The Major Impediment to Democracy

Posted on December 20, 2022 by Robert Ringer


The Democrats’ favorite new word is democracy, which they use as a euphemism for (1) getting their way on everything and (2) more and bigger government.  Anything that goes against their beliefs is not only dangerous, but “a threat to democracy.”  Challenging the results of an election is a threat to democracy.  Not allowing censorship of conservatives is a threat to democracy.  Any Republican they dislike is a threat to democracy.

In a real democracy, of course, government stays out of the individual’s way so he can pursue his right to life, liberty, and happiness.  It is the government’s job to protect that right, not interfere with it.  As Rose Wilder Lane put it, “American Government is not an Authority; it has no control over individuals and no responsibility for their affairs.  American Government is a permission which free individuals grant to certain men to use force in certain necessary and strictly limited ways; a permission which Americans can always withdraw from American Government.”

The truth be known, our democracy has destroyed itself through an excess of democracy.  Majority rule has evolved into a free‑for‑all stampede of citizens appealing to politicians to give them more and more of the plunder, and there is never a shortage of vile human beings who are more than willing to accommodate them in exchange for votes.

The obvious question is, why do people allow this scam to continue year after year?  I believe it’s because of a widespread notion that government can do most things better than individuals, which is absurd on its face, because all the empirical evidence suggests otherwise.  Thus, the follow-up question is, what causes people to harbor such a faulty belief?

I believe the answer is gradualism.  Generations of citizens have become used to government dominating their lives, and it is this acceptance of government intrusiveness as the norm that causes people to believe a plethora of myths about government.  In this day and age, it’s hard to believe, but millions of people still see government as omnipotent.

The late and legendary Andrew Galambos, whom Harry Browne dubbed the “unknown libertarian,” taught in his private lectures that almost everything everybody believes is wrong.  Many of Galambos’ ideas were, and still are, controversial, but my firsthand experience has convinced me that he was spot on with this particular insight.

I never cease to be mystified by how, given the passage of time, so many people so readily embrace government myths, even when such myths clearly contradict common sense.  Even worse, myths tend to grow and become more entrenched over time.  Thomas Jefferson was right when he pointed out that the natural progress of things is for truth to yield and myths to gain ground.

The reality is that democracy rewards mediocrity, and it starts at the top.  Government is run by an army of mediocre people, most of whom have never worked a day in their lives.  In the Swamp, however, mediocrity is irrelevant.  What the Swamp values is loyalty and a willingness to say and do anything that protects and further entrenches the establishment.  Newcomers soon learn that if they play ball and go along with the establishment, they will get along just fine.

Which raises yet another question:  Why do so many people intuitively believe that electing someone new will change things for the better, when most newly elected politicians end up protecting the status quo?  Plain and simple, the driver of this phenomenon is self-interest.  People ignorantly believe that if they can just elect the right politicians, government will make life “fairer,” even though government has no constitutional authority to become involved in an abstraction such as fairness.

In The Federalist Papers, James Madison warned, “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this:  You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

Madison’s warnings have not been heeded.  The government does not control itself.  “Government by the people” has come to mean government by those in power.  Ironically, the way this is accomplished is through a sleight of hand called “representative government,” which gives people a false sense of control, because it’s an illusion.  Letting people vote every few years is a clever way of appeasing the masses, but once the election circus is over, they learn once again that they have virtually no power and their elected representatives cavalierly break most of their promises.

What history teaches us is that political action is not a solution to our problems.  In fact, political action almost always makes problems worse.  If the fictitious Biden presidency has taught us anything, it’s a strong reaffirmation that government is not only incompetent, but totally corrupt as well.  Which is why it should not surprise anyone that government is, in fact, the major impediment to democracy.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

8 responses to “The Major Impediment to Democracy”

  1. Ghost_1776 says:

    I believe Nikita Khrushchev once told the Secretary of Agriculture that America would one day live under the yoke of socialism by taking it one teaspoon at a time. Well, here we are. We did it one teaspoon at a time just as predicted so many decades ago. Now the corruption, bureaucracy, and self interests are so deeply ingrained that there is no longer a political solution to the problem or returning to our ideal Jeffersonian type of government or society.

  2. ZenoElia says:

    Robert, you are right on with this article. I am now 84 years old and have watched all this take place during my lifetime. I believe now the only solution to the governmental corruption is to remove money from the control of the government. As long as politicians can print money, they will. Inflation is destroying our culture, getting us into wars, and more. It is too late to help me at this stage of life, but I am convinced the Bitcoin protocol is the only chance to not only save America, but the world. At this point it cannot be corrupted by government. I hope young people will catch on and become Bitcoiners.

  3. JF1017 says:

    People believe the government can do a job better than the private sector – until they have to deal with any of the hundred-dozen government bureaucracies. This should wipe the scales from their eyes. Of course, the people who are the most frustrated at navigating government regs and paperwork are also those who produce things and whose time is limited; the takers – who worship at the altar of Big Government because they are supported in every way by its ability to confiscate and redistribute resources to them – have all the time in the world, so chalk the inefficiency, rudeness and stupidity off as a "cost of doing business."

  4. hharry12800 says:

    Democracy, mob rule? The US Republic depends on abiding by restrictions established by the US constitution. In that we seem to fail as those restrictions have been steadily eaten away until we really can vote to transfer the treasury to some of the citizens. We were warned.

    Why can't we elect honorable leaders? Perhaps honorable people want nothing to do with elected office or perhaps we no longer have anything like informed voters. After all Fetterman got elected along with a dead man. While I do imagine there is chicanery about ballots, still voters ought to outnumber cheaters. Except many voters simply have no idea about why they check the box. Not sure we can ever fix this except to keep trying.

    • larajf says:

      Honorable people get torn to shreds by the propaganda arm of the Uniparty. Woah be the people who aren't aligned. Remember Bill Bradley in 2000? (let alone President Trump who was beloved until he tread on their precious soil). It's time to get rid of the political ruling class. If we can.

      • hharry12800 says:

        Perhaps primaries would be the absolute best use of mail in balloting. That would get registered party voters to vote. As it is, the primaries are where only the most zealous voters show up. We have seen mail voting allows those couch potatoes who could care less who's running to vote and they seem to in droves. Those rather informed voters do seem to be all D's, but the ballots do get created. Using that playbook perhaps primaries might be better. In the past, from those smoke filled rooms we did get some decent people into office. I'm told the primaries are why we no longer have those people.

        • larajf says:

          California changed their primary system to be the top two. Unfortunately that means we're always choosing between two democrats. I wish we could go back to one per party. Thanks Governator.

  5. larajf says:

    I love that quote by Rose Wilder Lane. I grew up reading Laura Ingles Wilder books and always appreciated how people were self sufficient yet helped the community. No one cried to the government to provide them with anything. It wasn't an easy life and I wouldn't want to give up my air conditioning for anything. But I wish we could bring some of that self reliance back to our education system…and parents.

    My daughter told me a group of parents sued Epic Games because their children wouldn't listen to them and kept playing Fortnight. If only there was a way to turn off the internet!!!!