Pretend you’re at church for Morning Worship, or attending a crowded lecture, or watching Hollywood’s latest with a few hundred other fans. Suddenly, a SWAT team breaks down the door, submachine guns at the ready. Amid screams, their commander shouts, “Listen up! We’re gonna kill 10% of you — but the mayor was very clear that we gotta be fair about it. So, how ya wanna do this? Should we draw names out of a hat? Go through and shoot every tenth person? Maybe we oughta just work our way down from oldest and sickest until we get to 10%. Or ya want us to take volunteers first? I’m open to suggestions.”
When Robert Welch coined the phrase, "This is a republic, not a democracy, let's keep it that way," he made an important contribution to American political debate and understanding.
The Founding Fathers loathed democracy. The idea of unfettered majority vote was anathema to them. And that is why they constructed a Constitution that broke up government power into three separate branches —executive, legislative and judicial — and put strong restrictions on what the majority could do to the minority, and what the minority could do to the majority. The result was a constitutional republic, not a democracy. In a pure democracy, the majority has the power to destroy a minority.
Only 26 percent of the public approves of President Obama's handling of the economy in the latest Gallup poll, conducted Aug. 11-14, while a whopping 71 percent said they disapproved. That’s down from Obama’s previous low point of 35 percent on this top issue.
Dear Tea Partier,
These are indeed exciting times. Not much more than two-and-a-half years ago, the movement to which you have given life was nonexistent. Since its birth, you have succeeded in arresting the attention of the entire country while acquiring a well deserved reputation for being the most formidable grassroots entity in contemporary politics. At this juncture, at any rate, everyone — Republicans and Democrats; conservatives, libertarians, and “liberals”; “independents” and “moderates”; rightists and leftists — knows that you are a force with which they will have to reckon.
On May 31, 2011, I reached the age of 85. In other words I’ve lived through 85 summers, 85 winters, 85 springs. It may seem like a lot, but it’s not. 85 is not much of anything. What can you buy for 85 cents? What can you buy for 85 dollars? What is 85 compared to a national debt in the trillions? As the well-known saying goes, “Life is short.” Short, indeed. We should be living for hundreds of years, because it takes more than 85 years to become truly wise. But the good Lord decided that this short life is long enough, even though the Bible speaks of persons living hundreds of years.