Is it just me or are progs saying some really dumb things lately? There are so many to choose from that I had a hard time settling on only two (more would have led to a mammoth post . . . well, you know, more mammoth than usual).
Gee, Isn’t America a Democracy?
D’oh. WaPo is, as usual, reflecting not thoughtful dialogue with conservatives, not even (the more usual) bias against us. Nope. They’re just ignorant and ill-informed.
[Texas’ new school book standards] require that that the United States be referred to as a “constitutional republic” rather than “democratic,” (I’m betting because “democratic” sounds too much like “democrat” to these conservative Republicans)
I hope you didn’t bet too much because you lose. We want America called a constitutional republic because that is what it is, not because it “sounds too much like ‘democrat’,” but I can see where you might make that mistake. Well, no, actually, I can’t. And this is precisely why we need to change the curriculum in schools and study American (and world) history properly. If we did, you would not make such idiotic, condescending statements. If we still said the Pledge of Allegiance in schools, you’d probably know that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America . . . and to the republic for which it stands.
We are not a democracy, we are a constitutional republic. The problem that the founding fathers had with undiluted, unchecked democracy is that the “majority rule” thing left an easy-to-traverse path to single-party (or worse, single person!) rule: if we had decent and accurate education in this country, you might have heard the phrase “tyranny of the majority” and understand that this is a bad thing, despite how fervently Woody Allen wishes BO could be dictator. The people can be lied to (imagine!) and misled by unprincipled, power-hungry
progressives people who want to set up totalitarian shop. And (gasp) elections can be rigged.
So let’s break the term “constitutional republic” down simplistically (so you can grasp the basics): 1.) Our constitution limits the power of the government, much to the chagrin of progressives like BO who bemoan its “negative liberties.” Those negative rights are protections, they limit what the government can do to citizens, how far it can reach, and what role government plays in our lives. We think this is a good thing. 2.) “Republic” means, in part, that the government is elected by the people and as such should represent the people–perhaps this is where the confusion exists? You think that “republic” is synonymous with “democracy”? Read on. 3.) Our republic separates judicial, legislative, and executive power into three distinct branches specifically to prevent “majority rule.” So in addition to democratically-elected officials, the very fact that we have a judicial branch to act as a check (and balance) on the legislative makes America a republic. 4.) These two concepts go together to formulate the constitutional republic that we have in America: the people elect officials who are, in turn, bound by the limits of power enumerated in the constitution and kept separate in the three, discrete branches.
As you can see, the term “constitutional republic” is accurate. “Democracy” is not. “Democratic constitutional republic” is redundant on the one hand and (obviously) misleading on the other . . . if you don’t know what a republic is, so grow up, read a book (reading is, really super swell), and get a clue.
Individual vs. Collective Will/Rights
In an article at The Hill that can only be seen as surreal, a Tea Party phony and a “Coffee Party” lunatic attempted to assert that there are “commonalities” between the mainstream Tea Party and whackjob radical progressives. I couldn’t read past the following statement in paragraph 3.
“The Coffee Party wants to promote cooperation in government, recognizing that the federal government is not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will.”
The flaws in this statement are myriad, but the two main ones are that no one in the Tea Party sees the federal government as “the enemy of the people” (though many of them recognize that they are the enemies of THIS administration, hard not to see that). The federal government is an integral part of our great nation, and its powers are clearly and narrowly enumerated in the Constitution. The Tea Party is opposed not to federal government, though that’s the usual straw man argument made by statists–quite the opposite.
The second mind-boggling assertion is that the federal government is “the expression of our collective will.” We do not have a collective will, we are not interested in “collective will” because it is antithetical to American spirit, its founding, and our success as a nation. “Collective will” is the purview of intolerant lefties who really mean that they want to impose their will on everyone via the federal government. That is not the role of the federal government, and indeed, is the exact opposite of what our Bill of Rights grants us and restricts the government from imposing on us.
Unlike the progressive, the Tea Party does not want to silence dissent, we do not want to impose restrictions on what viewpoints can be expressed and how, and we certainly won’t allow progressives who think that they represent or even understand us to impose their will, which they like to call “our collective will,” on us. That is the exact opposite of freedom and liberty, the exact opposite of the role the government should play (it should protect our rights not legislate morality, “appropriate” discourse, or dictate who is allowed to express their religion, ideology, or beliefs).
There is, in other words, no common ground between the far left “Coffee Party” and the mainstream Tea Party. These are fundamentally and basically incompatible worldviews. Freedom cannot flourish under the strong arm of massive government that censors speech (“Fairness Doctrine,” “Internet Neutrality“), ridicules those it disagrees with and tries to force them off the air, and “spreads the wealth around” via entitlements that limit opportunity, kill the economy, and fly in the face of our founding, our capitalist history, and our American spirit. No thank you.
You are, however, in our view more than welcome to have this worldview. Wonder why you won’t permit ours? The only people welcome in your America are people who tow the line and spout the same nonsense you do, people in other words with whom you share a “collective will.” I can assure you that is not the Tea Party, nor the majority of this country.