What is a Democratic Republic?

The answer to this question lies in what the American Revolution was about.

 To understand this, we should revisit the Declaration of Independence.  Jefferson said that all men (in the eyes of God) are equal and they are given by God certain inalienable Rights “among which are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  No man can give us any of these … certainly evil men can take these from us, but they cannot give them to us … they are God given.  The men who affixed their names to the Declaration, each and every one, was doing something illegal … committing a capital felony.  They had the guts to pledge their all to the effort when they mutually pledged:  “our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”  Benjamin Franklin quipped,” If we don’t all hang together, we shall all hang separately.”  Many of the signers did not fare well.  They were true patriots, how many of us today would be brave enough to do what they did?

The American colonies, pre-revolution, were being ruled by a tyrant, they were in a tyranny.  Their citizens were being told, under the threat of imprisonment (or worse), what to do … how to solve their personal or community problems by a tyranny that had no idea of or stake in their problems.  They were prohibited by law, faux law, from having any say in the solution of their problems.  They were the chattels, the slaves of a far away master.  Today the Federal government has in a large measure placed a new tyranny not dissimilar to that of King George III upon us.

After the Revolution, the colonies, the 13 new Republics, conceded one thing to democracy … they  enfranchised the common man with the vote, the first and only time in human history that the common person had any say in government.   Democracy in large venues devolves into mob rule as was exemplified tens of centuries ago in ancient Athens and as was repeated time and again throughout subsequent history where it was tried.  Democracy, one man, one vote, is to be feared in all venues except  where protagonists meet in groups small enough have face to face debate about solving mutual problems.  The “majority rules” mantra always leaves a discontented minority.   If the issue is a solution to a mutual problem, comity within the community generally allows acceptance of the verdict.  But if the democratic process is extended to a large group, say the American Presidential election, the results could be disastrous.  If the election of Hillary Clinton by a majority of 67 million to 64 million for Donald Trump means that the US Constitution will be overthrown for a “socialist utopia” it could mean civil war.  Our forefathers were aware of this danger of large democracies and rejected that form of government out of hand.  They, in the Constitutional Convention, opted for a Federal government of succinctly defined and limited powers joined together with a federation of self governing republics combined in a compact that presented a united front to foreign aggression and an united arbiter both to disputes among the States and international exigencies.

Why do we need government at all?

Governments are instituted for the protection of the powerless.  The most powerless in the face of outward aggression, be it individual or organized … is us … you and I, our families, our friends and neighbors , our community.  We band together and choose those who would take on the responsibility to protect us, the sheriff to give us comfort from fear of physical harm and mental anguish;  the judges to mediate and mitigate disputes between us and others;   our Senators and Representatives, our community exemplars, sent to larger venues to explain our local problems and to carry back the concerns of others to us, in short to insure our God given Right to Happiness.   Governments are for the maintenance of the “life, liberty and happiness” of the common man, the individual … not the majority or the mob.  The American system was carefully and ingeniously assembled to protect that goal.

In a Democracy every person is to vote on every issue.  This should require some degree of expertise by the voter, which is of course impossible.  So, in practice the voters have invariably relied on the demagogues. (A Greek word loosely translated “mob teacher.”)   The demagogues, being men, often times misrepresented their issues much to their advantage and the disadvantage of the populace.  On the other hand, under the guise of majority rule, the voters quickly realized that they could vote themselves the treasury.  Those of you who “vote for the man” are today similarly abused by the modern demagogues; the political ads, the word of mouth, peer pressure, the political parties, the signs, the radio, the TV and any other form of communication imaginable.  You do not and probably cannot know “the man” you only know what others say about him.

Let us contrast this with the republican (representative) form of government.  Republican government is bottom up government.  In the first instance you and your family understand your place in the community.  You and yours should solve almost all your problems alone or in community gatherings.  You should or certainly can know the sheriff or local policeman.  You can go to the local court house and talk to the local officials.  If you don’t like what they are doing, you can campaign for their removal in the next election.   You live in a political and physical subdivision of your state, your county.  Your county is governed by county commissioners whom you vote for.  If you live rurally that is your government.  If you live in a village or city it is run by the town council and mayor whom you could and probably do know.  There may be several municipalities in your county all of which are self governing with officials that are elected by their local residents.  You, yourself, may be on an elected school board, elected cemetery district, an elected irrigation district or an elected highway district.  You probably participate in local church, charitable or service organizations all of which have elected boards, chairmen and administrators.  If you are not participating, you most certainly can communicate with your fellow citizens who are.  All these board members represent you, it is representative government.   Your community and county is unique and fully functional, and definitely cognizant of its place in the sun.  In sum, our Republic gives you , if you care to participate, the privilege of direct access to the government that is most important to your personal well being.  More important than the State or Federals. 

Be the county be big or small, rural or populous, it is an integral part of this State and as such needs to be represented on the state level in both Houses of the Legislature by people that you know so that its uniqueness can be part of the dialogue of law making on the State level.

The US Constitution guarantees Republican government in the States.  The US Supreme Court has un-Constitutionally abrogated that Right to the detriment of the counties and people of this State.  The 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights gives the State the Right to reject that decision.                       

Article 10: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”    

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