Anybody who has read my writings knows that I like to use definitions, others insight, and historical events when discussing different situations. It is my goal to put forth a cogent position and then hopefully have others respond, agreeing or disagreeing, with cogent replies. I reject bumper stickers or 30 second sound bites as being cogent, but hope to have well-reasoned replies that are clear and logical.
The question I put forth, is can the United States remain a republic, (we must define republic) or does the current political acumen demands a democracy (we must define democracy).
Both a republic and a democracy have an elected head of state, and are not a monarchy where rule is passed from one generation to the next within the same family. A democracy may or may not have elected representatives, (a direct democracy would not) while a republic will always have elected representatives. A democracy may or may not have a constitution, while a republic will always have a constitution (written or understood). A democracy always operates based on majority rule and disregards rights of the minority while a republic can at times have positions not held by the majority and it always protects the rights of the minority.
The United States was founded as a Republic. We have a written constitution. The rights protected in the Constitution are protected for members of the majority and the minority. Because of our electoral college and the Senate make up where each state has two senators regardless of population, it is conceivable, in fact has happened, that positions are taken that are contrary to the majority. This is all based on historical facts and accepted definitions.
“It has been observed by an honorable gentleman, that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved, that no position in politics is more false than this. The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity.” Alexander Hamilton,
"Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths." James Madison
"The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots." Elbridge Gerry – served as the fifth vice-president.
What is critical for a republic to function? You will favor a republic if you believe for instance that liberties and rights should be protected for all. You will favor a republic if you believe for instance that checks must be placed on the dictates of the majority. You will favor a republic if you believe for instance that “rule of law” must exist, that is the law is applied equally to all and does not change for people you support or people you oppose. You will favor a republic if you believe that the final say on the law is a constitution and not the majority.
Many people through out the ages have favored different forms of government from a republic. We have seen aristocracies, oligarchies, and democracies. I was told once by a very wise person that the most efficient form of government would be a benevolent dictatorship, an aristocracy. My purpose is not to debate the best form of government but to stipulate that we wish to remain a republic. The question would be, what is critical for a republic to exist and function.
I would put forth that is essential that the population be:
A virtuous population
A population that has been taught the accurate history of our country and understands our founding principles
A population that is capable of debating a question honestly without reverting to personal attacks
A population that is capable of accepting the long-standing principle of peaceful transfer of power
A population that will place the protection of the rights of the minority above the implementation of their own wishes and desires – not extending the minority greater rights but the same rights
A population that place the good of the country against the goals of a political party
A population that is more interested in honestly debating and discussing a situation than it is in playing a got you game
A population that places as its highest priority the protection of freedom and liberty and not the ability to control and dictate to others the limitations of liberties where there is disagreement
A press that places as its highest priority, a fair and accurate portrayal of a situation or incident
A press where when listening or reading you can not determine the political side, they favor
What form of government do you favor and what characteristics are best suited for that government? Please ponder, reflect, and study and then reply with cogent responses and not bumper stickers or 30 second sound bites.
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