Skip to comments.Guarantee of a republican form of government
Posted on 02/04/2003 11:59:39 AM PST by tpaine
Guarantee of a republican form of government
by Marcia H. Armstrong
I admit that I am among the post-Roosevelt public school-indoctrinated adults that were taught to use the word "democracy" to describe our form of government. So it initially surprised me when the same word was used by avowed socialists to taut their political wares. After some research, I found that the system my ancestors helped to create was a "republic," not a democracy. (Although democratic elements, such as the "initiative," have since crept into the system.)
A republic is representative government, where the power of government is delegated to a few elected citizens. These representatives serve for an established term of office. In our constitutional republic, the distribution of power and limits of authority granted are all set down in writing. Because representatives are elected, they are directly accountable to those who elected them. A republic allows the representative to focus on decisions that will serve the best interests of the community; but that will also protect all citizens in the security of their persons and property and the enjoyment of their rights.
The strength of a republic is to elect individuals of the highest character and spirit - those who can be trusted to make good decisions. One might think of a republic as sort of like having a designated driver. On the other hand, in a democracy, each individual directly exercises the power of government. Every citizen participates directly in making the decisions. For obvious reasons, a democracy works best when it is at the small-scale level, where only a few simple issues present themselves. Democracy is also called "majority rule." The best way to describe the detrimental effects of this is to envision two wolves and a sheep sitting down together to vote on what they want for dinner, (or two preservationists and a property owner deciding on how to manage the owner's private land.) Some of the problems with a democracy are:
(1) That the majority is mighty prone to make decisions swayed by the popular passion of the moment;
(2) That there is no one who can be individually held accountable for a decision or action;
(3) That those, who don't understand the issue and often will never be effected by the laws they make, are the ones that often make the law;
(4) That ballots take on proportions of the Encyclopedia Britannica; and (5) That laws and decisions tend to erode individual rights and private property.
Democracy sounds good, but in practice, beliefs held by the majority tend to morph into standards that are officially forced upon everyone as a leveler. This is accomplished either by social coercion ("political correctness,") or through a gazillion behavioral regulations Founders like James Madison, pointed to the will of the majority as the greatest potential threat for encroachment upon personal liberty:
"Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is a real danger of oppression. In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of its constituents." Now, when I now place my hand over my heart and recite the "Pledge of Allegiance," I pay closer attention to the words: ....."and to the Republic, for which it stands." Note that the word "democracy" is entirely absent from that pledge.
I think the perfect start would be to repeal the 17th Amendment. That is when the state governments finally lost their voice in Washington.
Lew Rockwell has made a compelling case that the Constitution is a "dead letter." The federal government has violated that document/contract in virtually every way, rendering it null and void.
Now, I wouldn't go that far; I still believe that it is possible to reclaim those principles. But I also believe that any change for the better will only come about when enough people within enough states come to their senses and unite to take a stand against the federal government. They could do this via the ballot box--for now, at least.
I still believe that it is possible to reclaim those principles. But I also believe that any change for the better will only come about when enough people within enough states come to their senses and unite to take a stand against the federal government. They could do this via the ballot box--for now, at least.
We seem to have come full circle, as in the above you now making aproximately the same point I did here at #17:
-- If a state rebeled peacefully, using the courts & civil disobedience to refuse to acknowlege unconstututional federal law, it could ultimately win in the ~real~ court. The court of public opinion.
The more oppressive the feds grew, the more support the state would get from ~all~ the people.
The "broad scope" seems to be limited to your...
The key to the union being, -- the states agreement that the U.S. Constitution is to be the supreme 'law of the land', -- as it applies to our basic individual inalienable rights.
Yes, the States did agree that the U.S. Constitution was to be the supreme 'law of the land' governing the government's activities, functions, design, etc. as well as "our basic individual inalienable rights". I don't see an agreement in 20. I see no contention either. You need to to back up to 18 and look at that again. I merely corrected what I thought was a misperception.
Your reply to my #19 speaks for itself:
"--- A very great misperception. I don't know how anyone can view things in the manner in which sheltonmac did. sheltonmac, do you understand the difference now?
20 posted on 02/04/2003 2:55 PM PST by philman_36 ---"
Either the principles of our union/constitution are worth fighting for, -- within the bounds set forth in the document itself, or it should be amended.
Where do you find me in contention with this? I agree with the basic principles of the Constitution. I disagree with what some says it does and doesn't allow/say. Just because it doesn't say that a State can't secede doesn't mean, to me, that a State can't do so if it chooses to do so. Ours is supposed to be a voluntary union! As an example...I can't force someone to stay in a club they no longer wish to have any part of even though they were a charter member of that club.
As I've tried to explain, secession makes our constitutional union meaningess.
-- What are your proposed amendments, gentlemen?
Proposed amendments regarding what?
Beats me! You want the states to have the power to secede, not me. Tell me why.
Under your scenario a simple amendment process wouldn't work. A whole new Constitutional Convention would be necessary citing specifically that secession was disallowed as well as numerous other things.
My 'scenario'? Where?