There’s a lot to the US Constitution. The men who wrote it were very smart in the way they worded it. They had the foresight to include checks and balances, through the separation of powers among the various branches of government and defined what each branch can, and more importantly, can’t do.
They also defined the form of government that will govern the United States. If you were to ask 10 people what form of government that is, you’d most likely get 9 out of 10 that respond with “democratic, because we’re a democracy”. They’d all be wrong.
We are not a democracy. We’re a republic.
Article IV Section 4 of the Constitution states: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…”
So what does this mean? According to Webster’s, a republic is defined as “…a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president…a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government…a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law…” (emphasis added).
A democracy on the other hand is where the majority rules. You can throw the checks and balances out the window in a democracy, unless of course that’s what the majority wants.
People can justify majority rule by thinking that what’s good for the majority, must be good for the rest of the population. They do this when talking about the electoral college, saying that it is a dated system, and a simple majority should take it’s place.
What they don’t consider is that only nine states contain over 50% of the US population. If we abolished the electoral college, conceivably, those nine states could determine the result of a presidential election. With the electoral college those states only have a total of 255 votes while 270 are needed to win an election.
There are a lot of things the government does these days that may not necessarily be constitutional, but is justified because it benefits the majority. While it may be true that the majority benefits, it doesn’t mean that the minority isn’t suffering in one way or another because of it.