only solution big enough for the problems in our country. We must use Article V of the US Constitution to rein in the federal government and bring the power back to the people through the states.

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