The People Must Regain the Consent of the Governed

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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We often hear, especially from the left, arguments either for or against American democracy. If you’re like me, every time I hear the word democracy mentioned as the correct form of American government, I roll my eyes and wonder if the politician or pundit is purposely trying to plant the notion in the viewer’s or listener’s mind that this is in fact our form of government, or do they just not know we have a representative republic.

I fear that in a lot of cases they just don’t understand the difference, despite being “Representatives” themselves.

Dr Larry Arnn and some students at Hillsdale College briefly covered this very topic in Hillsdale’s new online course – “Introduction to the Constitution.” Specifically, it was lesson five entitled, “Representation of the People.”

I would invite and encourage everyone to watch these short presentations and discussions, for this is not your average Introduction to the Constitution. They cover some pretty heady stuff. There are 12 segments, or mini-courses, averaging only about 9 minutes in length.

Watching these videos also allows for a fascinating juxtaposition of the knowledge of Hillsdale students vs. the pampered know-nothing snowflake variety from “mainstream” and supposed elite schools.

Having thrown off rule by the King of England, the founders had to decide on a form of national of federal government. Their choices were of course, a monarchy, a democracy or a representative republic. Obviously they were not going to return to rule by monarch, but a democracy, as attractive as this sounds, where everyone has a voice and a vote, was utterly impractical. In order to accomplish anything, every citizen would have to be present for every vote. This was as unworkable then as it would be today.
There was no way of assembling all Americans in one place every time a vote was required. read more