The word democracy is not there. I checked.
Nor is the word republic. The word used is union. I guess the founding fathers were in favor of unions. Maybe they were secret communists? Did you know that Christ was a communist? Read what he said, supposedly. Not one word Christ supposedly said is in The Constitution. He never said all men are created equal. Or women. Or men and women. Sorry, I digress.
No where did I find that the founding fathers had contempt for government. Come on people, they're writing a document forming the foundations of a government. Wouldn't it be hypocritical of people who don't believe in the power of government rule over a free people to be forming a government to rule over free people? Are you calling my founding fathers hypocrites?
What the founding fathers talked about in terms of government were specific actions that the believed invalidated the right of a government to continue in existence ruling over a people. A big one was taxation without representation. Another was locking people up without giving the opportunity to defend themselves against their accusers. Another was having people in positions of power where they could not be extricated by legal means. There are many of these items, but no where does it say, no government. It all leads to the conclusion that government should be accountable to the governed. What was detested was a monarchy where rule was handed to heirs without debate and elections. Another was religion, where people who adhered to religious concepts that did not conform to a state idea would be persecuted for their beliefs. There is also some evidence that the founding fathers feared having a standing army, but a standing navy was seen as essential for obvious reasons.
In reading the comments in Jeanne's post, I noticed that people really don't understand how our government branches work. This idea that courts make law when they rule on the legality of an existing law, or a previous interpretation is silly. The law is what it is and the interpretation is what it is. If congress doesn't like how a law is interpreted, it can be rewritten and put to a vote. All courts are doing is what they are asked to do, to judge the merits of a law based on the judges' understanding of the meaning of The Constitution. There are so many examples that I'll let you all pick your favorite flavor.
But to say that one interpretation is making law and another isn't is ridiculous. All judicial decisions make law. They make the law legal or illegal. That is their role. Sorry.
I think the founding fathers were actually Taoists. They created The Constitution, which is the way, a simple guide for the way all things would be constructed thereafter. It's a simple formula; freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of private property, freedom from imprisonment without due process, freedom to confront your accusers, freedom to pursue happiness, liberty, justice, freedom to worship as you deem fit. The word that strikes one when reading The Constitution is freedom, all of the areas where the goal is promote individual freedom over the tyranny of the powerful in any form. It gives us rights, all of us. Gives us all the same rights, and with rights come duties, the most basic being to respect the rights of others that you appropriate for yourself. To be willing to protect those rights even to your own detriment.
The Civil War wasn't about slavery at the beginning. It was about the right of a central government to make law. Slavery became the issue because how could you have slavery in half a nation? How could slave traders be allowed to come into non-slave states and take people who were now deemed free back into slavery? It created a non-negotiable stalemate that led to war. Mississippi never ratified the 13th amendment, I was amazed to see.
So upon these basic principles, over time, the entire enterprise of rules, regulations, and responsibilities grows just as the Tao predicted it would, to the point where it becomes unworkable. All of nature is like this, people. Nature always gets to a point of unworkability and then it adapts. There are not too many regulations. There are not too many regulators. There are not too many soldiers, or bases, or weapons systems. There are not too many departments. There are not too many cabinets. There are not too many laws. There is not too big a deficit. There is not too much or too little of anything, because in approaching government this way, judging it by numbers, but size, by artificial criteria, we miss the point. The point of government.
The point of government is to do the job of getting people to work together. That's all. The rules of any system are designed to make a framework that makes it possible. A dictatorship uses force and favors, the threat of punishment and the desire for advancement. Freedom is not the point. In our system, as set up by the founding fathers, freedom is the point. And it's not simple to impose freedom. One person's freedom may impinge on another's and that's why regulations get put in place. That's why laws about education are enacted. That's why we have a military spending such a vast amount of money. I could go on and on. All of these measures are sustained to try and ensure the greatest freedom for the greatest number. But, when something becomes so complicated, clumsy, and unworkable, simple solutions start to dominate even if they are idiotic.
So out of a system based on real values, we now have everything reduced to dollars. Dollars are speech. Dollars buy association. Dollars buy justice. Dollars are freedom. It's time to get back to ideas.