Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bye Bye Miss American Pie ...
Will November 2, 2004 be the day the Republic died?

Americans will take to the polls on Nov. 2 to cast their votes. What's at stake though is greater than a Presidency, it's the very foundation of which our society has been built. Not in all our history, since our founding fathers signed into being the Declaration of Independence, have the ideals of Liberty and Freedom come under such threat.

The Republic (i.e. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic...") was conceived in this country on July 4, 1776. It was by no means perfect, but it was a start. On May 14, 1787 the Federal Convention met in Philadelphia at Independence Hall. It was then that they revised the Articles of Confederation to include the Constitution of the United States. During this time there was much debate amongst the Statesman regarding the protection of civil liberties. On September 25, 1789 the Bill of Rights was introduced.

For two hundred and twenty eight years it has been the material used to build the house of Freedom and Liberty, which has now come under siege by an enemy that can only be defined by the word Fascism.

How did we go from a republic to a fascist state? Well we did make a stop along the way to pick up democracy. Actually democracy was with us from the very start. The founding groundwork that was laid out for our government was flexible enough to withstand the principals of a democratic state.

A republic as it relates to our government can be best described by the first two definitions; 1 - a: A political order whose head of state is not a monarch and in modern times is usually a president. b: A nation that has such a political order. 2 - a: A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them. b: A nation that has such a political order.

The simple definition of a democracy is; 1 - Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives. 2 - A political or social unit that has such a government. 3 - The common people, considered as the primary source of political power. 4 - Majority rule. 5 - The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

So what was born that day in 1776 was really neither a Republic or a Democracy, but the chance to create a nation and a government that embodied the spirit of both. While a true republic dealt solely with the social aspect of a nation, a democracy also embodied the economic powers of a nation. The only real difference between the two is that in a republic the supreme power lies in the people. In a democracy the supreme power of the people is demoted to being the "primary power" thus subjugating power to the economic factions of a society. This allowed for economic forces to influence and have a voice in the development of the society and nation.

Just as our founding framework had flexibility, so did the government in its' ability to change with not only the demands of the people but also that of a changing economic world. In the 1930's we saw the Great Depression nearly destroy the American dream. Under the leadership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, democracy cemented its' place in America. It offered greater balance between the people and the economic interests of this country. Social programs were put in place. The government and business institutions created jobs. Industry boomed. People worked and earned money. Businesses grew and made money. The social and economic interests, balanced with the government took this country through the biggest and fastest growth period of any nation in history.

WW ll showed the world that we could stand on our own two feet as a nation and not waiver. We defeated Imperial Japan and helped Europe defeat Hitler and the Nazi movement (Nazi: National Socialist German Workers' Party- a fascist organization).

It's said that "What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger". After WW ll we became the strongest that this country has ever been. With it came great power and financial wealth. It is also said that " Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Roosevelt knew this, which could be why he once stated that, "The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power. "

The world continued to change. As a nation we did not manage to changed with it while maintaining a balance in the forces that make up our society. Economic interests now far outweigh those of the people. Government has become corrupted by power, and the people have traded Liberty and Freedom for Fear and Hatred. Fascism isn't just something that's around the corner, it already has its' foot in the door.