What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 15, 2016

Ugh - THIS "Argument" Again (A Republic, Not A Democracy)

I've heard this silly nonsense for years.

This week, it sullied up the pages of the Tribune-Review editorial page:
The simple fact of the matter is that the United States is not a democracy. It is a constitutional republic. And it is representative governance that protects us from the anarchy of pure democracy for which so many apparently pine. [Italics in Original.]
Eugene Volokh, of the blog The Volokh Conspiracy vehemently denies:
But there is no basis for saying that the United States is somehow “not a democracy, but a republic.” “Democracy” and “republic” aren’t just words that a speaker can arbitrarily define to mean something (e.g., defining democracy as “a form of government in which all laws are made directly by the people”). They are terms that have been given meaning by English speakers more broadly. And both today and in the Framing era, “democracy” has been generally understood to include representative democracy as well as direct democracy.
And here's his reasoning:
I often hear people argue that the United States is a republic, not a democracy. But that’s a false dichotomy. A common definition of “republic” is, to quote the American Heritage Dictionary, “A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them” — we are that. A common definition of “democracy” is, “Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives” — we are that, too.

The United States is not a direct democracy, in the sense of a country in which laws (and other government decisions) are made predominantly by majority vote. Some lawmaking is done this way, on the state and local levels, but it’s only a tiny fraction of all lawmaking. But we are a representative democracy, which is a form of democracy. [Emphasis added.]
BTW, lest you think that he's some tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, liberal, the libertarian/conservative Volokh has shown up on those same sullied Trib pages as this silly argument.

For example here:
UCLA constitutional scholar Eugene Volokh tells Fox News that a rule barring Nassau County, N.Y., prosecutors from bearing arms at home without special permission is a violation of their Second Amendment rights and an Empire State statute that protects gun collectors and target shooters from job-related restrictions. And talk about turning into sitting ducks those who help to bring some of the scummiest scum of the Earth to justice.
And here, where Colin McNickle, favorably  quotes him in another discussion of Second Amendment rights:
Thursday's California ruling is seminal and one that, if upheld and by extension, solidifies the Framers' notion that the Second Amendment, as constitutional scholar Eugene Volokh reminds, “is not restrictive, it is inclusive.”
Volokh's even had an e-book reviewed by an actual member of the braintrust! And it's critical of the ACA! Take a look:
“Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby: Corporate Rights and Religious Liberties” by Eugene Volokh (Cato Institute) — Oral arguments in the case referenced in this book's title will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. Filed by the family that owns the Hobby Lobby retail chain, it has been consolidated with another case that involves another business, Conestoga Wood Specialties. The publisher calls this e-book-only release “a comprehensive primer” on the constitutional issues at stake, which arise from religiously motivated opposition to the Affordable Care Act's requirement that firms employing 50 or more people provide contraceptive coverage in their group health plans. The author, a leading First Amendment scholar, combines material previously published via the Volokh Conspiracy blog, which he founded, with new content and analysis. Cato Institute constitutional scholar Ilya Shapiro contributed the book's foreword, which covers the case's “historical, legal, and current policy framework.” [Emphasis added.]
Guys, when someone on your side of the political aisle says that there's no basis for this silly argument, don't you think it's time to finally set it aside (I Corinthians 13:11)?

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