Recently I read the book, One Nation, written by Ben Carson, MD. I found the book to be compelling and very well written. The subtitle is “What we can all do to save America’s future.” It made me think about our form of government here in the U.S.A.
If I were to ask , “What is the form of government here in the United States of America?” I’ll bet the most common response would be, “We have a democracy.” But that answer is incorrect. What we have is a republic. Remember the pledge of allegiance? “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
So, what is the difference between a republic and a democracy? As a side note, it’s interesting to note that our two main political parties are Republicans and Democrats. A very simplistic answer is that in a Republic the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people, either directly or through representatives chosen by the people. In a Democracy the sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens. For example if a count of votes shows 51% acceptance of a proposal, the minority must abide by the dictates of the majority.
The Constitution guarantees every state a Republican form of government. Article 4, Section 4; “No state may join the United States unless it is a republic.” Liberty and justice for all is our right. The people have natural rights instead of civil rights. One vote in a jury can stop all of the majority from depriving any one of the people of his rights. This would not be so in a democracy. A democracy is the dictatorship of the majority.
Our inspired form of government requires an educated citizenry. An uneducated citizenry can easily fall prey to unscrupulous, slick politicians. Dr. Ben Carson states in his book, One Nation; “In 1831 Alexis de Tocueville came to America to study this country. The Europeans were fascinated. How could a fledgling nation, barely 50 years old already be competing with them of virtually every level? This was impossible. De Tocueville was going to sort it out. He looked at our government and he was duly impressed by the three branches of government – four now because we have special interest groups, but it was only three back in those days. He said, “WOW, this is really something,” and then he said, “but let me look at their education system,” and he was blown away. You see, anybody who had finished the second grade was completely literate. He could find a mountain man on the outskirts of society who read the newspaper and could have a political discussion….could tell him how the government worked.” Dr Carson went on to say that he read a copy of a sixth-grade exit exam from the 1800s. It was a test you had to pass to get your sixth grade certificate. He surmised many of today’s college graduates would not pass that test. The point is that for our system of government to work we must understand it. ” Our form of government was designed for a well-informed educated populace.”
The U.S has been called the “Great Experiment in self government.” This experiment is to answer the question, “Can self-governing people coexist and prevail over government agencies that have no authority over the People?’ The U.S. is a mixture of a Republic and a Democracy. The people enjoy their God-given natural rights in the Republic and enjoy only government granted privileges (civil rights) of a democracy.
I believe we have “dummed down” our educational system to the lowest common denominator. We need doctors, scientists and engineers involved in our political system. Right now we have too many attorneys both Republicans and Democrats who have been trained to win by hook or crook. We need an educational system that fosters doctors, engineers and scientists who can serve the people in our Republic. Thomas Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
for now, Earlynn’s just sayin’ “Education is the key to maintaining our republic. Our citizens can only support our form of government when and if we understand it’s unique ability to serve.”
To order your copy of Earlynn’s book, Transformed, just click on the above link to order your copy. Thank you! Gloria! In Excelsis! Deo!