March 9, 2010
Before we delve into this let’s establish a basis in definition:
Federal (as described in Blacks Law Dictionary Seventh Edition) is: “Of
or relating to a system of associated governments with a vertical division
of governments into national and regional components having different
responsibilities; esp., of or relating to the national government of the
• Republic (Blacks Law Dictionary Seventh Edition) is: “A system of government in which the people hold sovereign power and elect representatives who exercise that power.”
• Democracy literally means "rule by the people” or rule of the majority. Blacks Law Dictionary, Seventh Edition, describes democracy as: “Government by the people, either directly or through representatives.”
We hear from our elected leaders, nearly on a daily basis, their support for democracy, how they wish to spread democracy, or support the growth of democracy to other nations. In fact, and in operation, republics and democracies are antithetic to each other. Republics operate under the rule of law, democracies rule under the operation of law (mob rule). James Madison said:
“Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.”
From the creation of our republic, the only democratic mechanism was how we chose our leaders. Over time we have slowly slipped into legislation by polling where those who desire political power care only to get elected or reelected and to maintain the status quo. We are now more a social democracy than we are a republic. The social democracy rules by what the majority want and can be swayed by fad and political manipulation. Regardless of how you look at democracy it is a collectivist view (what is best for the whole) even at the peril of the minority. Whereas a republic, under the rule of law, protects the minority from the majority.
A pure democracy is one in which the majority rules. Everyone in town votes to build a new park. That sounds good, and everyone can benefit from it. But wait! What if they want to take your house and land to build the new park? Now it’s the whole town voting for the new park and just you voting against it. In a democracy you lose, end of story.
In a republic, we operate under the rule of law that protects the minority from the majority. For most things, under our democratically elected representatives, the majority vote for laws. The main difference is there are certain things that cannot be done away with, period. In our system those things are enclosed within the Constitution and more specifically the bill of rights, which tells the government you may go this far and no further. This is the line in the sand that you cannot cross. In this way, regardless of what the majority wants, the rights of ALL are equally protected. The function of the Bill of Rights is to enumerate a minimum set of rights against which the government cannot trespass.
You will notice that nowhere in the Constitution is the word democracy used; however Article 4, Section 4 states, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…” The writers wanted to ensure that the destructive and factious Democracy would not get a foothold in our government.
Throughout the Constitution there is a balance between the collectivist and the individualist position. The Collectivist view, simply stated, is that the government can have a free reign in what it does as long as it can be shown that it is for the greater good of the country. The individualist view, by contrast, defends the minority from the whim of the majority.
Another major difference between the collectivist and individualist is that of personal responsibility. The collectivist believes that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one. They believe there is some responsibility to provide to those who have not, what I call the Robin Hood syndrome. The individualist, on the other hand, believes a man is responsible for his or her own choices, and should be held responsible for those choices. The problem comes with enactment. I may personally give thousands of dollars each year to charity; but however, I reserve the right to not give should my personal circumstances change. Who is best to determine these circumstances other than myself? However, if I am not given a choice as to who I will support by my labor and earnings then I am being forced into mandated welfare, and back to a collectivist view of government.
Mandated welfare from the state is legalized thievery, nothing less. The individualist will argue, “What right do you have to take what I have worked so hard to obtain to give to someone who does not work for it?” The collectivist will argue that we are all a part of the whole and by strengthening the weakest part, the whole is made better. I would argue that this is debatable. Any system that rewards failure, idleness, or poor choices in life, will have little incentive to correct it. To have a government provide health care, food, housing, education etc. to a sector of the population other than those who have worked to earn it, builds resentment by both parties. Those who have worked for what they have will look down on others who have received the benefit without working for it. The recipient of the government handout will not value what he has been given because he did not earn it. The public housing schemes in our major cities are proof of this. Individually owned houses, built during the same timeframe as welfare housing, are still in great shape and have increased in value, while the welfare housing is scheduled for demolition. Why is that? Could it possibly be that the tenants of the welfare housing do not care for the property, because it is not theirs? They did not pay for it, and they are not going to spend their money on something they do not own or pay for. It is common human nature, and no amount of welfare is going to change that.
My career has allowed me the opportunity to live many years overseas under various political structures. While living in Scotland, a beautiful country with fantastic people, I had the opportunity to know many people who lived on the dole (state welfare) which provided food, housing, money, and utilities.
Many of these people had been receiving these entitlements for years and when asked why they were on it for so long responded that when they factor in child care, transportation costs, the cost of getting into a new flat (apartment which was probably sub standard the government housing), their standard of living would decrease. But this is the collective mindset to provide the basic necessities of society to those who do not earn it on the backs of those that do. By doing so we do not only lift up the poor in society we bring down the producers and end up creating a segment of society that finds it much easier to live on the graces of society than it is to overcome the burdens. Thus creating a class within our society that will always vote for the status quo so as to not jeopardize that which is provided for them.
One item of the balance of power in our system of government that was designed into the Constitution was that of representation. Within the Congress we have two houses; the House of Representatives and the Senate. This system allowed for the representation of the People (the House) and the state (the Senate).
the Senate members were appointed by the state legislatures to represent
the state. In 1913, the same year that gave us the Federal Reserve and
the Income Tax, the Constitution was amended, by the 18th Amendment, to
change state representation to that of a popular vote.
Now instead of the states being represented by THEIR representatives the people of the state, in a popular election, choose the senators thus expanding the people’s representation and eliminating the states representation.
Now the collectivist will point out that the state is represented because the only people voting are citizens of the state but that is exactly what the House of Representatives is for NOT the Senate. By removing the state’s ability to appoint their own representatives they now loose the ability to recall that representative should they decide to vote contrary to the desire of the state and places them more under party control rather than the state.
Once placed in office under the current voting scheme the senator becomes beholden to the party and that parties war chest for reelection rather than to the state as an appointed representative. This again provides more power to the federal machine and removes power from the states where it was originally intended.
So now that the state is virtually without representation, as they have no sway over how the Senators vote, the taxes placed on the state are done so without proper representation. The congressional power has thus slipped a degree from republic to democracy and inch by inch the central power grows stronger and more aloof from those it supposedly represents.
Speaking specifically of congressional authority, as stated in Article 1 Section 8, there are numerous examples where the congress has either given up its constitutional responsibilities or has passed laws that have stepped outside the bounds of its authority. In some cases, amendments to bills have been tacked on to unrelated legislation or have simply been unread by the body of the legislature. In either case they were either complicit in their actions or negligent in their duties by voting for laws they have not read. We have heard many times how ignorance of the law is no excuse, or more correctly, is no defense. Why is it that those that create the law are not required to know the laws they vote upon?
With the massive attempts of expanding the federal government taking place today, the enormous size of the bills being passed, or trying to get passed, and the arrogance of those in power to want to pass these bills without being read is criminal. These men and women swore and oath to protect and defend the Constitution; so how, pray tell, can they uphold that oath if they are attempting to pass bills they have not read or know whether or not what they are passing is constitutional?
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Ronald Reagan once said, “…man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” The more government expands its powers into our daily lives the less real freedom we will have.
© 2010 Michael LeMieux - All Rights Reserved
LeMieux was born in Midwest City, Oklahoma in 1956 and graduated from
Weber State University in Utah with a degree in Computer Science. He served
in both the US Navy and US Army (Active duty and National Guard) and trained
in multiple intelligence disciplines and was a qualified paratrooper.
He served with the 19th Special Forces Group, while in the National Guard,
as a Special Forces tactical intelligence team member. He served tours
to Kuwait and Afghanistan where he received the Purple Heart for injuries
received in combat.
Mr. LeMieux left military duty at the end of 2005 after being medically discharged with over 19 years of combined military experience. He currently works as an intelligence contractor to the US government.
Michael is a strict constitutionalist who believes in interpreting the constitution by the original intent of the founding fathers. His research has led him to the conclusion that the republic founded by the Constitution is no longer honored by our government. That those who rule America today are doing so with the interest of the federal government in mind and not the Citizens. Michael believes that all three branches of government have strayed far from the checks and balances built into the Constitution and they have failed the American people. A clear example is the Second Amendment, which the Supreme Court and the founders have all said was an individual right and could not be "infringed" upon, now has more than 20,000 state and federal laws regulating every aspect of the individuals right, a definite infringement. He has traveled around the world living in 14 States of the Union including Hawaii, and visited (for various lengths of time) in Spain, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea, Scotland, Pakistan, Mauritius, Somalia, Diego Garcia, Australia, Philippines, England, Italy, Germany, and Puerto Rico.
Michael now lives in Nebraska with his wife, two of his three children, Mother-in-Law and grandchild. His hobbies include shooting, wood-working, writing, amateur inventor and scuba diving when he can find the time.
Contact Michael through his Website: www.constitutiondenied.com