Democracy and Limited Government

Discussion in 'Politics' started by dblack, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    I've noticed that many people here, regardless of political affiliation, tend to see the principle of limited government as standing in opposition to democracy. Advocates of democracy tend to see constitutional limits on federal and state power as impediments to be overcome or evaded, whereas detractors of democracy see them bulwarks keeping "the ignorant masses" at bay.

    I don't think either of these characterizations is accurate. I actually see limited government as a foundation of democracy and a crucial element of any stable democracy. Perhaps counter-intuitively, dependable, predictable limitations on government power make democracy sustainable in much the same what that the rule of law makes freedom possible.

    Without limits on democratic power, the minority has everything to lose and can never voluntarily submit to the authority of those they disagree with. And I think that's what we're seeing now in US politics. As constitutional limitations, via the efforts of ambitions leaders and incompetent courts, have been stripped away, democracy becomes less and less tenable. The electorate is becoming ever more bitterly divided and ever more resentful of sharing power with an opposition.
     
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  2. Sinjorri
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    Sinjorri Senior Member

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    why wha what have u heard? it was in college, on a bet, drunk, on a saturday, :eusa_angel::eusa_angel:
     
  3. Sinjorri
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    Sinjorri Senior Member

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    well the asians have done quite well without being a party of minorites. I dont see them forcing the alws to get them things, like on tv or movies, i dont see them protesting schools because they are offended, and i never hear of the asian unemployment rate when everyone is screaming of the black or hispanic unemployment. So who is there voice and how ahve they been heard and where has it benefited them.
     
  4. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    Yes. College. Drunk. Saturday. Our future.
     
  5. Sinjorri
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    Sinjorri Senior Member

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    yea i agree . i was so lame in college.
     
  6. Wiseacre
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    Wiseacre Retired USAF Chief Supporting Member

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    Depends on the specific society and the definition of 'limited'. I mean, not many want unlimited gov't, pure socialism or communism or facism on one side and anarchy on the other. So, it comes down to what 'limited' means to the populace being served. Some places, a bigger gov't can work (Sweden), other places not so much (Greece). I think the efficency and effectiveness of gov't may be as big a factor as it's size.

    For us, I think we've been moving too fast towards bigger gov't, we aren't as stable as we used to be and nobody is confident of what the future holds. Our social and political contract with our gov't is changing too rapidly, most of us are struggling to keep up and failing at it. The consequences aren't being well thought out, we mostly get the extreme views from both ends of the sprectrum but not so much what other alternatives could work. Many of our institutions are outdated, and we gotta make some changes but we're too divided to cooperate and compromise. It may take a serious depression or catastrophe of some kind to bring us all back together.
     
  7. bripat9643
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    bripat9643 Diamond Member

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    The term "stable democracy" is an oxymoron. As H.L.Mencken so eloquently stated, democracy is a self-limiting disease. it contains the seeds of it's own destruction. Under democracy, government will continue to grow until democracy disappears. The process is well underway. In fact, we are now observing the terminal stages.
     
  8. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    Perhaps you're missing the point. I'm not talking about racial minorities. I'm talking about any time your views are superseded by majority vote. The constitution is what protects the rights of the minority from from the unlimited desires of the majority.
     
  9. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    Well, that's the point of my OP actually. Constitutionally limited government is the very thing that preserves democracy.
     
  10. Mac1958
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    Mac1958 Platinum Member

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    No government entity can serve its constituents unless its members realize that paralysis kills, and choose to act like intelligent adults and work together. Otherwise, all it's doing is supervising the sinking of the ship.

    Which is precisely what's happening.

    .
     

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