The Liberty Conservative – Why was James Madison so critical of democracies? Moreover, why was he so concerned about them when, according to the definition he provided, “democracies” basically don’t exist anywhere, either in his time or in our own.
Today, many conservatives like to claim that “the Founding Fathers” opposed democracy and supported less majoritarian republics.
However, as is nearly always the case whenever “the Founding Fathers” are involved, a more accurate statement would be “some Founding Fathers” condemned democracy. Indeed, many of the Founding Fathers — especially among the Anti-Federalists, openly described themselves as being in favor of “democracy” and “the democratical spirit.”
This is no coincidence.
By attacking democracy, Madison was attempting to discredit the more decentralized and more democratic state governments that were preventing the sort of powerful and centralized government that Madison wanted.
Thus, Madison sought to condemn localized government that was close to the people, and substitute a vast, less-representative “republic” that was the be the playground of a small number of powerful men — all at taxpayer expense, of course…