Requiem For A Dream:
The Decline Of American Values
Living in the aftermath of the passage of Proposition
8, I am compelled to point out that most voters are misguided when it comes
to their critiques of the judges and the politicians who support overturning the
narrowly won constitutional amendment. After much reading of the blogosphere, Fox
News watching, and editorial surfing; I am amazed that at the core of this issue
is not merely a misunderstanding about what Proposition 8 is or is not, but
rather it is a gross failure by the majority to understand what our country is
and is not. In short: America is not and never has been a real democracy!
In churches and chat rooms across America these days, you can hear the claim
that "the majority" has spoken, and therefore only "anarchist liberals",
"militant gays" and "activist judges" would dare to challenge what "the
majority" has deemed to be fair in California. What the majority of people in
chat rooms and churches don't seem to understand is that our country is not that
simplified type of democracy; nor is that the vision our founding fathers had.
They saw democracy as another form of tyranny, and if they were alive today to
surf the net and watch screaming talk show hosts on Fox News describing our
country as a democracy, they would be saddened by the betrayal of their founding
Two of the most important documents of our nation, the Constitution and the
Declaration of Independence, speak not of a democracy, but rather another form
of government all together. Article IV, section 4, of the great American
Constitution, promises"...to every state of this union a Republican
form of government."
Furthermore, The Pledge of Allegiance, written in 1892, does not say to "the
democracy for which is stands" but rather to "the republic for which it
Our founding father, John Adams, described well the difference between a
democracy and a republic when he said, "You have rights antecedent to all
earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human
laws..." John Adams also said, "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon
wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did
not commit suicide."
So how does all of this hoity toity verbiage apply to today's voter in plain,
Well, let's turn the tables and pretend the gun hating liberals got together
to change the constitution against the minority of conservatives in the state. I
can most likely stand on corners in San Francisco, Hollywood, Santa Cruz and
Berkeley and get enough signatures in just one week to put a proposition on the
ballot barring all citizens in California from owning firearms. However, even if
it successfully passed, (which it probably would) the courts would be forced to
overturn it because it is unconstitutional.
That is one example of when it just wouldn't matter what the majority voted.
The majority would be wrong and the courts forced to correct it because we are
not a democracy; we are a constitutional republic. It wouldn't matter that the
gun haters would call the gun lovers "anarchists" or "Anti-Americans" when they
sought to over rule the passed state amendment. Despite anger from the gun
hating masses, the courts would still be obligated to enforce the constitution
of the republic, protecting the rights of the minority of gun lovers in
Seemingly, many voters are not savvy enough when it comes to civics
and American history. They simply trust their religious leaders and their
politicians and so easily forget that in America we follow a constitution, which
says "liberty and justice for ALL" and not "liberty and justice for the MAJORITY
or the CHRISTIANS". The true history of our country is one of an idealistic
people who were the escaped survivors of tyranny and they believed that
government should be a protector of inalienable human rights. Likewise,
our founding fathers made sure that nowhere in the constitution was there a
suggestion of the government being a granter of rights by way of a
Here's the question: are Americans merely uneducated about the difference
between a republic and a democracy? Or have we as a country changed, and now we
aspire to be the type of tyranny our ancestors feared, where a congress can do
anything it can convince a majority of voters to do? Listening to the chatter of
"the majority", I am afraid it may be the latter.
As for me, I will continue to pledge allegiance to the republic!
Originally posted: 2009-MAR-01
Latest update: 2009-MAR-01