I always considered myself a Moderate, but when I first got involved in Politics, I was surprised to have so many people say I was a conservative. How could this be? Had the spectrum of liberal vs. conservative shifted so much that I was now a conservative? So I though for a while until my friend posted this on his blog:
The most important point this video makes is the one of Democracy vs. Republic. When I was in grade school I was told that our government was a Democratic-Republic. These days you hear everyone talking about the U.S,. is a Democracy. They’re both wrong.
I’ve alway felt that we have the freedom to do as we please so long as it doesn’t interfere with other people’s rights. Government is a way to help define were the line is between one person’s rights and anthers. Were those lines are draw are typically determined by the governors, who in turn are typically elected by the people. What the constitution does for us is setup rules for the governors to follow; regardless of what the people may want. These are what we call representation and rule of law, and they are the essence of what a Republic is.
In a Democracy majority rules, that includes mob mentality and inevitably a government doing things its people don’t have the right to authorize the government to do; such as unjust imprisonment of “undesirable” people, etc. This is a big part of what the Bill of Rights are about. Making sure the U.S. Government, that is “Of the People”, does not pretend to be given authority from the People for which the People do not have to give to it in the first place.
In other words, if I shouldn’t do something that violates your rights, because I don’t have just cause for doing so, then how can I authorize my government to do it for me? Since the U.S. government is “Of the People” it cannot gain any authority or take away any rights, that it’s people do not have the ability to give away themselves.
For example, I cannot take your money from you and give it to a poor person, no matter how worthy I feel the cause is. Therefor I cannot authorize the government to forcefully take money from you and give it to some government “Charity” or bailout program. I may give the money myself if I so chose, but you cannot. We may decide that in order for our government to function for the common good, we need to have a certain level of taxation, but beyond that does the government really have the right to use those taxes to benefit special interests, specific groups or even private entities? Is it really even charity if it is forced upon you?
I say no, because charity isn’t the act of giving alone, it’s also requires a desire to give.