Episode 53 The Creepy “Our Democracy” Mantra


Republicans, Democrats, and the media all incessantly invoke “our democracy,” a political system that doesn’t exist. Almost nobody talked like this for the first century and a half under our Constitution and one should be suspicious of the motives for doing so now.   

Additional Reading:

United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches

Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From?: And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One

Fun Link:

Bill Hicks • Mr. President, any questions?

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5 thoughts on “Episode 53 The Creepy “Our Democracy” Mantra

  1. Roland

    His worship of “Our Democracy” is one of the baffling things about Tucker Carlson. He is fabulously entertaining when he’s ridiculing the woke. He has been heroic on covid and Ukraine. But then the next minute he wants Congress to make it illegal for teenagers to have cell phones. Go figure.
    As far as the vice president is concerned, it’s interesting that the one job that the Constitution assigns to that person – presiding over the Senate – is the job that he/she hardly ever does.

    1. Tom Mullen Post author

      Thanks for commenting. I think you might find my book Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? worthwhile. I don’t see Tucker’s positions as you’ve documented here surprising or self-contradictory from his worldview.

      1. Roland

        Yes, I suppose that’s right: If he believes in democracy, then he will assume that the solution to all problems is for voters to elect the “right people” (i.e., people who will keep marijuana illegal, impose his brand of parenting, etc.).

  2. Michael Martineck

    Love this episode, not because I fully agree but because it got me thinking. Like a good piece of art. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about –
    – You use the phrase“not much democracy” without really discussing the implications. Democracy, like most things, is on a spectrum. You, more than most, understand the value of rheostat. No one wants their democracy set to zero (I’m looking at you North Korea); no one wants to turn it up to ten. You’d have to hire someone to vote for you thirty times a day. Doordash democracy. We’d be worse off than we started. That leaves us in the middle somewhere and I’m not sure exactly what number you’d like. Made harder by the term . . .
    – Anti-democracy. The founders didn’t structure the constitution to eliminate democracy whenever two branches met. They hedged. They were trying to give the mob some say, just not all of it. Parademocracy. ‘Anti’ implies democracy is the enemy, which is not the case. They wanted limiters, like governors on an engine, cuz as you say, governing is complicated. Made more so by that fact that . . .
    – Voting is not the only way we participate in a democracy. Freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, the freedom to burn the flag if it helps make a point – those rights can wield a lot of power, too. The Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, our actions in Viet Nam – I would love a future podcast about the other tools in the public’s box.
    In the end, you didn’t get me thinking our concern democracy was silly. I think our use of the term is faulty. It’s become shorthand for a process that shouldn’t be diminished.

    1. Tom Mullen Post author

      Mike! Good to hear from you. I want my democracy set to zero. 😀 But I doubt I’ll get my way (I’m outvoted).

      As I said on the episode, free speech is not a component of democracy. The First Amendment is there to keep people from voting it away (protect it from democracy).

      Civil Rights Act – mostly good in that it outlawed government racism. Titles II and VII should be repealed. They made possible the abominable ADA.

      We need a new toolbox, the one described in Murray Rothbard’s For a New Liberty.

      On a sad, unrelated note. Mr. Kenny passed away a few days ago. His 10th commandment of AP English: “Use words like arrows, attempting to pierce to the heart of the matter, rather than like buckshot, hoping merely to hit something in the barrage.”


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