Friday, January 27, 2006

America: Republic or a Democracy?

I think a lot of people would do well to reflect on what it means to have a Republic as opposed to a Democracy. America is a Republic. Demagogues such Hillary Clinton seem to think we live in a pure Democracy. Evidently she has not understood the intent of the Founding Fathers, which was clearly to oppose the excesses of a pure democracy. You elect people to office to do the kinds of things that a collective just can't do. The will of the people cannot be consonant with every decision that the Executive or Judicial branches make. The will of the people should be reflected in the House and the Senate--that's what makes for the balance envisioned by the Founding Fathers. The Democratic will of the people is balanced by the will of the Republic as reflected in and tempered by the Judiciary and the Constitution. You win some, you lose some with this system of government.

What is most interesting is that party lines reflect, like magnetic poles, the lines of force around certain ideas. Republicans are associated with favoring business, commercial and financial interests, and hold to a restrictive role of the central government in social and economic life. The Democrats, on the other hand, seem to associate government with a vastly expanded role in both the social and economic sectors. Communism and socialism, however, show the many dangers of allowing government to drift too much in this direction. England was brought to her knees by socialism as was Russia under Communism. When government assumes too great a role in the life of the people, everything stagnates. Both the vision of the Democrats and the Republicans is unnecessarily divisive in that it springs largely from an either or argument. Instead of trying to figure out what really works, we have endless public debates over entrenched interests posing as the will of the people.

The relentless attempts of the Democrats to democratize the institution of the Judiciary are particularly significant in this regard--it is the only place they have any leverage at present and it is an inappropriate arena (to my mind) for deciding social issues that might better be dealt with by the States.

The secrecy of the present Republican government is also absurd. Let the people know what is going on. An informed citizenry that trusts its government is critically important for developing real consensus over important issues. The recent victory of Hamas in the Gaza Strip illustrates the fact that just providing democracy is not going to guarantee a form of government appealing to Western interests. The same will most likely be true in Iraq. Be careful of what you wish for.

(In Israel, by the way, you can be arrested for preaching the gospel. We are giving billions to selfish pricks who have largely created their own problems with a uniquely ethnic brand of selfishness. Can you imagine any other people on the face of the earth with the hubris to claim that God Himself gave them a particular land forever? God-mandated nationalism on both the side of the Jews and the Moslem fanatics is an unholy thing indeed. It makes me a big believer in real compromises. Give something up in order to get something but don't pretend that you are giving something up when you aren't.)

I think that nearly every good Democratic impulse would be better catered to by a government that created incentives for economic growth, enacted sensible environmental regulations, cleaned up public education by rooting out the new religion of secularism, ruthlessly enforced anti-trust activity, returned social and educational issues to the states, and above all set as a national priority getting out of the business of impeding the velocity of private enterprise. In fact government should try to figure out how to best increase the velocity of the private sector rather than trying to regulate it to death. It is disgraceful that private enterprise now flourishes in China to a greater degree than it does in America.

"The Congress shall make no rule respecting religion." It could well be argued that by favoring a network of special interests that presently includes the unions, unionized public education, atheistic organizations and the medical establishment that Congress is indeed favoring a new quasi secular religion that is far removed from the intentions of the Founding Fathers. What we have now in our government are two lying tribes that have lost sight of history and certainly of the vision of the Founding Fathers. Mom said of both sides, "pick your liars."

As far as social issues go that should be left up to the states. If you want an abortion or you want to have homosexual marriage, or you want to take legal drugs go to a state that allows it. Of course the activists on both sides don't want this sensible compromise because the ideologues on both sides would lose. Now more than ever it is time to return to the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, which was rooted in a balance between not only the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches but also between the States and the Federal government.

"What good fortune for government that the people do not think.”
--Adolph Hitler

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