Representative Deb Haaland (D) sent out an email recently claiming America is a “Constitutional Democracy.” I will endeavor to correct this confusion using simple terms, for Representative Haaland’s benefit, please allow me to elaborate.
A Republic finds its history lodged in the writings of Plato, who called a republic “possessing the structure and composition of the ideal state.” James Madison provides America with the only definition needed for America to be a democracy, “We may define a republic to be … a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people; and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behaviour [Emphasis added].” A republic is a government system where the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. Finally, a republic is recognized by the head of the government not being a monarch or other hereditary head of state. America has a Constitution that leaves all the power of the government in the hands of her legal citizens. Legal citizens are not impostor aliens or terrorists captured on a battlefield; thus, US Constitutional Rights do not apply or cover these entities. A Republic is formed around the principle that through property ownership, freedom is generated. A Republic requires time, majorities that clearly surpass a simple majority, and when personal property is threatened or removed from individual citizens, that republic slips into a democracy. A Democracy cannot climb into being a Republic, but the Republic can be reduced to a democracy.
Democracy, is associated with the “rule by the people” or a simple majority wins. The associations of democracy have become more twisted since the mid-1930s and therein lies the problem, democracies have existed under the feudal system of government, the communists have tried to instill democratic changes, and dictators like Maduro in Venezuela have employed democracy. Democracy other than being dangerous, is the belief that a simple majority rules for everyone. Winston Churchill is correct, “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” The reason democracy is dangerous is the belief that people control the rule when they have nothing to do with the ruling. Rulers of a democracy are not bound by the “Rule of Law” they are only restricted by statistics reported in opinion polls, which Mark Twain aptly called, “Damned lies.”
Consider the United Kingdom is a “Democratic Polyarchy” as they have a hereditary monarch ruler, and a democratic parliament, when the people demanded an exit from the European Union, the supposedly democratic parliament stymied and thwarted the people’s will to keep the United Kingdom in the European Union. Venezuela is a democracy where the constitution was destroyed for personal power, the country was bankrupted for the enrichment of the few, and the people are now left starving wondering where their country went.
America’s founders were interested in creating a representative democracy, under a republican form of government to protect the property rights of individuals that generate the most freedom for the most people. Under a republican form of government, everyone is first bound by the rule of law, in America’s case, the code we are all united under is the US Constitution, where even the government must answer to the lowest of citizens. Important to note, a Republican form of government, does not mean that the Political Party “Republicans” are the party to rule exclusively. The plasticization of words and terms continues to create confusion being where politics is concerned.
America was never expected to be a direct democracy, where Representative Haaland (D) is basing her erroneous statement regarding America being a “Constitutional Democracy.” Here is where the fallacy resides, a constitutional democracy would only require a simple majority to enact new clauses in the constitution. America’s Constitution requires ¾’s of the individual US States to ratify a Constitutional Amendment after the Constitutional Amendment has won supermajorities in the US House of Representatives and the Senate. Thus, any fourth-grade student who has passed American History can tell how and why America is NOT a “Constitutional Democracy” as stated by Representative Haaland, “Constitutional Democracy” is fallacious, deceiving, and meant to create confusion in the populace. Since Representative Haaland (D) and Senator Udall (D) continue to disregard their own constituents, I expect more but have come to realize they will not adhere to providing a higher level of respect for the offices they individually hold, representing their constituents across the political spectrum.
Since we are discussing the rule of law, republics, and other related topics, let us dig a little into an item that is killing America and her freedom, the loss of private property. Charles Reich, an American legal and social scholar as well as an author who was a Professor at Yale Law School, writes a paper every American citizen needs to read and be concerned over, this paper is referenced below, and the link is active.
Starting in the 1930s, during the “Great Depression,” changes were made to America’s methods of governance by the President, a willing media, and sycophants in the Senate and House, where the Federal and State Governments could begin to rule by largesse; picking winners and losers based upon obeisance to a bureaucrat’s whims, wishes, and will. Reich lays out this history, walks the reader through the laws, and makes the case that because of democratic rule America’s Republic has been reduced to a feudal system where the government decides who gets the largesse and who does not. With the Federal and State Governments making these decisions, business do not compete fairly upon their own merits, but upon how much taxpayer money they can bamboozle from Uncle Sam. Unfortunately, the entire system hinges upon reducing private property ownership, and the freedoms private property allows, to feed the ever-hungry beast of Government consumption.
A perfect example is found in K-12 Schools; when a school insists they need more money from the taxpayer, they blame poverty and race as to why their students cannot learn, unless more money is poured into a failing school to purchase a “magic-bullet,” e.g., expensive new toy, technology, or program. Providing three lies in one, and excusing designed incompetence for the failure of students who have been abused by the teachers. Race governing ability is the first lie. Poverty dictating intellect forms the second lie. More money being needed in K-12 Education is the third lie. The designed incompetence that allows or encourages, a teacher to pass a student that does not meet the standards of learning, is an abuse of students, not a problem of funding. Here is government largesse in action, if the school board does not adhere to the lies of race and poverty affecting intellectual ability, that school does not get more money. Repeatedly, we see these lies vociferously declared in the media, that poverty and race are holding a school/student back, and the government needs to spend more money. When in reality, leadership in the school, reinstating the authority of the teacher, and respect is what is required for those schools, not more government largess, and indeed not another program or technology that no one can afford, and that will fail to achieve the sales pitch.
Thus, America needs to demand change through the ballot box, to insist that freedom and private property are returned to the people, and those representatives who have no moral center, or cannot serve their constituents from both parties equally, are removed from politics, indefinitely! Since America is a Republic, and not a democracy (yet!), the problems in representation can be solved.
Charles A. Reich, The New Property, 73 Yale L.J. (1964). Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylj/vol73/iss5/1
© 2019 M. Dave Salisbury
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