WE are a REPUBLIC
We are NOT a democracy even though many political leaders tout democracy as a virtue and a platitudinous imperative for everything from their pet domestic social agendas to their catch-all justification for our becoming entangled in the affairs of other nations. Politicians routinely tell us that it is our duty to export democracy to the rest of the world.
But, our system of government is a Constitutional Republic. In a Republic citizens are subject to the rule of law. We have elements of democracy via various forms of elective representation, and we allow people to vote, but it is not a pure democracy with absolute equality to each and every individual voice. US Senators have more power, proportionately than Congressmen from the House of Representatives, and states have disproportionate representation in Congress since each state is allotted 2 Senators regardless of state population. The electoral college can declare a presidential winner that disagrees with the popular vote. There are all kinds of checks and balances that were devised to create a system that, while having elements of democracy, make it into something other than a pure democracy.
And, this is all good because our system protects us inasmuch as any system of government can (and better than any other yet devised) from the abuse of power, from demagoguery (gaining power by means of personality and emotional appeal), and from what would rightly be called “mob rule” if it weren’t for the tempering force of law and the many careful checks and balances our founders wisely infused in our system.
I am a REPUBLICAN
I have to ask the question (and I am asking it more often these days than ever before), what does it mean to be a Republican? I have been a Republican all my life, I chose it for myself though it was not the ideology of my own family, and it means something very special to me.
The Republican party stands for my values. Free market capitalism, not crony capitalism; Personal responsibility, not entitlement; The sanctity of human life; Equal opportunity to succeed or to fail and to enjoy or suffer the consequences of one’s own choices, not the right to re-distribute another’s wealth or to help yourself to the fruits of someone else’s labor; etc.
Today we have Republicans slandering those who are too conservative as if this makes them second class members of the party. On the other hand, we have Republicans whose policies and voting records bear little resemblance to the platforms and resolutions of the party to which they belong, yet they attack those who would point out the disparity.
I am a Republican first. I believe there should be room within the party for healthy, civil dissent and some diversity; at the same time, I believe that when someone says he is a Republican, he should uphold the major precepts of that party.
There is nothing more fundamental to our existence than a commitment to the sanctity of all human life. As a young married college student at a very conservative University, the Student Health nurse, delivering news of my positive pregnancy test, earnestly suggested we talk about “options” for my pregnancy. I was shocked that such advice was as mechanically dispensed as a prescription for aspirin. I was also deeply saddened.
All life is sacred. From the unborn to the disabled to the elderly. As a woman, I stand for life and declare to my sisters that we are honored as women when we come together to protect and preserve life as well as to help each other deal with reproductive issues; but we are diminished and harmed, physically, spiritually, and emotionally when we allow ourselves to believe it is ever justified to end an unborn life. Women who have suffered the effects of abortion need love, forgiveness, and healing. To encourage the taking of unborn life is the real “War on Women”.
Do you not find it unconscionable that we live in an age in which it cannot go without saying that we believe in our Constitution? If there is anything we should be able to take for granted, it should be that. This is the document that is the foundation of our freedoms and without its guarantees we have nothing to prevent our being over-taken by a dictator like another Adolf Hitler. Who, in their right mind, could possibly say that this is not important?
If we properly appreciated our constitutional freedoms, every one of us would be willing to die for them. Yet, they are under attack, and seemingly few Americans are the least bit concerned. We have all heard Churchill’s saying, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. People tell themselves that the world would never again fall prey to the evil of a Hitler. Yet, human nature is susceptible to the avarice of charismatic political sociopaths as evidenced repeatedly throughout history by rulers like Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot, Castro, Mao Tse-Tung, Nero… What is it that makes some Americans so sure that they are any different than the masses who have fallen victim to dictators in the past?
Those who held the first reins of American power, our founders, briskly warned us to be ever vigilant–to hold those we elect accountable and to proactively guard our liberty. How can we hope to guard the liberty which we so bountifully enjoy if we do not covet our Constitution? I wonder, just what is it that people who do not cherish and defend our Constitution believe will protect them becoming enslaved to, at best, a more repressive political system and, at worst, a despotic ruler?
I believe we have all but abdicated our freedom of speech. The focus of our culture is centered on a discussion about what is and is not offensive, what should and should not be said, what group is making demands about how it will allow itself to be characterized. We are allowing our Congress and our legislatures to legislate what can and cannot be spoken. It starts with restricting speech that most all of us would agree is offensive, and no one objects. But, by so doing, we violate the very principle that protects us all from what then becomes an abridgment of everyone’s freedom. If we only protect that speech which doesn’t offend anyone, what’s the point of free speech?
People who are militant about pushing a particular social agenda are attacking our basic freedoms–speech being at the top of the list. This is a subversive attempt to destroy the fabric of our society. When you control speech, you implant fear and insecurity in people. When you do that, you begin to control even how people think. If people have to guard their words for fear of what will happen if they say the wrong thing, they will be afraid to think. This isn’t all that much different from the dark ages when Galileo was imprisoned, not for being “intolerant” of others in his speech, but for having the audacity to think and speak about his study and observations of the physical universe. For when speech is not free, whoever happens to hold social and political power will decide what is acceptable and what is not. If we continue to restrict speech in this country we will not only destroy people’s freedom to adhere to their closely held values and traditions in deference to the social/political agenda of a variety of special interest groups, but we will be pursuing a path that will eventually destroy scientific and intellectual rigor that leads to true progress.
Free speech benefits everyone even though offense is inevitable. Our Constitution does not guarantee freedom from the speech of others, nor does it guarantee freedom from being offended. Restricting speech serves no purpose except when it threatens to endanger the lives of others, such as yelling “Fire” in a crowded building. We must quit trying to legislate what people believe by the unconstitutional practice of restricting speech. Those who wish to change our society should do it by using their freedom of speech to persuade rational Americans to adopt the position for which they advocate rather than trying to force people into subjection and fear by violating their basic rights.
The National debt is up to over $55,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. According to Wyoming’s own Alan Simpson, “If you spent $1 million a day since the birth of Christ, today you would still not yet be up to $1 Trillion dollars. If you spent $1 a day, it would take you 32,500 years just to reach $1 Trillion dollars.” Yet, our national debt is over 17 times that and growing at a dizzying rate!
The federal government is like an infectious disease that is spreading to the states like an epidemic. Some of our legislators think that it is wonderful to drink at the fountain of the federal government, gladly agreeing to comply with federal requirements in order to be awarded federal dollars and being all too anxious to model state government after the ever-growing federal bureaucratic machine. I am one, and so are several others running in this election in Wyoming, who is saying “Enough”! This must stop.
The Tenth Amendment to the American Constitution states that all power that is not given expressly to the federal government nor prohibited to the states is RESERVED to the states or the people. There are very few “enumerated” powers given by our Constitution to the federal government. Yet, Americans have been duped into believing that the federal government inherently has more power than state governments. That is not true! There have been those who have wanted it to be true since the founding of our country. But, it is incumbent upon us to continue the debate and to continue to stand as a union made up of independent sovereign states. That is where the preponderance of power is vested by our Constitution. Those of us who hold to that view are in the good company of patriots like Thomas Jefferson, who adamantly championed the power of the individual states and the people. It is not an option to go the way of the federal government–to follow their spells certain doom to our nation.
Paid for by Committee to Elect Kara Linn