Investigating Journalist Jon Rappoport
August 16, 2010
What's the Difference?
Given the current actions by the administration in Washington, I thought it would be a good idea to go back to basics.
Actually, given the actions of most administrations in our history, it would be a good idea.
Reading material online about the difference between a republic and democracy, I’ve come to the conclusion that many people are frustrated lawyers; i.e., they don’t have a degree, but they revel in nitpicking arguments about word definitions.
Definitions are important, but parsing, slicing, chopping—to the exclusion of basic principles—is a waste of time.
So here are the basics.
In a democracy, the people who vote can vote for anything they want to have. Cars, money, pensions, giraffes, golf clubs, vacations, free chemotherapy, cartoons on TV, weather control, an artillery gun in every garage, houses that must be built at least ten feet off the ground, school busing, more welfare, less welfare.
Well, let me amend that. Although it’s true that some states allow direct referendums by popular vote, what really happens most of the time is: elected representatives decide whether you get a free Pontiac, a mortgage you can never pay off, a notice to surrender 60% of your wages to the government, or a clown mask in the mail.
Then, courts can strike down or support such laws according to their own standards, their own interpretations.
It’s very popular. I would say most people these days really believe that voting for ANYTHING and then getting it is what our society is all about.
“Hey, we voted for it, so we get it. That’s democracy.”
A republic, on the other hand, runs by law, and the fundamental law is the Constitution. If a measure is voted on and passed, and it violates the Constitution, it is struck down. Period.
It doesn’t matter whether the measure is popular. It doesn’t matter whether 99% of the people want the measure.
“The people have spoken.”
No. That’s not the point in a republic.
Of course, this frustrates those who don’t know what the Constitution says and don’t care and just want what they want when they want it.
The United States was created as a republic.
The judiciary decides what is Constitutional and what is not Constitutional.
For example, can the federal government assess any amount and percentage of wages as taxes?
Can the federal government mandate healthcare for every person living in America, and can this program be paid for with taxes?
Can the president declare war without the consent of Congress?
Can the Congress pass a law which funds government-sponsored medical research?
Can the federal government mandate the teaching of sex-education in public schools?
Can the federal government establish a national public-school system?
The judicial branch is supposed to rule on the Constitutionality of such laws.
There is more to say about the difference between a democracy and a republic, but I’ve indicated the major divide.
You can see it is quite important that the judiciary, in a republic, adheres to the meaning of the Constitution when it decides whether a law is valid or should be nullified.
If the judiciary wanders off the path, the Constitution takes on new and bizarre shapes and so does life in America.
Keep this in mind, too. Just because a problem exists, that doesn’t mean the government is supposed to solve it.
“We have too many fat people walking around. They’re endangering their health. Therefore, we need to do something about it. How? Bring in the government.”
In a republic, the sole question is: If the government does take action to solve obesity, is that Constitutional?
You may not like that distinction, you may want the government to make everyone slender and beautiful and healthy. You may want the government to install passive exercise machines in every home and have cops, at gunpoint, force everyone to hook up to the machines for an hour a day, but that’s a different form of society. That’s not a republic.
Back to the judiciary. Thomas Jefferson, writing to Justice William Johnson, on June 12, 1823, offered the following advice on how the judiciary should determine the constitutionality of any measure enacted by the legislature. In other words, this is a piece of Jefferson’s advice on how best to REMAIN A REPUBLIC:
“On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
In 1823, Jefferson is already aware the Supreme Court is straying from the meaning of the Constitution and is taking to itself a role beyond its assigned function.
In a real sense, the history of the Supreme Court is a history of a leaking ship. Under the guise of various rationalizations, the Court has turned the republic into a democracy.
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To put it more appropriately, the Court has turned the republic into its own favorite shapes, one after another, none of which resemble either a republic or a democracy so much as they resemble a patch-quilt monarchy, constructed as The Judicial Arbiter invents Right and Wrong.
That is an effective way to destroy a republic.
© 2010 Jon Rappoport - All Rights Reserved
Jon Rappoport has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize early in his career, Jon has published articles on medical fraud, politics, alternative health, and sports in LA Weekly, CBS Healthwatch, Spin, Stern, and other magazines and newspapers in the US and Europe.
He is the is author of several books, including The Secret Behind Secret Societies and The Magic Agent (a novel).
Jon is the author of a new course for home schoolers, LOGIC AND ANALYSIS.
Web site, www.nomorefakenews.com