Authored by William Robert Barber
We Americans have been taught to revere democratic ideals and to unquestioningly believe that the government of the United States is a democratic-republic. We were taught to believe in the moral principle of majority rule, that one-man-one-vote was the cornerstone of democracy, that the nation’s elected mimicked the political conscience of the founders, that representatives of the people were statesmen of repute, and that governmental power was subjected to the constitutional system of check and balance. And above and beyond any other American belief, we were taught to believe that this nation was a nation of laws, not one of men.
When I reached fifty I stopped smelling the roses and grew up; my understanding of the world matured. Such a development did not come upon me as a shocking bright light but rather as a dimness that cultivated into brightness over a very long time. Certain realizations emitted themselves from the once vague and disinteresting into the unavoidable palpable. Confrontations with reality, usually in the form of business opportunities, were thrust before me, clarification preceded illumination, the knowledge attained budded into enlightenment. Upon engagement I was astonished to discover; no matter the size or type of business, be it insurance, gaming, payments, entertainment, governments, businesses private or public… no matter the spoken language or the geographic domicile, these commonalities persisted: I found business sagacity abysmally low grade, certainly, insufficient when measured against the task, leadership was either absent, misaligned, perverted, or corrupted. I also noted a prevailing congenital ethos that virally induced corporate leadership into a state of cognitive insensitivity. In other words, management suffered from an unwillingness to think beyond precedence; consequently, management was unable to analyze their present reality. Arrogant-pretense substituted cognitive sensibility; subterfuge subverted good sense and the able were pushed out as unfair competition.
Most significantly I learned that while serving as a Sergeant in the Marines I could have lost the Vietnam War — there was no need for me to graduate from Yale or Harvard to lose the war. So long ago I established a credo: the value is measured by the definitive result. Not shiny objects, the fanciful, the education or rank that one attained, nor the eloquence of one’s style; I learned that performance had to be so profound it could not be denied.
Now indulge me and revisit my first paragraph, scan the second, and compare what I discovered in the world of business juxtaposed the United States Congress in the place of business. Note the congressional application of the constitution contrasted to the founders’ contextual meaningfulness. Review government spending — not just our recent waste of cash but government spending since President Kennedy. Compare the trillions spent on education, social services, military goods, wars, the nonsensical and ridiculous; the investigation will evidence a cause to prosecute. But instead many citizens don’t even vote!
The present administration will not apply majority rule to the 2nd amendment; instead it wishes to diminish its meaning. Public referendums are reversed by the courts. One man, one-vote…, well, how did ACORN, unions, and Democratic Party vote gathers manage that hallmark of democracy? Interestingly, voting places are described in multiple languages but citizenship requires an understanding of English. If the language of the candidates when declaring their political agenda is in English, why is the voting format in Spanish? The modern electoral process is not about the voter understanding the issues; it is all about partisan fulfillment on Election Day.
The Founders and elected representatives of repute be damned; the elected (regardless of party) with few exceptions embrace two goals, the attainment or retaining of power Politics is not a craft of statesmanship; it is the application of persuasion. By hook or crook, politics is committed to the building of voter consensus not necessarily to the will or interest of the people.
The system of check and balance has been eroded by the over-stepping of the judiciary, the abhorrent neglect of legislative responsibilities (such as reading a bill before voting and for flagrant truancy) by both houses of congress; but, the principal abuser since Lincoln has been the executive branch. We are no longer a nation of laws but one of presidential degrees, executive discretion, regulator-designed definitive directives and mandates. The day-to-day operations of the United States government are managed by committees, unelected congressional staff, and lobbyists.
A democratic republic requires an enlightened and engaged electorate; in contrast to an enlightened electorate we have: Voters who have monetarily less, vote for the politician that promises to give them more, and those that have more vote to protect what they have secured. Liberty and freedom along with the ethos of self-reliance and the philosophical ideals of individualism have been denigrated and slandered by the charm of the progressives’ utopia of fairness. The charade of “establishing a level playing field” is a consistent promise that less the theoretical is impossible to implement. Then there is the conceptual myth that wealth distribution is a measure of justice and therefore morally justified. And of course there is always the progressives’ “go to,” the mythos ruse utilized when truth-telling is inconvenient, the well-worn socialist-Leninist distortion, class warfare, and the populous instigation thereof.
I do believe that one could discern that the governance of a democratic republic by the people, in the interest of the nation, is unattainable; at least, as perceived to be enacted by NOT betraying the meaningfulness of the constitution. But then of course I could be wrong…