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Winston Churchill Quote about Democracy

The Winston Churchill Quote about Democracy:

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” – Winston Churchill quote about democracy

My Analysis of this Winston Churchill quote about Democracy and the Average Voter:

I think that this Winston Churchill quote about democracy is a great one. I like it because of its meaning; in this quote on democracy and the average voter, Churchill is exposing a potentially fatal flaw in democracies. That flaw is that they rely on the average voter to be virtuous and knowledgeable, but do little to help the electorate live up to those expectations. That is a problem many pointed out and continue to point out. The Anti-Federalists were particularly worried about it.

I do not think that this Winston Churchill quote about democracy is an argument against democracy, but rather a commentary on democracy. In it, Churchill is pointing out what politicians have to know before they rely on democracy as a political system.

They have to know that the average voter is often too uninformed to make the right decisions for their country. People will always have different political opinions, but that is not the point of this Winston Churchill quote about democracy. Democracies are strengthened by the diversity of thought provided by those different opinions as long as free speech and respectful political debate are encouraged.

However, the problem we currently face is that many voters don’t have the wide base of knowledge needed to develop those opinions. Their schools have let them down.

Winston Churchill quote about democracy

That problem, which is well identified in this Winston Church quote about democracy, can be corrected through better education systems and by incentivizing reading and lifelong learning. Better funding of schools and libraries would be good ways to help the average voter be as informed as he or she needs to be. Many politically active people are well-informed. But many aren’t. That is a problem that democracies around the world need to grapple with. It will be difficult to overcome, but definitely isn’t insurmountable.

Politicians need to remember that advice if they are going to succeed. Yes, sometimes they need to listen to their electorate and the average voter. But, other times, they know best. The beautiful aspect of a republic, which is what America is, is that politicians can do both.

Sometimes they can listen to the average voter that Churchill is commenting on, and when necessary they can decide for themselves how to vote or what to do. By pursuing each option when appropriate, politicians give themselves more of an opportunity to respond well to any situation that they are presented with.

The electorate is often easily angered, but it also easily forgets. It is a tempestuous beast that is not easily tamed or understood, which is why this Winston Churchill quote about democracy is so astute.

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Because the electorate is sometimes so hard to understand or please, the best argument against democracy is a conversation with the average voter. Having that conversation would get a politician nowhere and probably leave him dejected about democracy. But, because we are a republic, politicians don’t have to do that. They can instead save the nation by doing what is best rather than just giving in to the tyranny of the majority.


Many don’t understand this quote by Winston Churchill on democracy and the average voter so they say that it is elitist or even attacking the institution of democracy itself. But those people don’t understand the meaning of the quote. Churchill wasn’t saying that democracy as a system can’t work or that the average voter’s intelligence prohibits democracy. Instead, Churchill meant only to warn future politicians and voters of democracy’s one potential pitfall; an uneducated electorate.

As long as they have that warning in mind and understand Winston Churchill’s commentary on democracy, our system will thrive. By reading and understanding it, people can understand why reading and constantly improving themselves is crucial; doing so allows them to better understand themselves and their system. If that is the case, our republic can grow stronger day by day.

As the Anti-Federalists point out in The Anti-Federalist Papersa virtuous citizenry that uses its liberty responsibly is a prerequisite for a successful democracy or republic. Unfortunately, that is often not the case. But, with hard work and constant advocacy, it can be. Democracy is a great system that Churchill generally supported and that he certainly defended against the evils of German and Italian fascism. The electorate just needs to fulfill its responsibilities for the system to work, which is, I think, the point of this Winston Churchill quote about democracy.

By: Gen Z Conservative

Image at top from AZ Quotes


Check out this quote and others here:

He might have been mentioning Hank Johnson:

Improving protections on free speech might help correct this problem:

As would encouraging respectful political discussions: