Lisa Graas posted the video below on Facebook.  I think I’ve had this up on CT before, but it provides a great brief primer on governmental systems.  It explains the American form of government which is a republic not a democracy.  Unfortunately many people don’t understand that.

I think what I like best about this particular video is how it challenges the commonly held position that on a political spectrum communism is on the left and fascism is on the right.  He’s right that the terms are never clearly defined.

Connecting this with the Tea Party movement, some would say that it doesn’t matter what the polls say.  Some would even challenge the Let Us Vote movement in Iowa for a marriage amendment.  Not so fast.  While yes we do not live in a “majority rules” system, the concept of a Republic is that you have representation.  If your Representatives are not listening to you, well then Houston we have a problem.  They’ve become an oligarchy writ large.  With the Tea Party movement it is a reminder to Congress that all power (of government) is inherent in the people.  In Iowa we do not want seven Supreme Court justices deciding for us the definition of marriage – which is why we wanted our legislators (our representatives) to act in order to allow us to vote on an amendment.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Thanks for the link, Shane. Hey, I love the way you framed this in the context of an issue in your state. We live in troubling times and we all really need to be having discussions exactly like this one. Good work.

    Though I am greatly troubled by the far left policies coming down the pike, I am just as troubled by the so-called “liberty” movement which seeks to do away with the 14th and 17th amendments. I hope that we can all be very clear about all that is at stake in this national debate about the future of our country and I appreciate your work here.
    .-= Lisa Graas´s last blog ..About That Civil War Thing… =-.

  2. “If your Representatives are not listening to you, well then Houston we have a problem. They’ve become an oligarchy writ large.”

    Representatives tend to listen to those that most affect them. If they have an interest in land development they’ll tend to listen to those who support development. If they have an interest in re-election, they’ll tend to listen to those who provide the means for ensuring their election and for many higher offices that translates to money. “You”, i.e. the people, only contribute a fraction of the money necessary to compete. For those representatives who take a fair sum from individual donations, that’s more diffuse and unfocussed base.

    On the flip side, there are certainly many representatives that manage to play competing interested off each other and vote as they feel is right (at least in issue that personally matter).

    I’m torn about whether representatives necessarily need to “listen” to their voters in the sense that they should have to vote along the same lines as there electorate prefers. Yes, the elected are voted upon to represent their districts’ people but they’re also elected to govern better and see further than people en masse. It’s an elitist concept but it was intentionally built into the Constitution. This idea, when thing work, help protect us from our stupid populist instincts (witness the trouble California has gotten into with balloted propositions). When done poorly, it acts as a retarding factor for necessary change (blocking de-segregation & civil rights). Somewhere there’s a balance but it’s hard to find.

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