Republic! Republic! Republic!
Republic! Republic! Republic!
By: Daniel Rodriguez
The very notion of the word Democracy conjurs mixed thoughts and emotions from those of us who value the west. To some it means a party in American politics which is progressive and stands for minorities. But truly it's the birth of mankind's experiment with self governance.
To be sure the right to vote originated in ancient Greece. It set Europa apart from it's contemporary neighbors. They after all, still had kings and emperors. But Greece, had something shiny and new. Each of it's citizens had the ability to tell the government how it should be run. Voting was allowed only to citizens. Citizenship was often delegated to those of a certain age or to those who had served the greater community in some fashion. The city-states of Greece operated autonomously under normal circumstances, often warring amongst each other for territory within Greece. But under dire emergencies, they would unite in a loose confederacy and their armies would merge and be commanded by a single general. The battle of Thermopylae was such an occasion. The Greek City States came together of their own accord and ceded military authority to King Leonidas of Sparta. All the hoplytes assembled, be they Spartan, Cretian, Corithian, Phocian or Thespian all answered to one commander in the state of emergency.
Democracy has it's strengths, but also worthy of note are it's weaknesses. A direct Democracy becomes slow moving and complicated as the number of citizens grows. The concept of 51% controlling the rule of law is delicate and subject and vulnerable to the often rapidly shifting winds of change. Enter a new evolution of Democracy: The Republic.
The definition of a Republic is a form of Democracy in which leaders and representatives are elected by the people. The governance of the state falls ultimately with the people and not a monarch. The people exert their will by way of their elected representatives. This proved to be a far more efficient system of government than a direct Democracy. But with this new efficiency came a new set of problems. The representatives often became enamored with the authority and importance that was bestowed upon them and would sometimes resort to corruption in order to maintain their political position.
In the early days of our American Republic, the founders attempted to address all of the faults of Republics and Democracies of years past and set in place protocols to deal with situations as they arise. They forged a wall of law that would stand as the supreme law of the land: The Constitution. It specifically enumerated not just the duties of the government but also it's limitations. It placed high value on the building blocks of every society and the power from which all authority is derived: The Citizen.
While placing high regard on individual liberty, there is also an accounting for emergencies and some authority is delegated to the President. The ability to appoint and install provisional governments falls under the authority of the President. In addition to this, the President serves as the Commander of The Military and the Nations highest ranking diplomat. As much authority as in installed to the office of the presidency, the bulk of all authority also remains with the people. The ability to Recall an elected official, or to remove an issue from the hands of the representative. Enter: The Referendum. Like the tailbone of a human skeleton, the referendum is a vestige of the earlier political species of Democracy. It's a protocol under which power can be removed from an official and placed back into the hands of the people.
If anything one can take from the historical evolution of Democracy is that, firstly, The power to Govern falls ultimately in the hands of the people. Secondly, what little power is imparted to the elected official can be easily removed by the electorate. Even the elected officials themselves can be removed from their seats of power should their actions be proven derelict. And lastly Democracy (better still a Republic) with all of its faults is a far cry better than the edicts of a sovereign. The people will always vote for their best interests instead of relying on the whims of a detached commandant whom they've never met. But always remember, my fellow proud boys. Power corrupts. And Absolute power will corrupt Absolutely.
These are ideas that emerged from the minds of Western men and they are the best ideas humanity has ever offered unto itself, further proving that indeed....The West is the Best..