Friday, January 27, 2023

DEMOCRACY: It's in voters' hands

| April 7, 2010 5:20 AM

Julie Harney asked what is a Democracy? The lines are so blurred in America today who can really say? We were actually given a Republican form of government by our founding fathers. We were also given a Constitution. Our government is supposed to be “Of the people and for the people.”

The electorate or the voters get to decide the issues. It was always intended that the majority opinion would be the rule. The Constitution would be the framework in which we would design and write the law. And the courts would ensure the Constitution was adhered to. But how can we have a majority rule when as an example, here in Post Falls with 25,000 people, we often see only 1,600 people turn out to vote on local issues. Even with a 66 percent majority that means fewer than 1,100 people decide for all of us. At the national level we have only 535 members in Congress representing 300 million. The two parties are supposed to negotiate and meet somewhere in the middle, but today that bipartisanship seems to be dead. So, as we just witnessed in the vote on national health care insurance reform, only 219 people decided what this reform should look like.

Last week Mr. Luke Malek wrote in “Lifestyles” that Tolstoy once said, “ Government is an association of men who do violence to the rest of us.” To avoid that our Democratic Republic was designed to give individuals power over their own lives, the right to own property and the right to vote. Mr. Malek also said that government is a necessary evil. Where, even with the rule of law “at some point my exercise of what I believe are my rights will have a deleterious effect on yours.”

That is why we have a system of local courts and judges. When our citizens don’t know what form of government we have, don’t know what rights they have under the Constitution, and do not vote when they have every chance to do so, then our courts can tear apart our Constitution, and those taking power will use it to do even more violence to the rest of us. “Every good thing in the world stands on the edge of danger, and must be fought for whether it’s a field, a home, or a country.” Thornton Wilder.

One final thought… If you want to know when a society vanishes, watch money. “Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is man’s protection and the base of moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owner a counterfeit pile of papers.” Ayn Rand


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