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April 18, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

The United States is a democracy

Another view?

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Regarding Tom Jones’ letter, “Our republic is being threatened,” I must disagree with at least a part. Contrary to what the letter said, our country is a democracy. It didn’t start out that way, but that’s where we are.

Yes, the Founding Fathers did create a republican form of government in 1787. Over the past 200-plus years, however, we have slowly changed from a republican form of government to a constitutional democratic republic. This has come about because we have extended the right to vote and hold public office to more Americans, allowing them to become equal partners in the greatest experiment in self-government ever tried.

In 1787, only a small percentage of the population could vote or hold public office. Women could not vote, slaves could not vote, Native Americans could not vote, noncitizens could not vote, and people who did not own land could not vote.

When the founders were writing the Constitution, “democracy” was not a popular word and not one that our founders readily used. It conjured up an image of mob rule, anarchy and rebellion.

It appears to me that many people are very fearful of the changing demographics in this country, and they have forgotten that we have always been a “melting pot” with a constant influx of immigrants from other countries. Most of those immigrants, sooner or later, have assimilated into our society and a huge majority of them have made contributions that helped make this country the greatest nation on Earth.

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  1. It's not much of a democracy for the nation's tax payer slaves as 20% of US citizens pay 71% of all federal income taxes. Nice democracy there Larry.

    By the way, Nice play on words Larry "Contrary to what the letter said, our country is a **democracy**"......and.... "Over the past 200-plus years, however, we have slowly changed from a **republican** form of government to a constitutional democratic republic". A partisan slip of the tongue Larry? Did you mean a "republic" form of government?

  2. "It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried." Winston Churchill

    Carmine D

  3. We are a republic with democratically elected representatives to govern that republic.

    Surely no one yearns for the "good old days" of 1787 when only white male property owners could vote. The extension of voting rights to all citizens over the age of 18 represents a maturation of our republic and fulfillment of the promise of no taxation without representation.

  4. It is a positive that that more and more people have been allowed the right to vote over the years.

    However when only a low % of these people do vote and many that do are uninformed or vote in party lockstep for mostly incumbents, it creates a problem.

    Many polls indicate that a majority of Americans feel that the Federal government spends too much. Take away all the political speak and our government is arguing not about really spending less but over whether it grows spending at 5 % a year or 3.6 % a year. Add to that the fact that most incumbents are re-elected over and over again and that Americans are not protesting, either at the polls or in the streets.... and I think we have major problems.

    Democracy or Republic, Americans are uninformed and complacent and that is a problem.


  5. Michael -

    I do agree with you that many voters are ill-informed and/or complacent. Many do not connect government with anything that affects their lives and in some cases they are right.

    Americans do protest in the streets. Remember the Occupy Movement? As for reelecting incumbents -- sometimes it's just the devil you know versus the devil you don't know.

    Political Party primaries with low voter turnout determine which two choices we have. Typically it's the most partisan of the party faithful that dominate the vote in these primaries. To get real change we need to deal political parties out of our choices and adopt an open "top two" voting system ala Louisiana, California and Washington.

  6. Burgess,

    May I assume that tomorrow or soon thereafter, you will write to Mr. Sun and make a point based on today's civics lesson? Or, should we expect you to continue snorting fairy dust all the way to the end of the "greatest nation on Earth" ? Your demographics are skewed toward centuries past, and you have more-than-likely ignored the political, fiscal, and societal time-bombs that are evident daily.

    Additionally, I refuse to hold guilt or shame for my fact-based comment.


  7. Jim,

    What you say is true. Both the occupy Movement and the Tea Party are made up of people disgusted with the status quo. As for 'devils', we'd stand a better chance if we started voting for 'devils we don't know'. I'd support the 'top two' system, but I feel we must also have public financing of campaigns and term limits. Without those, the 'devils we do know' will keep doing what they are doing until our financial circumstances dictate that they can't. That day will arrive if the present course is not altered.


  8. "Democracy is worth dying for,because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever divised by man." Ronald Reagan

  9. Ronald R. Reagan: An FDR NEW DEAL Democrat who became a Republican.

    Carmine D

  10. Carmine,
    You are correct Ronald Reagan was a Democrat and did switch parties and became a Republican.

    That was in 1962 that Reagan switched parties.Today in 2013 if Reagan saw the decline in the Republican party that has taken place over the years, he would switch back to being a Democrat.

  11. Sam:

    Where did you buy your crystal ball? Likely from a Democrat. Hope you have a money back guarantee.

    Carmine D

  12. There is a widespread concern about those in our country who do not speak English. Of even greater concern should be the presence of people, such as Larry, who claim to "speak" English, but don't "understand" it.

    In a Republic, the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and are exercised by the people, either directly, or through their chosen representatives. In a Democracy that sovereign power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizens directly or indirectly through a system of representation.

    The practical difference? In a democracy, the majority ALWAYS reigns. The only "rights" any minority has are those the majority deigns to permit it at any particular time and are revocable at the will of that majority. In a Republic, ALL the people have a basic set of rights that may not be infringed, REGARDLESS of any majority opinion. In a Democracy, gun control would be the law - read the polls more than 51% of us like some variety of control. In our REPUBLIC some right to bear arms is granted to ALL people. The debates we are currently having are actually about just how absolute that right is and what constitutes "arms" NOT about the underlying existence of some form of right.

  13. Carmine,

    "where did you buy your crystal ball.Likely from a Democrat.Hope you have a money back guarantee."

    Don't need a crystal ball,just a God given decent mind that let's me see things as they appear.

  14. By El-Lobo.

    "History says that very thing! Ignore the lessons of history and you're going to suffer the fall-out!

    I think it may be to late for the Republicans to turn around the party, in time for the midterm elections.

  15. "Don't need a crystal ball, just a God given decent mind that let's me see things as they appear."

    Your mind is playing tricks on you again, Sam. Unless history is mistaken, Ronald Reagan died a Republican and went to GOP Heaven. I doubt seriously he would want to give up a life in paradise for the alternative place where Democrats go. Although Reagan did say of Democrats that they would not see the light until they felt the heat. Sadly, by then it was too late. BTW, I have all this on good information from a source extremely close to President Reagan. His son Michael.

    Carmine D

  16. Moderate, liberal, conservative, use whatever adjective you prefer. Reagan was a Republican AFTER he was an FDR NEW DEAL Democrat. You and Sam can connive whatever myths you like in your minds, but Reagan died a Republican and dead/alive he would still be a Republican.

    Not to be confused with Specter the defector.

    Carmine D

  17. Carmine,

    "You and Sam can connive whatever myths yuo like in your minds.but Reagan died a Republican and dead/alive he would still be a Republican."

    It's still impossible to read a dead persons mind and yet you have this myth that you can do it.Time to face realty it can't be done.

    Not to be confused with the Criss Angel show Believe.

  18. Carmine,
    "Your mind is playing tricks on you again,Sam. Unless history is mistaken,Ronald Reagen died a Republican and went to GOP heaven."

    It might be your mind playing tricks on you once again. The last I heard as a Catholic all my life. We all go to the same heaven,there's no segregation in heaven.

  19. "It's still impossible to read a dead persons mind and yet you have this myth that you can do it. Time to face realty it can't be done."

    Sam, I didn't say I could predict the unknown based on mythical facts. You did. You said at 12:47 pm: "Today in 2013 if Reagan saw the decline in the Republican party that has taken place over the years, he would switch back to being a Democrat."

    I said your crystal ball and/or mind were playing tricks on you. Reagan went to GOP Heaven. I know that is true because that's where Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt went too. All were Republicans. All died Republicans.

    Not to be confused with Specter the defector.

    Carmine D

  20. "The last I heard as a Catholic all my life. We all go to the same heaven, there's no segregation in heaven."

    As my Jewish aunt would say: "You were there?"

    Carmine D

  21. Carmine,

    "Unless history is mistaken Ronald Reagoan died a Republican and went to GOP heaven."

    You should have listened to your Jewish aunt when she said,"you were there."

  22. Carmine,

    "I said your crystal ball and /or mind were playing tricks on you."

    You said this at 6:22 p.m. today.I still can't find where you claim you had originally said this? No where do I find AND/OR MIND playing tricks on you.Now think hard was this on another thread.

  23. We have all heard of 'Banana Republics' but never a Banana Democracy - Mr. Burgess makes that distinction in his letter.

    A Republic is a geographical area that is controlled by a small number of people, usually thugs, mafia types or drug lords. The future direction of a Republic favors a dictatorship over a Democracy, because Republics are ALWAYS controlled by a few, wealthy, powerful individuals with their hands in smuggling, drugs or other illegal activities who will not spend a penny on anyone else but themselves and their personal objectives.

    Note a well known historical reference: The Roman Republic vs. the Roman Empire. The Republic was NEVER a Democracy. It only allowed wealthy land owners, 'nobility' and persons of substance to vote.

    After Julius Ceasar, the Republic became an Empire - a power structure led by a Dictator. The Empire was led by an Emperor, who was often assassinated by his own family.

    Republics are a dictatorship of the few that nearly always fall into a dictatorship of one, i.e. the ruling domain of an Emperor.

    The United States is a Democracy, not a Republic. If it ever becomes a Republic, laws upheld by the Supreme Court will never hold it together. Roger Taney proved that.

  24. Great letter, Larry! Please don't listen to the likes of Carmine, who has NO idea what he's talking about! Keep those letters coming!

  25. "NO, heartless republicans don't go to Heaven."

    Teamster, Sam, El Lobo

    When I get there and see Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt, and more, in all their glory.... we'll think about you and Specter the defector. Then all have a belly laugh.

    Carmine D

  26. "Please don't listen to the likes of Carmine, who has NO idea what he's talking about!"

    Unless I'm seriously mistaken, you don't either.

    Carmine D

  27. Carmine,

    "Sam, When I get there and see Abraham Lincoln,Dwight Eisenhower,Ronald Reagen,Theodore Roosevelt,and many more,in all their glory ---we'll think about you and Spector the defector,and all have a belly laugh."

    I don't know where you are going when you do go. But where ever that is you'll be sitting next to Richard Nixon,and i'm sure he has much to laugh about.

  28. Sam:

    I hear Nixon may be on his way to GOP Heaven finally...after doing his time in purgatory. So yes, when he does get there we will all have a belly laugh together. Sorry, no Democrats allowed.

    Carmine D

  29. Carmine,

    The last I heard you were not the decider of who gets in heaven and who does not get in.As I mentioned in a earlier post we all go to the same heaven. There is no segregation in heaven. Time to re-think your authority.

  30. We are NOT a democracy and have not been one for a long time, if ever. We just like to pretend that we are. Does anyone disagree that our congress, our so-called representatives, often do things and pass things that the majority of the public would not agree with? Does anyone disagree that corporations and lobbyists have more power than the people? E.g., Would an actual democratic vote of the people have allowed us to engage in senseless wars? We have been ruled by the military-industrial complex for over half a century and yet the public remains duped and feeling helpless to it all.

  31. First El_Lobo declares (at 5:18PM) that "WE HAVE A DEMOCRACY........plain and simple. It's actually a constitutional democratic republic."

    Then at 8:00AM) he adds emphasis: "We're a constitutional democratic republic."

    First he says we have a democracy, then he turns right around and claims we're a republic. It is clear El-Lobo is one of those who fails to understand English. He starts by using "democracy" to refer to a form of government, he then uses "democratic" as the specific means used to elect the representatives we choose to govern for us. Despite this, he seems to have finally (800am) correctly categorized the U.S. system of government: We are a republic with a written constitution and we elect those who would govern us. If we were a true "democracy" the House would be controlled by members of the Democratic Party - after all more people voted for "Democratic" house candidates than voted for "Republican" candidates.

  32. "Carmine,

    The last I heard you were not the decider of who gets in heaven and who does not get in."

    Nor are you Sam. That makes us and Nixon even.

    Carmine D

  33. "I wonder how Carmine plans to get into a GOP Heaven? He's an "independent"

    I am and always have been. All my adult life. You should know that as an independent I can vote for whatever party I want. When I die, I vote for the GOP party.... IN HEAVEN.

    Carmine D

  34. Carmine,

    I never said I was the decider of who gets into heaven.But you have said that you will be there and no Democrats are allowed.I say let God decide if one is worthy or not,not Carmine.

  35. The Bible has at least FIVE gods that have unlimited control over the world we experience. Please be specific as to which god you are discussing. Thanks.

  36. Are you talking about the Hebrew god of the Old Testament that requires the father of a child to stone them to death in the public square, or the New Testament god that expresses brotherly love? Or does brotherly love refer to homosexuality? Please explain. Danke.

  37. Moses brought the Ten commandments down from Mt. Sinai with the famous "Thou Shalt Not Kill" that Texans like to display in their Court Houses. Continue to read and you shall find "the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies". Moses commanded the Levites to draw their swords and 3000 died that day - by the sword! Not lethal injection. Exodus 32: 25-28.

    Moses is a mass murderer but Texans revere him. Now it is clear how someone like George W. Bush has such a following in Texas.

    Glad I'm not going to Heaven. Nothing worse or more boring then to spend Eternity with mass murders. The 24 hour BBQ ribs option has a lot more intrigue.


  38. "Carmine,

    But you have said that you will be there and no Democrats are allowed."

    There's a reason it's called GOP Heaven, Sam. No Democrats are allowed. Let them have their own. It's been H-E-L-L having to coexist with Democrats here on earth, perhaps with the exception of you and Jeff and a few more who post here, do you really think God will torture the GOP by having Democrats in GOP Heaven?

    Carmine D

  39. "Carmine.....

    The GOP party is already dead."


    Aging and out of date on some issues but certainly not dead. There's a new GOP Guard in town and you and the Democrats better tow the line or you'll soon be history.

    Carmine D

  40. Sun Jon:

    There certainly was a lot more blood being spilled in the Old Testament than holy water. The battles and the generals, like Moses the first swat team commander, are very interesting reading. But don't stop there. There's the New Testament, Jesus, and the Beatitudes. Old Covenant versus the New.

    You want to read a lineage full of flaws? Read the "begetting" of Jesus and the line of David. Speaking of David....well you can read about him and his son Solomon on your own.

    Carmine D

  41. Carmine,

    "There's a reason it's called GOP heaven,Sam no Democrats are allowed."

    The more you post on the workings of a segregated heaven, the more you sound like Enangelist Oral Roberts.He saw things a little different also.

  42. Jeff:

    You must have failed basic math. Or are dyslectic. Or both. I'm at 95 percent correct and 5 percent not.

    Carmine D

  43. "Carmine D - GOP HEAVEN? Say 10 million "Our Fathers" for penance."

    In my life time, I already have. I'm working on 10 hundred million.

    Carmine D

  44. "The more you post on the workings of a segregated heaven..."

    Not segregated, Sam. Coequal. But just as there is a divide between the Old Testament and the New, and the Old Covenant and the New, so it is with the GOP Heaven and Democrats. Never the twain shall meet.

    Carmine D

  45. Jeff:

    Heaven isn't a democracy. It's one God, with 3 natures, rule.

    Carmine D

  46. Until 1978 the LDS church did not allow black men and women into temple ceremonies that promised access to the afterlife to the highest heaven.

    The LDS church did realize that God welcomes all not just a select few,as you have clearly stated that "Democrats are not allowed in heaven."

  47. Jeff:

    The unique thing about reading and understanding the Bible is that there are so many meanings and interpretations. Not just one.


    The LDS religion limits access to the Mormon Temples after they are consecrated. Only married LDS couples with a Temple invite and/or LDS Missionaries are allowed inside.

    LDS Churches are a different story. All are welcome as is evidenced on the outside of the Churches.

    Like the 7 sacraments, Sam. Only Catholics are allowed to participate in them IF they are in good standing as a practicing Catholic and/or attempting to be through the sacrament of reconciliation. Can't receive Jesus in communion if you are in a state of mortal sin or at least shouldn't. Until confession.

    Carmine D

  48. ""Democrats are not allowed in heaven."

    GOP Heaven, Sam. No Democrats allowed in.

    Like the Knights of Columbus, Sam. Largest Catholic Men's Organization in the world. Only KOC members allowed.

    Carmine D

  49. Carmine,

    There is the world as everybody sees it, and then there is the world according to Carmine.I'll go with how the majority sees and views it.

  50. Sam:

    The Bible and how Jesus sees it:

    "In my Father's house there are many mansions. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" [Jn. 14:2]

    Carmine D

  51. Carmine,

    All I want to know is who told you that Democrats were not allowed in heaven,or are you just trying to be funny?

  52. Sam:

    I answered your question before you asked. It's the Biblical quote from St. John. All who want and seek spiritual salvation go to Heaven. Race, color and creed are all irrelevant. Heaven would be a very lonely place if only Catholics were allowed in.

    Carmine D

  53. Carmine,

    "Heaven would be a lonely place if only Catholics were allowed in."

    As you see it (Democrats not allowed in heaven) would it be OK if some of these Catholics were Democrats?

  54. Sam:

    I answered your question already. Of course Democrats are Catholics. And of course there are God-fearing spiritual people who are not Catholics. And Jesus said in the words of St. John he is preparing a place in Heaven with the Father for ALL of them.

    But Sam, when I get to Heaven, I can choose to associate with them or not. Not so here. I have to tolerate them here in order to get there. That's the challenge of being a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church.

    Carmine D

  55. Carmine,

    Glad that you finally changed your mind about Democrats not bring allowed in heaven as you stated so, on your post March 27,2013 @ 10:10 A.M.

    Perhaps your Jewish aunt has made some sense to you. There is no segregation in heaven, if you get there you are worthy.

  56. Jeff, Sam:

    We are all on the journey to God's kingdom. Jesus did not come to judge the people of the world but to save them. We are to emulate and follow him.


    Carmine D

  57. Carmine,
    "Jesus did not come to judge the people of the world but to save them."

    But you have judged and continue to judge others,you even prejudge before you and others are in heaven.listen to your own words.

  58. Sam:

    I may judge, and like it or not we all do even as you are doing now with me, BUT I do not condemn. There's a huge difference.

    Carmine D

  59. Yes, one of the first for "full figured" women.

    Carmine D

  60. Joe Lamy:

    We are a dying breed. An endangered species. The last of the Mohicans.

    I advise all to aim high. Just in case they fall short of the mark so they won't be disappointed and miss it.

    Carmine D