And to the Republic, for which it stands ...EDITOR:

It’s time for Americans to stop drinking the Kool-Aid, come out of their stupors and realize what is happening to this great nation of ours.

Somewhere over the past 230-plus years, people have been groomed or conditioned to believe that the United States is a democracy, when in reality, it is a republic. Our forefathers were visionaries before their time, and never intended for the United States to be a democracy.

According to Diane Dimond, an author and journalist, knowing the difference between a republic and a democracy is important because of today’s debate about social equality and government involvement in our lives.

She describes a republic as being guided by a charter or constitution, which explicitly guarantees individuals’ rights against the desires of the majority, i.e., that each of us has the indisputable right to think, worship and vote anyway we want. In contrast, Dimond explains that a true democracy allows the majority to rule and to disregard the desires of any individual who doesn’t agree with them.

While most people have been taught that “majority rule” is the fairest form of government, Dimond thinks that it is quite the opposite; in other words, she thinks that it destroys individualism and can foster a pack-thought mentality.

As a result, many citizens operate under the mistaken notion that if they and a majority of their peers want something, then it should automatically be accepted by all.

When the astute statesman Benjamin Franklin was asked if the government was going to be a republic or a monarchy, he was said to say, “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.” And, in my opinion, that is where this country’s problem lies.

It seems to me that the notion of a republic has slowly vanished from this country. So, what’s the problem with the U.S. evolving into a democracy?

Well, turn on the local or national news; look out the window; check out the social media sites. All the violence, chaos and divisiveness in this country are the results of democracy in action. One of the founding fathers of the United States, James Madison (a.k.a., the father of the Constitution) wrote, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they are violent in their deaths.”

Over time, others have warned us about the dire consequences democracies have on populaces, and how democracies eventually lead to the crumbling of nations. Likewise, the former chief justice of SCOTUS, John Marshall, in the early 1800s, described that “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

Ironically, even though most Americans describe our country as a democracy, they will never find the word “democracy” in the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution.

When we recite the Pledge of Allegiance (for those who can remember the words to it as it is no longer welcome or uttered in most classrooms), we are declaring loyalty to the flag of this great country and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands — not a democracy.

Most importantly, our great forefathers NEVER intended that the federal government have absolute power over the people or the states. Sadly, politics and power have become the focus for Congress, rather than “We the People.”

As Lord Acton, a British historian, once said, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” He observed that a person’s sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases. From what I have witnessed in the political arena, I believe that he was correct in his observation and assessment, i.e., politicians have become more self-serving and more dishonest with each term that they are re-elected.

With their grandiose rhetoric, smug self-righteousness and blatant hypocrisy, they seem to see themselves as demigods as they refer to Congress as “their sanctuary,” their “holy temple,” their “sacred ground,” their “hallowed halls,” when in fact, it is the “People’s House.”

Frankly, I find their religious references regarding their political work arena to be offensive and sacrilegious, an insult to churches, temples and synagogues.

Sadly, it is no great surprise that we have come to a place of such divisiveness and intolerance in this country. More importantly, we seem to have failed to notice the pervasive and dangerous tendency of others who declare their opponents as being stupid and needing to be silenced, or even worse, eliminated, for not thinking as they should.

By losing the notion that America is a republic, a cookie-cutter mentality (or group think) has become the new mindset, undermining independent thought and individual freedoms.

Our forefathers intended for America and “We the People” to live as a united, law-abiding country, to be tolerant of each other’s differences, and content to change laws by means of an orderly and legal process, not by mob rule.

Instead, it seems to me that our government has become a selfish and prejudiced mishmash on many levels, working against each other toward narrow goals and not for the common good of “We the People.”

In my opinion, politicians trust that their constituents will believe whatever they, the legislators, tell the voters to believe.

Rather than thinking for ourselves, “We the People” have been hoodwinked into a sense of false security by the charlatans in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, our great country is covertly being disassembled and sold out to China, while “We the People” plummet into a deep, dark abyss of no return.

Stop believing everything you read on social media or hear on the news outlets until you have actually verified that it is truth. Too many lies and blatant hypocrisy have caused a great divide in this country. It’s as if we are living in two completely separate worlds, with two diametric realities.

Wake up America! We have allowed those who are supposed to speak for us to compromise our voices for far too long. It’s time for the American people to speak up and be heard.

It’s time for “We the People” to say, “Enough!!! You work for us. Do the job we sent you to do, or be prepared to be voted out!”

Barbara McNeely