VIEW FROM HERE--While almost all Americans labor under the false impression that America is a democracy, the powers-that-be are politically dismantling us.
We began as a federal (federated) democratic republic based on individual inalienable rights. Because the noun in the phrase was republic, that was our form of government. The modifier “democratic” alluded to the fact that the Continental Congress had provided mechanisms for the people to vote for their leaders rather than having them appointed by a monarch. “Federal” (Federated) meant that a group of sovereign states were forming a central government so that the former colonies could operate as a single nation on matters where unity was required. Hence the name, United States of America.
Despite Plato’s Republic’s discussion in 375 B.C.E. concerning the order and character of the city-state and justice, by the 1770's the term Republic had no mathematical precision like 2 + 2 = 4. The goal of a Republic was to have just men of sound temperament distributed in positions of power so that they could act to prevent the irrational passions of the masses from pushing the nation into political disaster. The framers feared the democratic element as voters tend to turn a country into a mobocracy where the passions of the majority under the control of a madman destroy the rights of everyone else and the nation becomes a tyranny.
Thus, the framers curtailed the nation’s democratic aspect. Only white males over 21 and landowners (about 6% of the population) could vote. Seldom were direct elections authorized. For example, when voting for President, the voters elected the electoral college which decided who would be President. It’s a complicated and controversial system. For our purposes, the point is that the framers did not trust the democratic impulse of the masses, even when those masses were only 6% of the nation. Senators were not directly elected nor were Supreme Court justices. The only direction election was for members of the House of Representatives. Over time, we have expanded the right to vote so that today almost everyone believes that we are a democracy.
Practice Overrides Theory
There is the argument that in practice America has become a democracy and the republic is dead. The final death blow came in November - December 2019, when Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House killed Trump’s impeachment, against the advice of constitutional law scholars. Although the democratic aspect had been growing steadily for 200 years, the Republic was still strong under Nixon. That is why leaders of both political parties visited Nixon and explained that they had enough votes in the House to impeach and enough votes in the Senate to convict and remove him from office. Although Nixon had been democratically elected with no question about the legitimacy of his electoral win, both parties valued the Republic more than the election. The constitutional impeachment-removal process was designed to override the voters so that just men of sound temperament would remove a President.
The ad hoc process which removed Nixon is now called Nixonization. The two parties cooperated to convince Nixon that his resignation was better for the nation than going through the agonizing House hearings and Senate trial. Nixon also placed the national welfare above his retaining power. One may analogize the Dem and GOP leadership’s visiting Nixon as similar to a District Attorney’s making a plea bargain where the defendant pleads guilty in order to save his family the mental distress of a trial. It was 100% constitutional.
In 2019 Pelosi Dems, however, did not want to cooperate with the GOP leadership and Nixonize Trump. Rather they preferred that Trump remain in office and continued behaving badly so that the Dems could sweep into total power and control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency after November 2020. In brief, Pelosi Dems shunned the Republic and turned America into a de facto mobocracy. Had Rep. Adam Schiff’s committee continued to gather the evidence, moderate GOP would have continued to turn against Trump. Fox News was turning squishy as to Trump, and the GOP leadership feared election disaster with a madman in office. The Dems recognized that the GOP leadership’s public standing would greatly increase among the centrists of both parties if the GOP helped Nixonize Trump.
The GOP could not find the votes within itself to Nixonize Trump due to the Congressional Freedom Caucus and Evangelicals. The moderates of both parties, however, had the votes to Nixonize Trump and save the Republic. The GOP had much more to gain in November 2020 from Nixonizing Trump while the Dems had more to lose in November 2020. Back in 2019, the moral imperative was to rescue the Republic and not to gain an election advantage in 2020. When the Pelosi Dems refused to cooperate in Nixonization, the Republic died.
Mobocracy in its Ascendency
We are witnessing mobocracy rise from an ocean of ignorant passions to devour the nation. As the founding fathers knew and as James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper 10, democracies easily fall victim to the ignorant passions, prejudices, and superstitions of the masses. “The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils, have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular governments [democracies] have everywhere perished;”
According to Madison, unchecked democracies devolve into the violence of factions, which is exactly what Trump is promising if he does not win the election. One of Trump’s preludes to holding onto power through violence is his insistence that he can lose only by voter fraud. Thus, Trump will proclaim he is saving the nation from installing a fraudulent person, Joe Biden, as President.
[No organization has done more to destroy the value of the Federalist Papers as guiding us through the perils of self-government than the Federalist Society which has preempted the Papers for their own far right-wing agenda.]
Civil War Looms
An indispensable element in bringing us to a violent civil war is the decades long effort to divide Americans into two warring camps. Once again, the best explanation where we went wrong is found in The Rise of McPolitics, by Yascha Mounk http://bit.ly/2KwLXC8 Basically, the GOP has become the party of the Whites and the Dems the party of the Minorities. They are playing a high stakes Winner Take All Game. That is the essence of mobocracy, i.e. gain total control and share no power with others.
A horrible thing happens when people define themselves as members of a group and not as individual human beings. As long as each person sees himself as an individual, he can see each other person as an individual. Hence, MLK’s, “judge a man by his character and not by his color.” When a person’s allegiance is not individual inalienable rights but to his own group, then people cease to be judged by their character but rather by the group to which they belong.
Facts Cease to Exist
Under group thinking, something becomes true or false depending on who says it. Logic plays no role. Trump says, “Don’t let Coronavirus dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it.” When Obama allowed the Ebola virus frighten him and it dominated his thinking, he took immediate action. No one contracted and died of Ebola in the United States. Only a madman would urge a nation not to fear a pandemic which has already killed over 210,000 Americans, but Trumpists believe him. Why? You believe what your (cult) leader says no matter how absurd.
We Dems need to be aware of a fact which we deny. Pelosi’s Identity Politics’ purpose is to divide Americans so that Whites are pushed into the GOP and Minorities are confined to the Dems. Soon, America will have more minorities voters than White voters. Pelosi endlessly threatens the white right contingent – we will vote you out of power and take what we want! A significant factor in the re-emergence of the violent white militias is the decades of threats made against them by the Dem Identity Politics. Dems and GOP believe what their leaders say even if it means committing suicide to hitch a ride on a spaceship bidden behind the Hale-Bopp comet.
(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com. Abrams’ views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.)