The United States is NOT a Democracy

No, the United States is not a democracy. And that is a good thing.

The nation has been in a bit of a political pickle of late and it would be much worse were we a democracy.

I expect this requires some explanation. You see, our nation is a republic. A democracy and a republic are different animals, and the founding fathers of America had the sense to pick the right animal.

In a democracy, the majority rules. Decisions are made by everyone voting and believing the majority will make correct decisions – or at least the decisions the most people agree with.

Ancient Greece is often pointed to as an example of pure democracy. It was one man, one vote, and majority rules. Notice that it was only men. And it also was only men of certain propertied status. In reality, it was a rather narrow version of democracy.

Another example of “pure” democracy is the old New England town hall meeting. Everyone in a quaint little village would gather in the town hall (or perhaps the church, I hate to tell you) and vote on the important issues of the day.

That would seem to be democracy at its best. In fact, the closer to the people a decision is being made, the better democracy works. So, folks in a little village can decide on which day to have the annual pumpkin festival or whether to pool their money to put a new coat of paint on city hall.

This isn’t to say that democracy can’t go bad locally. The majority of the village could vote to take farmer Green’s land because they want to make a park and his land has the prettiest trees – in addition to most people not liking farmer Green because he is mean and grumpy.

When expanded to a state or national level, democracy gets dangerous, which is why the smart guys in the beginning of America designed the country as a republic.  A republic is different because the people in various districts choose people to represent them. They choose people they believe will represent their interests and make wise decisions.

Voters trust those representatives because there is built into the US Constitution a system of checks and balances. There are three branches of government, and each requires the cooperation of the other: executive, legislative, judicial.

The executive branch (the President and about a million people who work for him) requires consent to its actions of the other branches or it becomes a dictatorship. We have seen some ugly hints of dictatorship in recent months.

The legislative branch is charged with making laws to benefit the people. The House is, as least theoretically, the closest to the people and generates most of the effort to tax and spend. The Senate, originally elected by state legislators, does an immense amount of debating and, at least theoretically, makes sure the rights of the states are not trampled.

The founders didn’t want the most populous states to lord it over the small states. And to be honest, that remains a threat today. I, for one, do not want New York, California, Illinois, and Michigan to determine whether I can raise chickens in my backyard.

The judicial branch at the highest level makes sure the other two branches don’t do anything that violates the Constitution. As we have seen, what does and does not violate the Constitution can be open to a good deal of interpretation.

The system looks a bit complicated and is not the speediest way to get things done. THAT IS THE POINT!

Legislation is supposed to face a long and difficult path with heaps of analysis and examination of all possible plusses and minuses. If Congress wants to revamp the health care system or spend multi-trillion dollars on green energy initiatives, it ought to take a long time and receive plenty of input from everyone who is likely to gain or lose. At a minimum, legislators and citizens alike should have ample time to read and analyze a proposed law – especially if it is hundreds of pages long and might contain a bit of partisan mischief.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about a national emergency that really, truly, requires immediate action. An example would be missiles on the way from China or a zombie apocalypse. Other than that, most problems we face are things there is time to talk about.

I often hear some version of “we live in a democracy and the majority should rule.” Well… not exactly. In such a world, 51 percent of the people could vote to take all the wealth of the other 49 percent. Such an action would violate a host of Biblical and natural laws.

That’s why America’s founders wrote a Constitution based on law, with a good deal of common sense thrown in. It is a Constitution designed to protect the people from a tyrannical government, not a roadmap of what the people should do to serve the state.

You may sometimes feel frustrated that the government isn’t getting more done. Perhaps you should be grateful.

Hollywood Welcomes Woke

No Time to Die opens in theaters this week.

It is the latest James Bond movie and the last of the genre in which Daniel Craig will portray 007.

The release of a new Bond gets lots of folks excited. But what may be more stimulating is the debate over who will be the NEXT James Bond, in light of Craig’s decision to park his Aston Martin.

It also will inspire debates over which actor was the best and worse Bond. I’m torn between Craig and Roger Moore.

In today’s Woke world, we’re seeing demands for the next James Bond to be a more divers, inclusive character.  Put another way, some people want him to be something different that a white, male, Brit, woman-chasing, alcoholic, smoker. That leaves me shaken, not stirred.

So… making him something else, say an Asian, lesbian, vegetarian contradicts his character.  That isn’t to say that Hollywood couldn’t make a movie about an Asian, lesbian, vegetarian secret-service agent – just not James Bond.

Daniel Craig appears to agree with my viewpoint but who knows what will happen. However, if they change James Bond into Jessica Bond, they will have to do many more character-altering movies.

I offer a few suggestions:

  • Riana Hood, Princess of Thieves.
  • Juliana and Juliette.
  • Sleeping Handsome.
  • Sam Black and the Seven Pixies.
  • Andy of a Thousand Days.
  • All the President’s Persons.
  • The Princely Diaries.
  • Harry Poppins.
  • Joey of Arc.
  • The Legend of Daisy Crochet.

I know, these all sound ridiculous. My concern is Hollywood might make them and be rewarded with Academy Awards.

Down With Drag

Let me admit at the start that I have trouble thinking of anything sillier than a reading at the school or library by a drag queen.

I know, I know… I’m an old-fashioned guy in some respects. I would never consider dressing up as a woman unless it was as a joke.

I remember attending a comedy play a few years ago that featured a character who played several characters, some of whom were women.  When he played a female character, he put a mop on his head. It was funny.A guy dressing up like a woman and reading to little kids is, well, rather disgusting. I assume the library and school officials who host this sort of nonsense believe they are striking an enlightening blow for gender fluidity. It seems there are many folks today who believe a child should not be labeled male or female at birth but be allowed to make a choice later… and apparently some parents are OK with this.

I’m both a dad and a grandparent and have considerably experience changing diapers and giving baths. I never had any trouble determining whether the child I was caring for was a boy or a girl. A DNA test will prove it beyond any doubt, but I didn’t need advanced chemistry to see that my son is a boy and my daughter is a girl.

But there are lunatics that bring in the drag queens, not for a laugh but to show kids that they have options.

This is just plain stupid. But if it is going to continue, I think there are other groups that should demand equal opportunity to read to little one. To shorten the list of possibilities, I’ll limit myself to groups that dress up for work or pleasure.

  • Dads who have been married to the same woman for at least 10 years and have at least two children.
  • The league champions of Irish Hurling.
  • The toughest Hell’s Angels male bikers available.
  • Irish priests who remind you of Bing Crosby in Bells of St. Mary’s.
  • Old, smelly, fishermen wearing vests and caps advertising bait or tackle.
  • Traffic cops from Alabama and Georgia with crew cuts and mirror sunglasses.
  • Burly Chicago firemen in full gear.
  • Marine drill sergeants with voices like Sam Elliott.
  • Cowboy for whom John Wayne is the role model.
  • Strongly heterosexual Navy Seals.

I could go on. The important thing is if we are going to bring in readers who are at least somewhat confused about their gender identity, we need to bring in folks who have a clear vision of who they are.

As far as I’m concerned, if a school or library is going to hold up some guy in lipstick and pantyhose as an option, the kids ought to see a real man as well.