Feb. 10 letters

Feb 10, 2014

Look at the tenets of Republicans, Democrats

To the editor:

Most people cannot answer the question, “Why are you a Democrat or Republican?”  And if they take a swing at it the answer is something obscure like, “I believe life begins in the womb” or “I don’t like the rich making money off the backs of the poor” and surprisingly some answer as simple as “my parents were one or the other.”

But when you really dig into what should define a Republican and Democrat, there are not enough people out there that know the defining difference.

As simple as it can be made, Democrats and Republicans support differently the concepts of a democracy and a republic.  In short, a pure democracy allows anyone in a majority to vote things and rights away from a minority.  A republic is where a Constitution limits what government can do and therefore protects a minority from having things and rights voted away from them.

If you claim to be a Democrat, I expect you to advocate “majority rules.”  You would look at the U.S. Constitution as being something you want to vote to change so that you can take things and rights from others that are in a minority for the benefit of the majority.

I expect you to think the Democratic Party is the “People’s Party” in that government should be a tool the majority of people can use to get things done.

If you claim to be a Republican, I expect you to look toward the Constitution to determine how government must be limited regardless of what any “majority” might want.  You would promote everyone having equal protection under the law — an individual or minority group gets the same protection as a majority.  I expect you to think the Republican Party is the party that protects you from a government that, left unchecked, will eventually become overbearing and oppressive.

The United States is a democratic republic where both sides need representation.  Keep your elected officials honest by measuring them in accordance to what defines a Republican or Democrat.  Sometimes those elected officials get too involved with politics to remember their founding.

Scott Lilly

Hazelwood and Jersey City