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F. A. Harper: The Greatest Threat to Liberty Is the Idea that Democracy Guarantees Freedom

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As Americans seem to be ever appreciative of democracy, it’s time to remind them of the impediments on liberty that democracy can bring.

By Gary M. Galles                                     @fee.org

 

Americans have concluded their dates with their polling places, and “get out the vote” campaigns have morphed into “what will the results mean?” discussions. But in that transition, far too little attention seems to be given to the differences between democracy—the process by which we select members of government—and liberty—the key to good government.

Democratically determining who will be entrusted with the reins of government may well represent the best hope to enable governments to change without bloodshed. But democracy is not the defining characteristic of the idea that became America—liberty is.

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