We need to respect the rule of law


As Ben Franklin was leaving after the Constitutional Convention, someone asked, “What kind of government did you give us?”; to which Franklin replied, “A democracy, if you can keep it.” Already, you are thinking, “We don’t have a democracy, we have a republic.” So here’s some thoughts about our form of government. A democracy is defined solely by majority rule. Laws are written and changed at the will of the majority, and no law supersedes the rule of the majority. There is no provision for the rights of the minority. Someone has said pure democracy is two lions and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.

A republic, on the other hand, is the rule of laws, which may be based upon a constitution or upon the fiat of a monarch or despot. Consider the Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Slovenia, or The Peoples’ Republic of China. The law is all in all, and the individual may have no rights.

No, what we have is a democratic republic. We respect the rule of law, but we choose by elective majority whom we want to write our laws. And, no matter who writes the laws, the law must accord with our constitution, and only the courts can determine what is constitutional. Every state in the union is bound by the constitution.

Because each of us has a chance to vote, each of us is bound by the law, even if our vote was not the majority vote. We do not get to choose which laws we’ll obey. This is the rule of law. This is a democratic republic.

Yet there is a segment of our society that still seems to believe in the “divine right” to rule, regardless of election results. So they do everything they can to nullify or sabotage the election results. They follow a step-by-step approach.

Step 1. Try to prevent the electoral win by smearing the candidate….Gennifer Flowers (gasp)…Jeremiah Wright (gasp)!

Failing step 1, step 2 is to throw billions into an off-year election, then gerrymander the districts to keep your people in power, no matter how folks vote. Use your power in the House of Representatives to obstruct the president’s programs and prevent his re-election. Shut down the government a couple of times. Failing again, step three is to “expose” phony scandals. Remember Whitewater? $90 million spent only to find there was no “there” there. Ms. Lewinsky? Pretend to be shocked, shocked to learn there is illicit sex in D.C. (Hypocrisy, thy name is Newt.) Benghazi, Fast & Furious, etc. No there there, either. If all else fails, then proceed to Step 4: Impeachment. Deja Vu.

Lola Johnson