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Gary discusses why the United States is NOT a democracy, despite how many politicians and reporters say it is.

Most Americans are under the false impression that our system of constitutional government is a democracy. To be sure, there are certainly democratic elements present. The First Amendment to the Constitution states, “The people” have the right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The petition of the people is limited, however, by the procedures outlined in the Constitution to make those changes. Constitutional attorney John W Whitehead writes: “It must be remembered that the term democratic appears neither in the Declaration of lndependence nor in the Constitution. Actually, when the Constitution is analyzed in its original form, the document is found to be a serious attempt to establish a government mixed with democratic, aristocratic, and monarchical elements—a government of checks and balances.”

A democracy places all power in the people. It’s a government of the masses. (The word “of” is tricky. It can mean “by” or it can mean “over.” The bloody tyrannies of our day have been imposed over the people in the name of the people.) Democratic law is based on the will of the majority. In the Federalist Papers, which were popular newspaper articles written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in defense of the ratification of the Constitution, democracies were described as “spectacles of turbulence and contention,“said to be “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property… In general [they] have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

Democracies degenerate into exploitation because rulers discover that if they promise certain benefits to a majority of voters, they can get those voters to put them in power. These voters realize that with their chosen ruler now in power, they can pressure him to vote in their best interests by threatening not to vote for him in the next election.

Those seeking expression for heir views through majority rule will most often vote for the candidate promising the most benefits. The results are certain: Democracies eventually collapse because the public treasury is milked dry due to greater demands by the majority of voters. The minority of wage earners realize that no matter how hard they work, the fruit of their labor will be confiscated to satisfy the demands of the majority.

Liberty at Risk: Exposing the Politics of Plunder

Liberty at Risk: Exposing the Politics of Plunder

In Liberty at Risk, Gary DeMar presents a biblical, historical, constitutional, and rational approach to government. Not only has God set forth the principles of liberty in the Bible, He has also equipped us to think through the implications of these principles. Civil government is ordained by God, but it should never be made into a god.


Gary discusses why the United States is NOT a democracy, despite how many politicians and reporters say it is. We are a constitutional republic, not a democracy. While there are elements of democratic freedom in the system, it contains checks and balances and a healthy distrust of centralized power.

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Author: Gary DeMar

Gary—who served as President of American Vision for thirty-five years—is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and earned his M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in 1979. Author of countless essays, news articles, and more than 27 book titles, he has been featured by nearly every major news media outlet. Gary also has hosted The Gary DeMar Show, History Unwrapped, and the Gary DeMar’s Vantage Point Webshow and is a regular contributor to AmericanVision.org. Gary has lived in the Atlanta area since 1979 with his wife, Carol. They have two married sons and are enjoying being grandparents. Gary and Carol are members of Midway Presbyterian Church (PCA).


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