I continue to hear it. It may not be hyperbole this time. Have you heard it? It is being emphatically stated, “This is the most important election of our lifetime!”
What is at stake in this election may be far different than what most people think. What I believe is at stake is whether the United States will continue to be a Republic or devolve into a democracy.
Look closely at the United States 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.”
It clearly states that our nation is a Republic, not a Democracy. Do you understand the difference?
A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution).
A Democracy is direct government ruled by the majority (51 percent).
A Republic’s primary concern is recognizing and protecting the inalienable rights of individuals through the Rule of Law.
A Democracy’s primary concern is recognizing and promoting the desires and needs of the majority, often referred to as “Majority Rule.”
Why does that matter?
Have you asked;
- Why does there seem to be one set of rules for the political class and another set of rules for the rest of us?
Answer: “Quid Pro Quo” – its Latin meaning is “This for That.” When we ignore the Rule of Law and allow Majority Rule, the 51 percent of citizens make a trade with those they elected as politicians. The citizens in the majority receive “this,” favors and special consideration from the politicians they elect. In exchange “for that,” the political class is not held to the same Rule of Law that the rest of us are.
- Why do people riot, destroy businesses, tear down monuments, terrorize neighborhoods and even kill people with seeming impunity?
Answer: In a Democracy, if the majority in power believes the motives and intentions of those breaking the law are justified, the destructive actions are allowed to continue. The minority’s rights are not considered to be morally equivalent. The opposite is true in a Republic. If the rule of law is violated in a Republic, the people responsible for violating the law are held accountable without regard to motives or good intentions. All individuals are held to the same standards within the law.
A Republic and a Democracy are two dissimilar forms of government that are absolutely hostile to one another, and yet, most citizens in the United States use the terms as if they were interchangeable. They are not.
Democracies are turbulent and contentious. In a pure democracy, the 51 percent rules the 49 percent. When the 51 percent exercise their power over the 49 percent, the minority has no rights other than those given to them by the majority in power. The lack of legal safeguards for the rights of those in the minority is a primary reason that Democracies most often self-destruct into chaos and dictatorship.
The Founding Fathers understood the difference between a Republic and a Democracy
The Founding Fathers understood the difference between a Republic and a Democracy and argued against a Democracy. The Electoral College, for example, was a compromise between the leaders who wanted a majority (51 percent) of the citizens to elect the President and the leaders who wanted Congress to select the President. The Founding Fathers understood that if the majority elected the President, it could lead to the majority – the 51 percent, limiting the rights of the minority – the 49 percent. If Congress selected the President, it was argued, it would lead to an elite ruling class ignoring the will of the people. The Electoral College was created as the antidote to limit almost certain corruption of the two options for electing a President of the United States.
In a Republic, the Rule of Law protects the rights of every individual equally. Changing the Rule of Law in a Republic was intentionally designed to be a slow, deliberate process that required debate and deliberation. It allows for orderly change by the majority of the citizens while protecting the rights of the minority.
In this election, the preservation of the Republic itself is on ballot.
Have you heard? “This is the most important election of our lifetime!”
What is at stake in this election is whether the U.S. citizens will elect leaders who will maintain our Republic or if they will choose leaders who will advocate for the United States to be a Democracy. We cannot have both forms of government. The choice in this election will determine the type of country our kids and grandkids grow up in.
I hope you will take this election seriously. Do not leave the decision for others to decide. There really is a lot at stake.
Please register to Vote. Then please VOTE!!!
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Mark Harris is the Founder and CEO of 4Tucson, a catalyst to mobilize Christians in Tucson to help solve the city’s toughest problems.