Those things that hurt, instruct.
Unlike leftists and wokesters, I admire the Founders of our country. Biographies are not my preferred genre, but I’ve read well-researched books about John Adams, Alexander Hamilton and Ben Franklin, to name a few. Yes, like us all, they had flaws, but together they fashioned the Constitution, perhaps the most remarkable document in the history of mankind.
In 1787 a woman came up to Mr. Franklin at the Constitutional Convention and asked him what kind of a government the delegates in Philadelphia had fashioned to replace the Articles of Confederation. The wise and avuncular Franklin replied, “A republic, Ma’am, if you can keep it.”
I apologize if I seem redundant or pedagogical, but sometimes important concepts and lessons need to be repeated to combat the lies and the crises of government and common sense in this disinformation age. Let me unpack this complicated sentence.
I am a teacher at heart and have previously written about terms often used incorrectly or to confuse. William of Ockham is famous for his razor of parsimony or avoidance of needless complexity. The modern vernacular uses the acronym, KISS or keep it simple stupid. I try to avoid the pejorative and just say KIS, keep it simple.
A republic is a system of government that is built upon the rule of law. I highly recommend a YouTube video entitled The Five Basic Forms of Government Explained. Addressed are (1) monarchy (rule by one such as a king or dictator), (2) oligarchy (rule by a powerful elite), (3) democracy (rule by the majority), (4) republic (rule by law) or (5) anarchy (no rules or government – think ANTIFA).
Democracy comes from the Greek words Demos, meaning the people, and Kratein, to rule. Therefore, democracy means the people rule. This may sound good, but suppose the majority decides to take away someone’s property, children or rights? Unrestrained democracy could be explained by two wolves and a sheep deciding what they plan to have for dinner. John Locke was an English philosopher who said we have basic rights of life, liberty and property. Thomas Jefferson would use these words and fashion in the Declaration of Independence the notion of life, liberty and “The Pursuit of Happiness.” You may be surprised to learn that “the word democracy does not appear in the Declaration of Independence or the United States Constitution or the Constitutions of any of the fifty states.”
The term Republic derives from the Latin word res, or thing, and publica, or law. Literally, a republic is the public’s thing and the government is limited by laws. The Founders were students of history and were terrified of pure democracy (rule of the majority) after abuses in ancient Greek democracies. In fact, a famous old Greek guy by the name of Solon the Lawgiver is credited with giving Ancient Greek societies a system of laws to curb unrestrained democracy. The Greeks came to understand that “without law there can be no freedom.” The Romans learned from the Greeks and fashioned their government on the rule of law. Unfortunately, men are imperfect and corruptible. Over time, the Roman republic’s rule of law was replaced by oligarchies of the powerful. The people were abused, gangs roamed the streets of Rome and the people demanded a Caesar to restore order. They gave up their freedom as the price for safety.
We are in a similar crisis and have lost trust in virtually all government institutions. An example is the FBI’s latest black eye after a whistleblower’s allegations that a high-ranking agent promoted the scurrilous Russian dossier and later suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop investigation. (You remember the Democrat mantra that all whistleblowers must be believed.) Trust of politicians has always been problematic, but this current bunch, along with the deep state operatives in government, are beyond the pale.
But unfortunately, there is more. More than twenty-five years ago Phillip K. Howard presciently published his book The Death of Common Sense, and it’s only gotten worse. We are now asked – no, demanded – to accept the Democrat-Progressive Orwellian new words/phrases and delusional reality.
For decades the left has been the recognized masters of the euphemism. According to Mr. Webster a euphemism is “the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant.” When I went to medical school one of the first books I purchased was the 22nd edition of the Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. The 1500-page book helped me learn a new language, the language of science using prefixes and suffixes of Latin and Greek. The prefix eu means good and phemos means to say or speak. So, a euphemism is a “good word.” Progressivism is proclaimed as good when, in fact, it is not.
But the loss of common sense extends beyond contrived euphemisms. A Supreme Court Justice can’t define a woman; perhaps she/he/? is a “birthing person.” Racism now is said to encompass “failure to acknowledge one’s privilege.” Apparently, life instantaneously transforms from a fetus to a human at the instance of birth. Latinx is now a term used to “correct Hispanic’s unintentional sexism.”
Have you noticed that our economic recession is now a “nuanced economic downturn involving a range of metrics”? Equality under law has been supervened by societal equity. An insurrection is violence in Washington, but not in Portland as rioters attacked federal buildings and officers. Did you realize that “the border is secure”? Taxing and spending in a recession is good if it Builds Back Better, now rebranded as the Reduce Inflation Act. I find Marsha Blackburn’s dysphemism Build Back Broke more truthful than the Democrat new-speak.
I don’t know everything, but at this stage in my life I am not conflicted. I have common sense and I often know what’s right. I know what a woman is and that men don’t have babies. The Spanish language is not sexist. I’m not a racist because my skin is white. I believe in the Constitution and the rule of law, designed to protect a citizen against government, mobs and the criminals released back onto the streets.
We must have the courage to push back against this insanity. Do your part, VOTE! Turning this country around begins locally with each of us.