A Government for ALL the People

Heading into the New Year, we might resolve to make a more perfect government. But that supposes we know what the Best government would be. Let me hazard a proposition:

The Best Government serves ALL the People.

The Greeks and Romans observed various governments and their consequences.
They knew Monarchy – government by one person, supposedly for the benefit of all. But that form goes awry when the ruler thinks only of himself … an all-too-frequent occurrence for the best of us.

They knew Aristocracy – government by the Minority, supposedly better than the common folk. The elites would take care of those who could not take care of themselves. All would be happy and prosperous. History is replete with examples of aristocracies gone bad. Revolutions ensue.

They knew Democracy – government by the Majority, who in their kindness would treat minorities with dignity and all would … are you kidding me?

Even Progressives who adore Democracy and wish it to envelop the world, even they rail against “white privilege” and the ways in which the majority votes to destroy and enslave minorities. Make no mistake, they really don’t like democracy. They only like it when they think they have the votes.


The three forms of government above – rule of one, rule by a minority, rule by the majority – occur in nature. Take any society, wolves or men, carpenters or kings, and without provocation, like water flowing down hill, they will gel into one of those forms of government.

Take a monarchy, captain of a ship. Everyone wants to make it safely to shore. Even if you had a dozen strangers on a boat, one would be the best seaman. The others would gravitate to being lead by him. When he said, “Bail the water out!” they would. For the benefit of all.

Take an aristocracy, a family. The adults tell the kids what to do because the kids are not ready to take care of themselves. Eventually, the kids can take care of themselves and the aristocracy is no longer needed. Ah-h, there is the rub. The Aristocracy may enjoy bossing others around too much. Revolution ensues.

Take a democracy. It is rare, but there are times when each person can take care of himself and make up any damage he has done to others. Actually, it is not rare. But it only works when you know face-to-face the others in your society. If you and I have equal respect for each other, a democracy will form, whether we want it or not. It is a natural outgrowth of who we are.

Each of these governments is for ALL the people … for a while. The problem is making it last longer than a generation.


Republic was an attempt to construct a government out of the natural forms.
If you could tweak it just so, add just the right mixture of checks and a proper measure of balances … maybe then the concoction would serve ALL the people.
But would it last?

That was Benjamin Franklin’s thought when asked the form of government we had adopted. “A republic,” he said, “if you can keep it.” It is a man-made construct. It requires continuous attention.

The Republic is designed to serve ALL the people. It will do so until it is allowed to devolve into one of the natural forms – monarchy, aristocracy or democracy.
And sure as water heads for the lowest point, a republic will devolve … if you let it.

(This is taken up in greater detail, and how the Constitution defines our Republic, in the Study Guide I wrote available on this website [https://www.learntheconstitution.com/collections/all/study-guide].)

© 2016 John Chambers