the consent of being governed

We Live In A Republic
by Carmen Tassone

he United States of America is a representative constitutional republic and has been for over two hundred years.  We are not living in a socialist democracy as most Democrats would want Americans to believe.  Recently, even Al Gore has called our country a democracy.  It is not a democracy, it is a republic!  Certain elements within our republic are democratic in nature, however that does not make our country a democracy.
     And as a result of this confusion, I would like to set the record straight.  We elect individuals who, on our behalf, represent us in Washington D.C.  Such a form of representation provides security and stability in maintaining law and order, but more importantly it gives the people a voice and a way to maintain control over their consent to be governed.
     And to balance the power of government, our forefathers established three branches of government: The executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch.
     Each branch plays a specific and specialized role in our government, and each branch provides a means for checks and balances to ensure abuses of power are not levied on the people by any of the other branches.  A good example of such an abuse of power would be Florida's Supreme Court's (the judicial branch) recent ruling to prevent its Secretary of State (an elected official of the executive branch) from carrying out her duties to certify Florida's votes, which is required by State law to be accomplished one week after the national election.
    Florida's Supreme Court abused its power and overstepped its role by changing and executing State law.  The Supreme Court's job is to interpret the law, not change (legislative branch) or mandate (executive branch) the law.  Legislation from the bench is not constitutional and for this reason alone I believe their ruling must, and in all likelihood will be overturned.  Our republic can not allow such transgressions of power to stand, nor does our Constitution allow us to tolerate such abuses of power.
     As for our Republic, one important point must be understood.  The legislative branch (our representatives) are not elected to office so they can manage or rule over us as they see fit, they must heed to the will of the people.  And as for Florida's highest court, which is an appointed body of government, it does not represent the people and must not take on the role of the executive branch or legislative branch, or, as in this case, both.
     We as a people do not live in a monarchy or a dictatorship or an imperialistic nation, nor do we live in a socialist democracy.  We live in a representative constitutional republic where the people consent to be governed through elected representation.  And because we give our consent to be governed, we maintain the right to absolve any governing body that threatens the people's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  This ideology is what America was founded on and can be found in our Declaration of Independence.  No one, nor no body can usurp this principle.
     The difference between a democracy and a republic is the fact that we do not elect the executive branch.  We elect electorates to cast our vote for our president.  Without the Electoral College we would in fact be a democracy, socialist or otherwise.  However, the Electoral College is not an antiquated system of voting, nor is it a throwback to old.  It serves a very specific and important purpose.  One that some Democrats clearly do not understand as they've so demonstrated over the past few weeks by voicing their opposition to the Electoral College.
     The Electoral College provides each State an equal representation depending on its population and gives each State the just power in which to elect the president of our United States.  If the Electoral College did not exist, candidates seeking the presidency would simply focus on large pockets of the population and ignore the rest of the country.  I feel this in itself would be truly un-American.
     For instance, could you imagine the outcry if the East Coast or the West Coast or both always decided our president.  There would be a revolt because such an imbalanced system would be unjust to all the other States in our Union.  And this is an important point: Our country is formed by the union of States.  It is not formed by large cities or counties.  And four counties should not be treated any different than all the rest in the country.  So, one State or four counties having control of the entire union would go against everything our country stands for, and our constitution does not permit it.
     Because we are formed by States with representatives who can clearly recognize such indiscretions as fraudulent or unjust, I feel our representatives will not tolerate such unfair practices, especially if they adversely affect the American people, and for this reason I feel the Electoral College will remain.  And as a result, I am thankful we live in a republic and not a democracy, and I am thankful to be able to call myself an American.