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Requiem For A Dream: The Decline Of American Values

by john robertson (writer), Minneapolis, MN, January 18, 2009

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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?

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 vision.

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 stands."

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a democracy and a republic when he said, "You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws..."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, simple English?

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 California. 

Seemingly, many voters are not savy 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 democratic rule.

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!



About the Writer

john robertson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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10 comments on Requiem For A Dream: The Decline Of American Values

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By D. E. Carson on January 18, 2009 at 09:27 pm

Actually, a state ban on gun ownership would be overruled by the FEDERAL Constitution.  In all cases federal trumps state every time -- which is why dope smoking hippies in California are still guilty of DEA violations when they grow, buy, sell, possess or partake of marijuana even if it is for medical purposes only.

So why exactly hasn't the California state marijuana laws been challenged? (And for Category Five's benefit: it's probably because too many liberals are under the influence of drugs and can't think clearly anyway).

HAVE FUN!!!

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By D. E. Carson on January 18, 2009 at 09:36 pm

Now on a more serious note:  teachers are too busy teaching to the standardized tests to actually have time to expound on the origins of a democratic republic.  Therefore, students are not being taught civics in school.  Additionally, liberals don't want such things taught in school because they know that if children are given too much information they will ask questions and as far as liberals are concerned, questions are a bad thing.  When students ask questions, they aren't being good little socialists and just blindly accepting what teachers are teaching.  When students ask questions, they begin to find out things like how America is a democratic republic and how Congress is really supposed to work instead of being bought and paid for by ultra left-wing radicals like George Soros.

I'm just waiting for Obama's first week in office.  He promised to close Gitmo on his first day and I hear bookies in Vegas already have 6:1 that he won't do it.  I hear the odds are a little better that it won't happen by the end of the week and that it's a whopping 22:1 that it won't happen before February 1.  No one has dared go to the end of the first term yet.

If I had any money (thank you Barney Frank and Chris Dodd) I'd put some down on how quickly Obama gets our troops out of Iraq even though there is already a plan in place to do just that -- hammered out last fall by the Prime Minister of Iraq and some guy living in the White House...

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By D. E. Carson on January 19, 2009 at 03:10 pm

I take offense at your claim that I hate liberals.  I don't hate liberals.  I just think that most of them are misguided fools who don't have the sense to come in out of the rain.

As for, "the majority of Americans are liberal", who's making broad generalizations without anything to back it up now?  You bash me for making comments and scream at me for not using facts to back them up then you go an pop off a crock of crap like that.    YOU HYPOCRITE! 

Just because liberal Democrats control both houses of Congress and the White House doesn't mean the majority of Americans are liberal.  It just means a majority of people voted for them.  I know a lot of misguided conservative Republicans who voted for Obama just like I know a lot of liberal Democrats who voted for John McCain.  I would rather like to believe that people vote for the person they think will do the better job.  It's not their fault that the liberal media in this country painted a false and misleading picture of Obama -- but every election has it consequences.

Don't ever try and call me on anything anymore -- you just lost that right.

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By john robertson on January 20, 2009 at 12:34 am

Dear D.E.,

I am not sure why you clarified that the ban on guns would be overturned by the federal constitution when that is exactly what my article pointed out; just as proposition 8 must be overturned by the federal constitution.

My article was about two things only, and nothing else. First, that America is not a pure democracy, and secondly; a majority of Americans may not vote away the constitutional rights of a minority.

My article is not about bizarre, angry, paranoid left wing conspiracy theories or about public education. I hope this helps to clear up your confusion.

However, I do feel compelled to point out that it isn't teachers in school telling everybody that "the majority has spoken and the militant gays must accept it." It is seemingly educated, conservative political talk show hosts who are repeating this hog wash to their listening audience. Too bad they do not understand civics and government as well as you and I.

Oh well. That's propbably some liberal teacher's fault too.

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By D. E. Carson on January 20, 2009 at 12:36 am

You're right to not hold your breath.  You ain't gettin' it.   You took your so-called facts out of a book written by a known liberal.  Alterman's blog "Altercation" was hosted by MSNBC -- the most liberally bent of all of NBC's news division and is now hosted by Media Matters -- another ultra-left wing liberal wack job of an organization.  Even his entry on Wikipedia (which I rarely, if ever, give any legitimacy to) calls him "a liberal American journalist" among other things.  Furthermore, how is it that many of the same polls that Alterman quoted in the exerpt you posted were the same polls showing McCain winning more often than Obama?

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By john robertson on January 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Wow! That post almost brought a tear to my eye. I am impressed. Thanks, Craig B.

My grandmother had lung cancer. When she was sick there was no such thing as legalized medical marijuana in our state. My grandmother suffered terribly, and she decided that due to her poor chances of survival at the age of 75, she did not want to fight and make her last days even worse than she was experiencing.

In tears, my family went to her doctor and asked him to help us convince her to fight. The doctor, a very kind African American man, closed his door and told us he wanted to speak to us very frankly. He said that he is not encouraging us to do anything we find morally offensive, nor is he telling us to break any laws, "But," he said, "If this were my mother I would buy some marijuana and make her comfortable at home." He explained that marijuana would ease her and even give her an appetite. My aunt, who was a devout Christian, was opposed to this and told us she could not in good faith participate, but she agreed to let us make our own decision about how we cared for her. My brother, a non-medical marijuana pot smoker, went home with me and we cooked up marijuana into different recipes and fed it to my grandmother. The last few weeks, my brother and my grandmother smoked marijuana together and laughed about it (my grandmother had never tried marijuana) and spent quality time together.

I am grateful to that doctor for going out on a limb and telling us about this option that we never would have thought of, nor would most medical professionals felt safe enough to share with us at that time in California. I strongly support an individual's right, and a family's right, to make end of life decisions. I feel strongly that should include treatment options, or refusal of treatment. I feel government should respect the great American constitution built by our wise founding fathers and stay out of all of our personal affairs.(Marriage beds, gun cabinets, sick beds).

I am glad that we can give medicine to our sick and suffering in this state, and I am glad that your wife has access to that medicine. I hope she fights hard and wins.

I send you both, and your family, much love, hugs, and positive energy.

John R.

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By Brian on January 25, 2009 at 03:20 pm

That article regarding medical marijuana in California was misinterpreted by Morgana. Please go back and read the article. All that article says is that the US Supreme Court affirmed by declining to review the case is that LOCAL and STATE law enforcement officers cannot arrest people for violating the federal statute outlawing marijuana. It is still a FEDERAL crime to possess, grow, distribute, sell or smoke pot just as it always has been. The DEA (which is a federal law enforcement agency) still has full authority to arrest offenders. Nice try!

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By points west on January 26, 2009 at 04:49 pm

Well, I interpreted that recent Supreme Court ruling as a state’s rights issue.  Based on that recent ruling upholding states rights, the Feds can no longer go into states that have legalized say marijuana, and arrest someone for possessing pot.  That is now unconstitutional.  The DEA cannot enforce in states that have legalized pot.  The DEA does not have that authority.  They never did.  The Supreme Court knew that.  The state police that were harassing and arresting people in states that have legalized pot need to get over it.  The propaganda has proved wrong over the last 40 years.  Pot’s less harmful than booze or even cigarettes.  The alleged stigma of pot is just not real.

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By Lucy Ong on January 26, 2009 at 08:00 pm

Call or e-mail the White House and tell Obama’s staff that our new President must honor his campaign pledge not to use Justice Department resources to circumvent state medical marijuana laws and for him to comply with the referenced Supreme Court ruling affirming state’s their right to legalize marijuana or not.

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