A Very Short Civics Lesson

A Very Short Civics Lesson
Neal Ross

I just can’t believe it. After all the lecturing I’ve done on the subject, I still hear people refer to our system of government as a democracy. Folks, for one last time, we are not a democracy, we are a republic. There is a difference, and it is rather substantial.

Do you remember going to school and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance? Think back, can you remember the words? I can, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands…”

Thomas Jefferson once said, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” You want to know what democracy is? Imagine you are standing alone on the street corner. Two big guys come up to you and demand your money. They state that there are two of them, and only one of you, and you would be wise to comply with their demands. That, my friends, is democracy in action, pure and simple majority rule.

On the other hand, a republic is defined as, “a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government.”

If you’ll notice, it says according to law. The law that defines our republican system of government is the Constitution. Therefore, if a power is not specifically listed in the Constitution as being one held by the government, then they simply cannot usurp that power for themselves and pass laws regarding it.

It does not matter that an overwhelming majority of the people ask that our government do something in regards to an issue. If it is not listed as one of their powers, they CANNOT do it. Why is this so hard to understand?

I am, quite honestly, sick and tired of even hearing the word democracy. But, quite possibly the best argument against us being a democracy is probably something uttered by Winston Churchill. Churchill said, “The best argument against a democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

I have found that to be quite true. The average person has no understanding of the purpose of their government. They believe it is there to take care of them, to protect and provide for them. Until people change their fundamental misconception about the purpose of their government, nothing else in this country will change either. End of rant…

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3 Responses to A Very Short Civics Lesson

  1. Thomas Jefferson once said, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”

    Exactly. Considering over 51% of the people are complete idiots, I don’t want a democracy. I want a Republic with a strong Constitution.

  2. neal says:

    There is a guy who always responds to my articles with the same exact thing, no matter what I talk about. He always says, “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” Which means, who is watching the watchers? Basically we are supposed to keep a watchful eye upon our government, but who is watching over us to make sure we do just that?

    And therein lies the problem. If we fail to keep our elected representatives governing according to the Constitution, we only have ourselves to blame for the problems they create. The problem is that, as Zombieslayer said, with more than 51% of the people being complete idiots, how do we go about holding our elected officials accountable for their actions?

    Too bad we couldn’t just hold a public trial and hang those found guilty right there on the steps of the capitol.

    • John Pickelsimer says:

      This is so true. Illegitimi non carborundum. During the War of Northern Agression on of my ancestors led a Confederate Homeguard company in the mountains of North Carolina. They came across a band of yankee terrorists that had been raiding farms and stealing the food and bedding. There was a skirmish and they managed to kill about eight of the transgressors and captured four more while the remainders quickly headed back to New York via Chattanooga, TN. That night they took them to the Jackson County jail and the next morning at breakfast they were tried for raiding, found guilty and then a lunch they were hung from an oak tree in the courthouse yard.
      I think a couple quick lessons in proper procedures in the Congress might get the attention of some of the pikers we have sent there.

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