Recent polls show that only about 12% of Americans believe that the Federal government does the right thing all or a majority of the time; compared to 81% who believe that the Federal government rarely or never does the right thing. Combined with over 50% of Americans who believe that the federal government has lost all legitimacy – we have to begin to ask, “what can we do about it?”
With such overwhelmingly depressing outcomes at the federal level, the American people are left in fear and despair about the direction of the American government: worse, we don’t know what to do about it. We don’t know what we can do about it.
So here we are, pretty much everyone agrees, we’re doomed! So what can we do? Elect an excellent president, of course! Someone who understands the constitution; honors the rule of law; will increase our allies’ trust in our country; who has unassailable moral character; and who can lead our country through these dark times with a clear vision of the future.
Who are we choosing between?
Excuse me for a moment.
Well, I suppose we can retreat to our bunkers and live off of food storage while we wait out the coming apocalypse?
The American people are in more personal debt than ever before, combined with generations of no increase in individual wealth?
So…. There aren’t any bunkers?
And nobody has food storage!?!?
Excuse me for a moment.
<Weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.>
<Wiping away the tears, choking back sobs> well… At least we have a congress that is trustworthy!
What? 9… 9% percent approval rating?
Oh. I see.
Excuse me again.
<Runs out of tissues. Screams loudly>
What can we do? The federal government is so broken as to be an effective kakistocracy (good word, look that one up). And if this election is evidence of anything, it’s that the broken mess is so complete as to be above correction.
Or is it?
Personally, I think we are left with one of two options. I wish I was being a defeatist here, but I’m afraid that (short of someone presenting another option), I don’t see another solution. The first option is a bad one. No, like… literal blood in the street… Bad.
This option is the complete dissolution of the Union. I have variously found myself desiring this option: the nation would dissolve into an handful of smaller independent nations. The Liberty belt might include Texas up through Arizona, Utah, and Idaho: over to Oklahoma and Georgia. I’d be in Texas as fast as an heartbeat. The People’s Socialist Republik of California might include Washington and parts of Oregon. DC might be the seat of the new United Socialist States of America, including New York, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maine. The Dakotas would be designated as factions fought over access to electrical power…. But before any such dissolution, there would be the requisite civil war: literal blood in the streets, and war-caused poverty for a generation (or more). The Liberty States might well become wealthy, at the cost of generational war from both sides as the bitter socialist-leaning states insist on stolen birthright, or something epic like that. In short: this would be bad. I do not support this action. I’ll go a step further, those who (actively) do, are dangerous. War, when there are better options, is a bad thing.
But what other choice do we have?
The founders expected and planned for a day when the federal government had stomped over the protections defined in the constitution. They anticipated a day when the federal government, obsessed with power, took no action to limit itself.
And they defined the ways that power could be restored back to the people: these methods are defined in article 5 of the United States Constitution. The particular section allows for what has become known as a convention of states:
On the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress.
This convention allows for the people and the states to restore power where it rightfully belongs: to the people, not to politicians and bureaucrats in DC. This convention has support in each of the fifty states, but hasn’t been proposed by each state’s legislature yet (as required… Well, in 2/3’s of them anyway). Over the course of this series, I hope to make the case for changes to the constitution that would restore both power to the people and the faith in Washington. I hope to alleviate the concerns claimed by opponents to the convention. And I hope, most importantly, to restore hope when it is currently so tenuous.
I don’t pretend to be any sort of expert. I am an opinion writer. I, of course, believe that I am right on this solution. However, I implore you to seek knowledge on the topic by those more articulate and better informed than I am: I recommend that you start by reading The Liberty Amendments by the great one himself, Mark Levin. We’ll be back to talk specifics later.
The symbol of the yellow double triangle, the Star of David, with the word “Jude” inscribed still strikes horror into those who see it… and for good reason.
One of the first academic projects that I created on the subject inspired the change to the requirements of a certain holocaust memorial scholarship: previously the scholarship had been only available to essay writers, but the foundation found my protect to be so influential that they changed the submission format to include other creative types (sadly, my video submission didn’t count, because they could only change it for subsequent years…. Though they told me that they would have awarded me with the scholarship had the requirements allowed them to). I digress, but for a purpose: when I made that project – pictures applied to music with only dates for words – the Holocaust had ended nearly 6 decades before. But still my project called “Images of War,” left my peers (who had spent the previous semester becoming emotionally detached from the horrors of Hitler’s Genocide) in tears. Why?
Because even now this image rips into our souls.
Even now, feeling people have their eyes burn and they question, “who could do that?”
If you feel like I just insulted you for being unmoved by the victims of the holocaust, you’re right. I just called you unfeeling. I have other words for you too, but there are children nearby.
But why do I bring this up? Why do I take the time to insult a portion of my readers? I promise to circle back to that answer.
For those who don’t follow politics like my brother follows the basketball season… With their goalposts and… Cheerleaders?…. And…. Goalies? Okay, it’s a bad analogy because I literally know nothing of the sport (sorry, Ben, I tried to be masculine and tough….): if you are beginning to pay attention to the political season because of the presidential elections coming up, you’ll also start hearing the term “alt-right.” You may not know this term. Most people are ignorant to it. It’s a pretty new term, but the media are trying to make the term synonymous with the term “conservative.” The Clinton campaign are pushing for the same thing (some would say I’m being redundant by dividing the two… And you aren’t wrong….)
So what is the “alt-right?” The term is only recently leaving the backward forums of the dark web. Even those of us that follow politics like a sport are finding ourselves sideswiped by this group that is quickly gaining notoriety and power…. Not that we weren’t expecting some group to do this, we just didn’t know which group.
The alt-right, as the name implies, voice themselves as an alternative to the right; an alternative to conservatism. They do not view themselves as conservatives, and they ridicule the conservative movement with lovely and polite terms like “cuckservative,” (shortened to “cuck”) – I’ll let you research the meaning and origin of that insult. Just be prepared to delete your browser history when you’re done. This group is representative of many who once fashioned themselves as conservatives, but have since come into the light as their true selves: Anne Coulter, who said that a certain candidate could murder babies in the White House, for all she cares, because of his immigration stance. This same former bastion of the extreme right just released a book mocking our nation’s motto, titled “In Trump We Trust.”
What does this group believe? The key defining factors of the alt-right are that they believe themselves to be the guardians of western culture; which, in their view, rests on 3 pillars: Christianity, the European Nations, and the rule of law. Notice that non-Christians, in the view of the alt-right cannot be part of western society; neither can those not descended from the European nations (read ‘no -whites) and neither can the criminal element of society. All of these “non” groups not only cannot be a part of western society, but are inherently enemies to it. In short: the alt-right are white supremacists, white nationalists, and populist racists. The KKK, the neo-nazis, the Nazi Party, and all of these hateful extremists fall into the peelers of this ideology.
What do they have right; what they are not.
The alt-right has a handful of things right. Namely, that western society and culture is superior to other societies and cultures. “Oh, that’s so racist!” No, no it’s not. Racism requires race. Is it bigoted to believe that some societies and cultures are better than others? You decide. One non-western culture throws homosexuals off of rooftops, practices female circumcision, and is committing genocide against Christians: western society does not. Is one better than the other? Of course. What makes western society better than others? The ideology of liberty and freedom. Societies that embrace these principles become superior to their former status’s.
But the alt-right believe that western society is inherited by race. They believe that non-whites and Jews cannot assimilate into the society and are enemies to the white race and culture. What the alt-right believe is racist, because it is founded in the idea of race, not ideology.
In Alt-Right ideology, you will not find deference to constitutional governance, limited government, or individual liberty. This group, therefore, cannot be rightly identified as conservative. Indeed, as stated earlier, they do not identify themselves that way. This group believes in growing government to whatever size necessary to protect white culture from the invading forces of non-whites, non-Christians, and the “innately” criminal.
The alt-right is inherently Nationalist: they believe that our nation is superior because we are a “white-Christian nation” (in their view). They reject what the founders embraced; constitutional conservative principles based in individual liberty and economic freedom; that despite being almost wholly Christian, and being largely opposed to “Mohommediesm,” the founders still ensured the right of each person in our country to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience. Further, many of the alt-right identify strongly with socialist economic beliefs.
Coming back around
The very astute have identified the connection between the first and second segments of this article: the alt-right, being Statist Nationalists who more readily identify as socialists than free-trade capitalists, have much more in common with the National Socialist party of the German early 20th century than they do with today’s constitutional conservatives.
Donald Trump, in my estimation, is not a racist… But he sure seems to play one on TV. The reason the alt-right has come into national attention is that they have almost wholly adopted Trump as their champion. “In Trump We Trust.” And apart from decrying this despicable group, he has consistently played to them. Breitbart.com, which was founded by the champion of conservatism, Matthew Breitbart, has (since Matthew’s death, and contrary to his vision) become the self-described home of the alt-right. It has also become the unabashed propaganda arm of the Donald Trump campaign. The head of that website is now the head of the Trump Campaign.
Finally connecting the dots
The alt-right has gone from the absurd element of the fringe to controlling the Republican Party. They define themselves by segregating groups by nationality and religion: declaring the “others” as enemies. The world has been down this road many items before. How long before they start sowing badges on our shirts? Anecdotally, I’ve had a digital “badge” attached to my name on a once conservative forum which identified me as an ideological enemy to the alt-right forum moderator.
If you aren’t conservative, you need to know that the alt-right does not (emphatically does not) represent the ideology of constitutional conservatism. They don’t claim to. The alt-right recently published an article denouncing conservative “worship” of the constitution because we wouldn’t get behind their chosen leader of Donald Trump. Despite the recent and upcoming incessant attempts by the media to conflate the two ideologies, the alt-right does not represent conservatives.
If you are a conservative, you need to know that the alt-right does not represent the ideology of constitutional conservatism. One of the weaknesses of the constitutional right is the susceptibility to jingoism and nationalism. The United States is not exceptional because we are the United States; we are exceptional because of our adherence to the Godly principles of individual liberty, free market capitalism, and rule of law. Do not let these disgusting human beings lure you in by the promise of a return to national greatness; they don’t have your values in mind. Their greatness is not the same as yours. They want to use you as a useful idiot to reach their end goals of hate and inhuman division. Don’t let them.
Again, I don’t believe that the Trump fits into the category of the Alt-right, but he sure attracts them. I won’t pretend that the decision not to vote for the trump is an easy one: he opposes Clinton, and that is the best argument for voting for him. But those who pretend that the decision to vote for him is easy because of his values and principles are probably close adherents to the ideology of the alt-right. And I can’t sit with those kids on the bus either.
To make an analogy – the country is being asked to pick the method of our execution: gas chamber of firing squad. When we cry “I don’t want either! I want my country to live!” We’re told, “quit being so divisive.” We are told, “the choice is binary.” That failing to choose the gas chamber is choosing the firing line. “Why do you support the firing line?” They angrily ask us. “I don’t want my country to die!” We desperately repeat as we are being lead away.
Nations have followed the racist nationalist ideology before. We cannot let that ideology identify us. We must not be tainted with that stain. Our immortal souls depend on rejecting this evil. This was fun, Jared, can we have some more?
Sure! Because this was such a light hearted and fun post, let’s play a game! It’s called “which Nazi consecration camp badge would you wear?” I can see this one storming Facebook, can’t you?
Mine looks like this:
My wife’s looks like this:
What does yours look like? Take the quiz and comment below!
Or… I haven’t actually made the quiz…. But do some reading, and comment below!
Or…. This is pretty dark, isn’t it? These disgusting things still turn the stomach don’t they? Just in case we think that this kind of stuff doesn’t happen any more, remember this one, called the mark of the Nazarene, or the mark of shame:
Like us on Facebook. Share the post if you found it enlightening. I’m honored that you’ve read through with me. I know this is heavy stuff, but those who don’t know the past are doomed to repeat it. God protect us, we are repeating it.
In the light of any firearm related murder, the news returns to a handful of disgusting tropes. The first is the assumption that the murderer is a bigoted white man, followed by the accusation of right wing extremism, and always, always, always, followed up by a call to do something about those easily accessible scary assault weapons (a made up term to instill fear). One self purported ‘gun owning’ “journalist” called for a ban on all “AR-14’s.” He meant AR-15, as the Ar-14 is an a score model not known to… Anyone….But while gun owners roll our eyes at the ignorance spewed from the media, and even from the White House (the president recently said that the Orlando shooter had a “Glock, which had lots of clips in it…”How did this anomaly work at all?!?), as we grind our teeth at the absurd calls for the ineffective and unconstitutional bans on certain firearm types, we are left to shout at our TV’s whenever the talking heads imply that the second amendment has anything to do with hunting. The anti-gun crowd insistently repeat their drivel as if they have any concept of what they are talking about. But in the middle we have those who don’t know firearms, who didn’t know to laugh mercilessly at Tom Brokaw’s ignorant AR-14 comment, who might think that the ‘common sense gun control’ measures sound reasonable, and that couldn’t tell the difference for between a shotgun or a rifle: this post is for those people.
If we are to have a real conversation about guns, we should at least all have some idea what we’re talking about. I don’t have any resentment to you if you are ignorant: not knowing something has no shame…. Until you try to use your ignorance as a weapon, then I have a problem.
To the knowledgeable:
So we are going talk about the basics of guns for a few minutes. There are literally tens of thousands of firearm types, models, caliber, etc. Even the most knowledgeable experts can find themselves ignorant in certain areas. So I’ll be speaking in generalities. There are always exceptions to these generalities (with tens of thousands of gun types, of course there are), but let those go, mister internet warrior 🙂 – I’m giving a rundown of firearm basics to those who don’t know.
To the unknowledgeable:
If this feels overwhelming, keep with it. I’ll try to talk in basic terms as much as possible, but even for those of us in ‘the know,’ the substantial quantity of information can be overwhelming. Be patient, reread, and even ask questions!
I like to joke that I was born with a rifle in my hands. I don’t think that I was actually, but I don’t remember for sure. We’ll have to wait on my mom to weigh in on the topic. I became a NRA Certified instructor for basic courses in 2007, and have maintained those certifications since. I’ve been the range master for literally millions of rounds fired: and never had an accident on one of my ranges. I’ve studied independently most of my adult life, being fascinated by the topic. I was a police officer, and qualified top of my academy class with the tactical shot gun, and in the top 3 with a handgun. While I am not an handgun instructor, I am a gifted shot. Despite these things, I still feel like a 3 year old in an advanced physics course when my father-in-law and I talk: he’s been doing this a lot longer than me, and with much more gusto… And even he finds areas of ignorance on this topic: it’s a massive amount of information!
Types and classes:
Let’s define some terms: these may or may not be commonly used terms, but for the sake of our conversation, these are the baseline.
A firearm type, in our conversation, will refer to the basics of the gun’s function and defining characteristics. A firearm class, in our conversation, will refer to the basics of the rate of fire. Both are important.
The first class of firearms are called ‘Single shot‘ firearms. These guns need to be reloaded after each shot. These are popular types of guns for some hunters and for learning how to shoot. On my ranges, I use single shot guns almost exclusively as it keeps a person from firing rapidly and learning sloppy habits.
The second class of firearms are called “semi-automatic” firearms. Almost without exception, when you hear someone in public office or in media talking about ‘automatic’ guns, they are referring to semi-automatic guns (but ‘semi’ makes it sound less scary). The “automatic” part means that the gun re-loads itself after each shot, assuming that it has ammunition to use. The ‘semi’ part means that, like the single shot, the trigger must be pulled once for every shot fired. You cannot just hold down the trigger and ‘spray bullets,’ as is commonly claimed. This type of firearm is by far the preferred firearm for most applications: including hunting, personal defense, target shooting, and shooting sports.
The final class of firearms are called “automatic,” or sometimes “fully-automatic,” firearms. Like the semi-automatic guns, these guns automatically reload after each shot, but unlike semi-automatic, one can hold down the trigger and continuously fire. Most fully automatic guns have a switch to choose between semi-automatic fire, 3 round burst (or 5 on some guns) and continuous fire: the semi-automatic option means that the trigger must be pulled once for every shot. The burst fire means that one pull of the trigger will fire 3 (or 5) rounds, and continuous fire means that each pull of the trigger will fire non-stop until either the ammunition runs out, or the shooter stops pulling the trigger.
The terms “machine gun” and “assault rifle” are exclusive to the fully-automatic class of firearm: these are legal terms and cannot rightly be applied to any other class
These guns are primarily used by military and para-military forces. Some hobby shooters have them as well, but these guns were made effectively illegal during prohibition. It takes tens of thousands of dollars to become licensed to own an automatic weapon. Whenever you hear someone say that a shooter used a “machine gun” or “assault rifle” to commit a crime, you can be sure that these terms are used incorrectly. If you hear a talking head say that anyone can obtain a “deadly assault rifle” without a background check or through some sort of loophole, you can be sure that that talking head is talking out of their backside. These guns are, if for cost reasons alone, so prohibitive as to be nearly impossible for even the most avid collector to obtain. Golly, I’d love a fully automatic gun… But I can’t afford the roughly $25,000 in licensing and about the same amount in purchasing the gun itself… (Sigh)… Maybe when I’m rich… (A guy can dream, right?)
Firearm types and those common uses:
There are 3 key types of firearms – the handgun, the rifle and the shotgun.
Handguns are great fun for the target shooter, but less than ideal for the hunter. Many hunters carry a backup handgun in the event that they are charged by an aggressive or wounded animal and need to defend themselves in shorter range. However, the primary use of handguns has always been as defensive weapons. With some exceptions, handguns are generally considered short range weapons. accuracy begins to drop substantially outside of about 20 yards for all but the best shooters. The handgun is subdivided into three common categories:
The revolver:This firearm has a spinning cylinder which holds (usually) between 5 and 7 rounds of ammunition. While it is technically classed as a ‘Single Shot’ gun, an argument could be made to classify this gun as semi-automatic. This is the traditional “old west” type of gun. It is typically slow to reload, heavy (being all metal construction) and bulky. Different models vary in how to shoot: the old western movies show the shooter pulling down the ‘hammer’ on the back – some require this action, others don’t. This is a popular style of gun, but it is less effective in defensive uses than the next category, and had thus been phased out of use in law enforcement and military use.
Thepistol:This firearm has a magazine holding the ammunition in the handle. This semi automatic firearm uses the force of each round to expel the brass of the used ammunition and load the next round from the handle’s magazine, making this an efficient type of gun. Like the revolver, some pistols have a hammer that must be pulled before the first shot, but unlike those revolvers, not for the next shots. More common, however, is the pistol that doesn’t need to have a cocked hammer. Having either a metal frame of a plastic polymer frame, pistols can be lighter than revolvers, and are usually less bulky. These are easily reloaded, provided one has new magazines ready to use. Because of the effectiveness, speed, weight, and bulk of this gun, it has replaced the revolver in popularity among police and military, as well as among most defensive users, and many target shooters.
The derringer: This firearm usually only holds 1 or 2 rounds of ammunition, requires the hammer to be pulled in order to fire, and lacks accuracy and comfort. While this style is old and common (John Wilkes Booth used a derringer to assassinate Abraham Lincoln), they are not the preferred gun of many. The primary advantages of this gun are that they are lightweight and small, making them easier to carry in a concealed setting…. but they are impractical in almost every other way.
Shotguns great for many uses. They are my preferred target gun. Generally, shotguns are the best guns for hunting small game including rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, and all other types of birds. By simply changing the ammunition type in a shotgun, they can also be used effectively against some large game such as deer. Shotguns provide excellent defensive use for short to mid range distances. Depending on the ammunition type, shotguns lose effectiveness between 50 and 100 yards.
Unlike handguns, shotguns are considered a ‘long gun.’ as the name suggests, they are longer than handguns. Generally a shotgun is brought to the shoulder and uses both hands to fire. There are both single shot and semi-automatic shotguns available to the public (fully-automatic exist as well, but are functionally illegal in the US, as previously discussed). These can have several different looks:
Each of the above guns is functionally similar. The top is a single shot gun, while both of the bottom two are semi-automatic shotguns. They are cosmetically different, having different intended uses, but (the bottom two particularly) are functionally the same.
The shotgun, unlike both the handgun and the rifle, generally has a smooth bore, which is the inside of the gun’s barrel. This decreases the effective range, but increases the variability of ammunition from a single gun. A single shotgun can shoot dozens of small BBs, called shot, in one round (bird-shot is the smallest, and holds the greatest amount), or can shoot eight or nine 9mm ball bearings (called buck-shot, used often for deer hunting, as a defensive ammunition, and is a favorite of law enforcement), or can shoot a single lead slug which can be almost 18mm in diameter (used for big-game hunting and defensive use: slugs have the greatest range of all shotgun ammunition) – all without any modifications to the gun itself, but simply by changing out the ammunition! This versatility makes the shotgun a favorite for many.
Rifles are great for all uses. They are a lot of fun for target shooters. For hunting large game, including deer, elk, bear, and large cats, the rifle is the ideal gun. For defensive purposes, this type of gun is the best all around weapon. These can also be used for offensive purposes. The number of rifle types is substantial, and they can be modified to fit the specific needs of their particular shooter. Rifle’s have the longest effective range of the three gun types. I can think of one particular sniper shot, in Afghanistan, which was over a mile! Even excellent shooters, however, typically lose effectiveness outside of a couple hundred yards, depending on the gun.
Like the shotgun, the rifle is a long gun. And like the handgun, the rifle has a twisted bore, called ‘rifling,’ which is were it gets its name. This twisting spins the bullet as it leaves the gun, giving increased accuracy and range vs smooth bored guns. The advent of rifling changed history, and the Kentucky Long Rifle, known for its accuracy and range, helped to win the revolutionary war.
Rifles, like handguns, (but unlike shotguns) shoot bullets, rather than shot (varied sizes of BBs) or slugs.
Like shotguns and handguns, rifles can have many different appearances. And, like shotguns and handguns, can vary in classification from single shot to fully automatic. Here are several examples of the variation between rifle appearances:
To the untrained eye, one might see in the top picture a military weapon, designed for the use in war. The second might be seen as a target shooting gun, or for use in shooting cans. The third, to the untrained eye, may look just like a standard hunting rifle.
But the truth is that the 3 guns above are all functionally identical. The top image has hundreds (or thousands) of dollars worth of extra ‘stuff’ on it to customize it for the owner, the second image is what one might call the “stock options” and the third has replaced the grips and stock with wood finished parts for a pleasant look (I prefer the wood look myself), but all 3 are semi-automatic, AR-15 rifles.
So we see that what a gun LOOKS like is far less important that what the media tells us. If we listened to the talking heads, the gun on top would be the most dangerous by far! But that, again, shows either the ignorance or the dishonesty of the agenda-driven media and the politicians pushing for “common-sense control measures.”
Next time I do an article like this, I’ll focus on ammunition types. Like guns, there are tens of thousands of ammunition types, but there are a handful of basic rules
No less than 3 times in my professional life, I’ve stood before the American Flag and raised my hand to a square, pledging the following:
I, JARED HARWARD, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God
The first was when I began my law enforcement career with the Federal Bureau of Invetsigation. The ceremony was small, and included my boss, my security director, and my wife. The second was upon completion of the police academy, and the photo is the thumbnail. Finally, I made the oath again when I began as a police officer. I intended to make the oath again when I worked to enter the Army, but my medical history turned that dream away (3 times…)
Oaths were never intended to be taken lightly. Historically, we have entire army’s being trusted to walk away from a lost battle with their arms, armor, and lives intact because of a vow to not use them against their victorious enemies. Christ warned that oaths not be taken with a ‘yea, yea’ attitude (flippantly). And I’ve never made that oath without first playfully, powerfully comprehending the meaning. I’ve included my loving wife in that decision: it was never made lightly.
Maybe I am understood to be overly dramatic when I talk the importance of politics, policy, and constitutional values. And maybe I am overly dramatic. But despite my being broken, and being out of law enforcement, my oath stands. There is no sunset on that oath.
I’ve always had a sober personality. This has lead me to the offending of many dear friends, the abandonment of many age appropriate fun times, and the missing of a substantial amount of well meant humor. I’ve yet to determine if that sobriety is a virtue or a vice. Surely both?
But losing sleep because the state of our nation, security, and culture is nothing new to me. I want you to know about this oath, as I think it helps to explain me, my actions, and my undoubtedly obnoxious posts on politics, policy, and culture.
I still emdeavor to keep my oath. I still strive to protect the constitution over and against any political party, candidate, or short term benefit.
I am distrustful of politicians. I am distrustful of social movements. But I trust the Constitution of the United States. I know what that document created: the most free nation ever to exist, and the environment that has raised more people out of poverty than history has ever known. Liberty and the constitution are irrevocably connected. The document is inspired by God and institutes the best government in world history. Is it perfect? No. But I don’t take laying the constitution aside lightly. I don’t take efforts to circumvent it lightly. I don’t take attempts to alter it without serious and sober cosmoderstion. I do favor an handful of amendments to the document, but believe that all alterations should be amendments, not abandonments.
That’s a bit more about BrokenDad.
I hope that’s helpful to knowing me, but more importantLy, I hope it gives you entertaining but important thoughts to consider.
In the course of discussing any topic, one must first begin by defining terms. Using our language, it’s no longer safe to assume that people, particularly those with different or opposing views, values, or principles, will inherently understand our terminology. Often dictionary terms are sufficient, but particularly when terms have changed over time, it’s critical for common understanding to explain our meanings. A perfect example, though not politically correct, is the word “gay.” If I post a Facebook update stating how gay I am, despite using a meaning pulled right from the dictionary, I’d have some confused family and friends (particularly my wife and kids), while I myself would be frustrated by every else’s stupidity: of course I mean I’m happy!
So allow me to define terminology:A democracy is a form of government werein each individual of society has equal political weight or equal voting power. Simply put, it means that every person gets 1 equal vote. Regardless of current dictionary definitions, it does not include representative governments, unless those representatives simply write laws, which are then placed to the people for direct voting.
A republic, on the other hand, is a representative form of government wherein representatives are selected by the people to represent them in government. These representatives may or may not be directly (or democratically) elected, but the representatives make the ultimate decisions of government: they write and vote on the laws.
Now having defined these things, let’s talk about our government. We (the United States) are NOT a democracy. I will explain, so please continue reading before you get your torch. In fact, there is not any aspect of the constitutionally outlined federal government that IS a democracy.
Why do the terms matter? Because democracies and republics aren’t the same. They are not equal in efficiency, nor in equity. They do not grant to the people the same level of Liberty.
But our society has conflated (deliberately or not) the two terms, believing that a republic is a form of democracy, and as a consequence our populous has become ignorant and complacent. This has lead to political devision. Worse, it has made common the belief that the American Constitution is nothing special, not spectacular, and even an outdated and out of place document. This is dangerous, but that is a conversation for another time.
So what did the founders want? The founders looked at multiple forms of government when re-evaluating our first confederacy. They looked at a monarchy, which was the standard of government at the time. They looked at limited monarchy, similar to England (in fact many principals of our government come directly from England’s government), they looked back into history and saw Greece’s democratic (little ‘d’) and Rome’s republican (little ‘r’) governments. They looked at the Anglo-Saxon tribal governments. And they realized that the best form of government for a free and liberated people was (and is) a republic. However, Rome’s example didn’t fit our needs. They specifically decried all of the examples of democracy; Madison called democracy “incompatible with personal security or the rights of property.” Jefferson called it “nothing more than mob rule.”
So the Founders recognized a clear distinction, if we are to understand our government, so must we.
Now we take a brief look at the federal and state governments of the United States, as I have said, there is not any part of our government that is, if we follow the constitution, democratic.
The majority of the constitution is spent in the creation of the congress. Apart from being the most complex portion of our federal government, it is clear that the constitution and its signers intended congress to be the greatest and most powerful portion of our government.
Congress is split into two sections (an idea taken from England) the House and the Senate (a concept of Rome). The house is representative of the people of each state, and is the closest thing we have to a democratic section of government at a federal level… But it’s not democratic. Why? Because each person has different weight in the voting process. My vote in Wyoming (if I lived there) would have greater weight than my vote in California (God forbid I live there: too many people). Thus, despite being similar to a democratically elected house, the House of Representatives is distinctly NOT a democracy.
Next the Senate, which, (until the 17th amendment) was filled, not by the vote of the people of the state, but rather by the vote of the state’s governments. Why? Because the senate is designed (or was designed) to represent the STATES, not the people of those states. Again, an important distinction. It’s a distinction that shows that the Founders desired to keep the new government similar to the original Articles of Confederation, keeping our various states (read: countries) confederated (or federated) together, but each being distinctly sovereign over its own polices.
The 17th amendment, which I would repeal given the chance, significantly muddied the original intent of the federal government, and made the senate little more than another House of Representatives. In neither the initial design, nor in the current design is the Senate democratically elected. Having 2 senators from each state means that a person’s vote in Wyoming has significantly more weight than a Californian’s: a distinctively un-democratic thing.
Next the Presidential Branch: the president is elected by electoral vote, rather than popular vote. Despite current desire to push for popular election of the president, it is important that the election process remains the way it is defined in the constitution. Why? Because the president is the leader of the STATES, not of the people of the states. He (or she) should be representing the states equally, not the people equally. This position is anti-democratic, if you will, and it defined the 2000 election, much to the chagrin of Al Gore.
And finally, and least of the three branches, is the judicial branch (but wait, jared: the branches are co-equal! No! Nowhere in the constitution will you find the words “co-equal branches of government” nor any language attempting to convey that idea. The constitution simply a declares that congress shall establish a Supreme Court. “Co-equal” is a term coined by, you guessed it, the Supreme Court! It is a perfect example of a branch of government commandeering the authority of another branch – a branch that is almost without fail the congress). the court is filled by appointed positions: clearly an anti-democratic concept. On further rant: the court cannot create law. It cannot write law. It cannot establish law. The constitution simply gives the court the authority to give an OPINION concerning law. Congress, according to the constitution, has the ultimate authority to decide constitutionality of law, not the Court.
So on the federal level, no part of our government is democratic. But what of the states? the constitution does not leave it to the states to be governed by democracy. The constitution declares that one of the few purposes of the federal government is to ensure that each of the States ha a republican form of government. Thus each had state must be, like the federal government, republican in design. Cities, townships, and counties could choose to be democratic, if their state’s constitution allowed; the constitution does not forbid democracy at that small scale.
In conclusion, when people say that we are a democracy: the correction is important, even if it is annoying. We are not a democratic nation, nor have we ever been, nor are we constitutionally allowed to be.
Democracy is contrary to freedom. Democracy is best (in my mind) represented by the symbols of the torch and pitchfork. Justice and liberty cannot live long in a democracy.