A Very Short Civics Lesson
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…