[Homestead] The Constitution
genegerue at ruralize.com
Sun Jul 10 08:32:55 EDT 2005
>That's the old "Gospel according to Webster". Lexicographers don't make
>good political scientists.
A dictionary is where most people go to understand a meaning of a word.
What better place?
> In a democracy such as existed in many of the Greek
>city states (at least for a time and at least for free males), any question
>could be put to a popular vote, the people could be appealed to at any
>time. In a constitutional republic (as we are supposed to have)
>appealing every decision to the popular vote is seen as mob rule and is
>looked down upon. We've done it from time to time, but it is done against
>our political system and the results have been poor.
Observe California. By referendum the people from time to time do indeed
make important decisions. But inasmuch as most people cannot be bothered to
vote, it is unlikely that anything approaching mob rule could happen.
>The distinction is very important. We are a people ruled by laws, not men
>and not mobs. Here we are supposed to be able to plan our very lives
>around principles of law and not worry about which way the wind is going
>to blow ten years from now. Doesn't always work that way, but we must
>keep those who find the distinciton tedious reminded from time to time
>that pure democracies are not to be greatly desired.
I see no danger of the USA becoming a pure democracy. It includes both the
conditions of republic and the conditions of democracy. The greatest danger
I see is apathy by the citizenry, which allows those in power to abuse that
power ever more.
What I find tedious is having the distinction between republic and
democracy insistently debated to the point of mind-numbing repetition. It
is as if those highly enlightened framers spoke not only for man but for
all the gods and nothing that has happened in the last two-hundred-plus
years is of consequence. None of the framers could possibly have imagined
the conditions of life today. Call the country as they did and it matters
not a whit.
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