reply to post by PhoenixDemon
Naturally, I'm going to appear condescending when my opponents refuse to at least acknowledge the obvious fallacies in their logic. Then I have to go
into teaching mode, because I honestly don't know if they know what they're talking about.
reply to post by admriker444
It is even apparent in this last reply to me that he didn't bother comprehending my initial post. There is a clear distinction between a
Constitutional Republic and a democracy, but they have nothing to do with the legal traditions of their respective governmental institutions.
When I refer to Democracy, I'm speaking of a political philosophy, which encompasses all forms of government derived from the people, as opposed to
the aristocracy or some arbitrarily select group or organization. There are two universal principles of Democracy. The first principle is that all
members of the society have equal access
to power and the second that all members enjoy universally recognized freedoms and liberties. It was
the lower-case "democracy" that the Founding Fathers despised so much. They were weary of any system, which enabled majoritarianist elements to
usurp power based on random fluctuations in popular sentiment.
I'm sorry for my condescending tone, but if that's all it takes to end a discussion then I'd rather not be here. We're not here to balance novelty
and inquiry in some effort to maximize enjoyment, while engaging in intellectual and even casual discussions on serious
issues. We're here to
learn. There I go again...
Now back to the thread topic. There's too much philosophizing going on and not enough History. The President clause was produced out of a fear of
losing the Republic in its early years. It was a measure to enhance solidarity in the foreseeable future. Only two decades after the signing of the
Constitution there was already widespread fear that the Republic would split in two. Those predictions were correct, and manifested in what History
calls the "Civil War". Had a British sympathizer been in Office in the North, the Republic could have been lost forever by such a President
appealing to the British in exchange for capitulation or something similar. You can romanticize it all you want, but it was very clear why it was
first introduced as such, and it is very clear, especially today where the principles of isonomia and American patriotism are so widespread, that such
a clause does not serve any positive function in a modern society, where popular diversity is great and the propensity to embrace those born outside
the country as American citizens is expanding. Second, the right to bear arms. This "right" is largely derived out of English common law, where it
was acceptable for lords to arm themselves so that they might defend themselves in times of revolution. During the period of the English Civil Wars,
there were constant regime changes. You could feel safe as a Protestant one day and revel in the riches granted to you by the monarchy, and the next
be executed after a rival King came to power. This is the type of "democracy" that the Founding Fathers, once again, despised: blatantly volatile,
arbitrary shifts in power. There should be ZERO fear of tyranny in a Republic. It's actually supposed to be technically impossible. If the Republic
appears to be failing, the citizens are failing to protect it, and deserve to lose their freedoms. Maintaining the Republic is an active process. You
don't let everything go to crap, then pull out your guns to defeat the "Tyrants", which you all would have helped to gain power. It is highly
sentimental, but honestly this whole notion that arms should be used to "defend yourself from Tyranny" was only really introduced in the 1960's
during the American Militia Movement, possibly as a response to popular perception that the country was heading toward more severe foreign and
domestic policy, almost as if they were adopting the ideologies of the defeated Authoritarian dictators after World War II. People's homes were being
invaded without warrant, for suspicion of involvement or sympathy for Communism in general. We have to admit that gun control is only a measure to
If the people truly believe they have no other tools to defend their rights but the use of weapons, this system is fundamentally and ultimately
flawed. There should be other Democratic processes, which help citizens protect their rights. Perhaps adding another branch of government would be
prudent thinking. Executive, Judicial, Legislative, Protective. There could be regular Constitutional conferences, with members from all groups, which
discuss common issues and decide upon mutual policies. This fourth branch would not have any of the tools of the other branches, keeping in the
tradition of separation of powers. This council, however, would have the ability to outright reject laws that infringe upon their civil liberties.
Civil liberties would be the extent of this Council's purview.
That being said, I have just become utterly dumbfounded with myself... halfway through writing my post I've come to agree with the thread's topic. I
must apologize. Nevertheless, I still disagree with the First and Second amendments outright.
[edit on 26-1-2009 by cognoscente]