…and to the Republic…
Do you remember the last time you recited our nations pledge?
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:
one Nation under God, indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all.“
So what’s with that Republic thing? Many in our nation refer to our government as a democracy, even though it is not really a democracy, where popular rule is applied in all situations. We do in fact, live in a constitutional republic, whose leaders are elected through a process of representative democracy. We do have that element of democracy, but we also have a constitution which defines the laws and values of our Republic.
“Republicanism is the value system of governance that has been a major part of American civic thought since the American Revolution. It stresses liberty and rights as central values, makes the people as a whole sovereign, rejects inherited political power, expects citizens to be independent in their performance of civic duties, and is strongly inclined against corruption.
American Republicanism…is not the same as democracy, for republicanism asserts that people have inalienable rights that cannot be voted away by a majority of voters.”
Thankfully we still live life in a Republic. I’m not excited with the prospect of having my inalienable rights voted away. Yet with so many not understanding that their rights are tied to republicanism, rather than the popular vote rule of democracy, that’s exactly what is happening and our republic is beginning to fail. Each time popular vote is allowed to supercede a constitutional right, especially those inalienable rights, we undermine our own nation. Don’t forget, if a popular vote is ever allowed to take a God given right from anyone, it can and probably someday will take one away from you.
Interestingly, God didn’t identify himself with any particular form of government, but it seems He recognized the benefits of republicanism. He gave us our life, he gave us a set rules to live by and he gave us the liberty to choose. He did though offer the sage advice to choose leaders who honored both Him and his laws.
Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
Exodus 18:21 NKJV
“You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the LORD your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 19 You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
Deuteronomy 16:18-20 NKJV
And those who helped lay the foundations of our nation also advised us to select leaders who honored both the laws of our nation and God.
When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, ‘just men who will rule in the fear of God.’ The preservation of [our] government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; … If [our] government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws. (Noah Webster)
Thomas Jefferson and James Madison started the Republican Party way back in 1792 to promote the ideals of republicanism in our fledgeling nation. I am a Republican today because I see no reason to set aside the values and effort they put forth.