Patricia Fogg’s letter to the editor, “Fighting for America’s democracy,” was posted online May 8. I added an online comment the same day, asserting that the nation’s founders hated democracy. Fogg commented back (online) on May 10: “I also don’t really believe our Founders hated democracy, do you? Can you provide an example?”

Well, yes, I can. There are many examples available online. A few seconds of research provided the following:

Alexander Hamilton: “If we incline too much to democracy we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of a dictatorship.”

Thomas Jefferson: “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49 percent.”

James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10: pure democracies “have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

The author of the essay introducing those quotes added this interesting opinion: “It is historically relevant to note that since the birth of our nation in 1776, no American president referred to America as a democracy until Woodrow Wilson misapplied the term during World War I.

Sadly, today, it has become common to use the term democracy in describing our form of government, including in recent years by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.”

Mike LeBlanc, East Wilton

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