Sunday, October 23, 2011

Democratic, Constitutional Republic

So…I was struck when reading Liberty Defined by Ron Paul.  I read his chapter on Democracy and learned more than I did in both High School Civics/Free Enterprise and College Political Science.  I have always known that America is a Constitutional Republic (Constitution-based federal republic with a strong democratic tradition), but I didn’t know what that really was until now.  I will blame my ignorance and lacking political motivation for this one though.  The information was probably lectured to me or in the readings, but I didn’t really care to know.  Now I care.  Funny how that happens huh?

Democracy – Law is up for grabs based on political maneuvering and majority rule.
Republic – Appointment of leaders and the administration of laws.

We elect our representatives to advance the will of the people (Democracy) and we have officials in place to uphold the law and ensure the compliance of those laws with the constitution (Republic).  I think this is a fair definition.  The majority can be wrong and the officials are there to ensure liberty for all (not just for the majority – slavery for example).  However, if the majority wants something that would not infringe upon the rights of the other citizens, then majority rule is not a bad thing.

Ron Paul stated that, “governments have nothing to pass out, since they produce nothing.”  Therefore, when the majority wants to steal from the rich to support the poor, it is infringing upon the rights of the rich.  These sorts of policies are not part of a republic because the leaders are not protecting all of the people, just the majority.

Just a thought.

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