Saturday, December 10, 2011
My latest Boyne City Gazette column..... Constitutional Republic vs. Democracy
Obama added, “And that people who are irresponsible, who are reckless, who don’t feel a sense of obligation to their communities and their companies and their workers that those folks aren’t rewarded.” Only in our President's perspective could he have been describing the so-called "greedy rich" who are the backbone of American cities, providing jobs, working hard, and investing in our future. The reckless irresponsible ones are those occupying Wall St, not those who are working their way up in businesses around the country. By impeding hard-working Americans from getting to their jobs, shutting down entire seaports, occupying Black Friday shoppers, threatening conservative gatherings and occupying public and private spaces, it is the occupiers who are irresponsible. They certainly feel no obligation to their communities. They are actively and purposely making a failing economy worse and should not be rewarded.
Contrary to frequent descriptions, America is still a representative Republic, not a Democracy. In a Democracy, majority or mob rule prevails, so whenever 51% of voters want something, they get it. Occupiers actually don't comprise 51% of voters, but that does not keep them from trying to make demands as if they do. They certainly are not the 99% they claim to be, as 53% of Americans are paying the taxes which provide the money which government spends. These clearly uninformed participants call for taxing the “greedy rich” at 100%, free college education, an end to corporate personhood, government-provided jobs for all, an end to all fossil fuels, equal distribution of income, and open borders, for instance. Occupy has no unified message, refusing to list formal demands, but allowing anyone to post their radical ideas on their website for inspiration.
A group such as this, if in power in a Democracy, rules by mob action in its own interests. The unions and radical organizations which have attached themselves to the movement and used the initial demonstrators for their own purposes would have free rein to impose their agenda. This of course couldn't last forever, as the money paying for all their demands runs out and chaos eventually ensues, as any good revolutionary knows. As a frightened and weary citizenry begs for relief, government can then step in, promising to save the day and make the chaos go away through government intervention. This scenario comes right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, the how-to handbook for collapsing capitalism.
A Representative Republic on the other hand protects the rights of all citizens, not just the majority, and is founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, with elections providing the opportunity for change. Using this election process, the Tea Party angrily but peacefully protested a government which has grown too large, which increases our debt to the detriment of our future, which sometimes doesn't honor our Constitution, which honors entitlement and equal outcome more than it honors opportunity. Using the election process, it has been able to effect change in government representation and legislation.
I believe the time has come for original Occupy members to condemn the radicals which have attached themselves to Occupy, to meet with Tea Party members to discuss what it is they have in common. There has been at least one such meeting in Memphis. Certainly the two groups can find at least a few points in which there would be agreement. Perhaps together they can do what our Congress seems incapable of doing - coming together for the betterment of America.