Duty and Democracy

What good is the government?

As has been said over and over, the first duty of government is to protect the People. In fact, the Constitution was established to “provide for the common defense.” Since that quote comes from the very first sentence of our founding document, the protection of the folks must have seemed pretty darn fundamental to the Founders. How far we’ve fallen.

The federal government is failing at its first duty. For instance, the feds certainly aren’t protecting the citizenry from millions of foreigners casually walking into America across the southern border. Some of these illegal aliens are on terrorist watch lists, some are repeat felons, some are bringing fentanyl and other illegal drugs with them, and some haven’t been checked for diseases like COVID-19, tuberculosis, and Zika. (Microcephalic babies, anyone?) Seems the federal government is either incompetent or doesn’t care about its first duty.

Known as the Guarantee Clause, Section 4 of Article IV of the Constitution commands that (italics added): “The United States [i.e. the federal government] shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion.”

The U.S. has other laws that stipulate just how foreigners are to be granted entry into the country. That these laws aren’t being enforced doesn’t mean that the ongoing influx of foreigners isn’t an invasion, it just means that the federal government isn’t enforcing the law.

It seems quite beyond debate that the federal government isn’t defending the People from invasion. But many folks won’t know that unless they follow Fox News or read the New York Post. That’s because most of the media isn’t reporting on the border crisis. The feds don’t want Americans to know about the border crisis -- the FAA has banned the Fox News drones from flying over the border to film the invasion. Seems the feds don’t want us to know they’re not doing their duty.

What good is Congress, our federal legislature, if it doesn’t insist that the laws it has passed be enforced? When the executive branch doesn’t enforce the law, Congress should immediately start impeachment proceedings. Are we a nation of laws or what?

The government isn’t protecting us from the government. Much of what the feds are doing now is patently illegal, and even unconstitutional. Will the perps ever have to face the music?

Are the feds protecting us from a Civil War when they try to inflame our passions and divide us with lies, e.g. that the border is closed?

The government also isn’t defending us when the courts release violent criminals with long rap sheets from prison and back out onto the streets to reoffend. How are the feds protecting the middle class, the American Dream, our very culture?

I’d say that right now the federal government is about as useful as teats on a boar hog. What does the federal government do well? Well, they are undisputed masters at spending other people’s money, and quite often they spend that money on themselves.

Any halfway normal person rating the quality of our current political leaders would have serious doubts about the rightness of the American electoral system. How could any decent system produce such leaders? Much of our elective government is made up of scoundrels, crooks, feral children, doddering old fools, and rabid authoritarians. Consider the antics of Speaker Pelosi; every time she opens her yap she insults half the country. Our doofus of a president is a dim frail husk; the only thing Biden does well is lie, which he does with abandon.

The People are the ultimate stakeholders of these United States; the People created this country. So how can it be legal for the government to lie to the People? When the FBI sets out to entrap us, we can be thrown into prison for “lying” to the Bureau about trivial matters. But the FBI can lie to us with impunity about matters of great consequence. Is our government for the People, or is it for the politicians? Is it our country or theirs?

If “this is what democracy looks like,” then maybe we’d be better off with some other system, perhaps a kingdom led by a “philosopher king.” Look at how quickly the Brits relieved Prime Minister Liz Truss of her duties -- only 44 days. To contrast, America has put up with our lying senile head of state for two years, and will probably have to put up with him for two more years.

We could, of course, get rid of Biden tomorrow. But Congress is too worthless to impeach him, and Biden’s cabinet is too timid to invoke the 25th Amendment to send him packing.

When neither Congress nor the president’s cabinet have the wherewithal to do their duty, the People should have recourse to some remedy to oust him, perhaps a recall election. But recall elections are a major undertaking, and aren’t available on the federal level. So the People must wait until the next elections to register their dissatisfaction.

We have no safeguards to prevent lowlifes from gaining power, nor do we have efficient means of ousting our unfit leaders in a timely manner.

But, because voters (supposedly) installed our feckless leaders and re-elect them year after year, it appears that “we the People” are partly responsible for our sorry excuse of a democracy. Perhaps we are no longer capable of self-government, perhaps we’re no longer wise enough for a true democracy. So we the People are failing in our duty, too.

The American system of representative democracy certainly doesn’t ensure that we get the best and brightest working for us. Consider the race for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, where one candidate had a serious stroke earlier this year. Shouldn’t some “entity” be able to take him off the ballot, or at least demand a full cognitive test? John Fetterman might well be the deciding vote to enact another wasteful trillion-dollar spending package, or cast the deciding vote to go to war.

Pennsylvania’s election system is so screwy that a cognitively challenged authoritarian wacko who has won a primary can “own” a spot on the ballot. But taking him off the ballot would be undemocratic. If Fetterman “is what democracy looks like,” then to hell with democracy.

A true representative democracy demands that elections faithfully reflect the choices of legitimate voters. I’m here to tell you that no one in America can prove what the legitimate vote counts are in most elections, and especially in the popular vote for president. So, America isn’t a real democracy. Sorry about that, but if you want a democracy, you might try looking abroad.

There should never be any doubt about who has won an election. The January 6 riot at the Capitol is the result of the government refusing to devise a system that leaves no doubt about election outcomes, whereby it can be demonstrated who rightfully won an election. If you want to do your duty, then vote for change on November 8.

Jon N. Hall of ULTRACON OPINION is a programmer from Kansas City.

Image: Tom Arthur

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