Many people today are ignorant of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, a state that I fear is promoted by our recent political leaders and brought about through the public school system. For example, the greatest percentage of U.S. citizens under the age of thirty believe that the United States is a democracy. Indeed, democracy is what our government is promoting overseas. Our government was never intended to be a democracy, but a republic. In a democracy, the majority decide everything while a republic respects the rights of individuals. Where the word "democracy" was used by our founding fathers, it was in reference to a democratic republic. The founders of our nation rejected democracy, and hoped that the government would never degenerate into a democracy. The word "democracy" is not found in the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. Even our pledge of allegiance refers to "the Republic for which it stands." Although the attribution is in dispute, Benjamin Franklin is said to have described a democracy as two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch, while liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. Here are some quotes that are not in dispute: "The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty." -- Fisher Ames, in a speech in the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, January 15, 1788. "Democracy is the most vile form of government. Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as the have been violent in their deaths." -- James Madison, father of the Constitution, 4th president of the United States. “We are a Republic. Real Liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of Democracy.” -- Alexander Hamilton, founding father. “A simple democracy is the devil's own government.” -- Benjamin Rush, founding father and signer of the Declaration of Independence. “Democracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy; such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit, and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few.” -- John Adams, 2nd president of the United States. “A democracy is a volcano, which conceals the fiery materials of its own destruction. These will produce an eruption, and carry desolation in their way.” -- Fisher Ames, founding father and framer of the First Amendment to the Constitution. “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation. Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.” -- John Adams. "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine percent." -- Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence, 3rd president of the United States. “Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state, it is very subjet to caprice and the madness of popular rage.” -- John Witherspoon, founding father. “We have seen the tumults of democracy terminate, in France, as they have everywhere terminated, in despotism.” -- Gouverneur Morris, writer of the final draft of the Constitution. “All such men are, or ought to be, agreed, that simple governments are despotisms; and of all despotisms, a democracy, though the least durable, is the most violent.” -- Fisher Ames, founding father and framer of the First Amendment to the Constitution. "Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found 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." -- James Madison, father of the Constitution, 4th president of the United States. “But between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.” -- John Marshall, fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court. At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked the question, "Well, Doctor, what have we got -- a Republic or a Monarchy?" His answer, "A Republic, if you can keep it."