Are We in Stage 7 or Stage 8?
There is a natural progression of things in life. Governments have a natural progression too. A Scottish history professor, Alexander Tyler, did a very good analysis of government progression in the late 1700s. (Yes, this was a long time ago but it is still accurate.) He wrote,
(Can you say over $15 trillion of national debt?)
Tyler also analyzed the stages governments move through. He determined that governments always progress through the following stages:
Our Founding Fathers also knew that democracies do not last, that they invariably become tyrannies. That is why they established a republican form of government, specifically a representative republic. Knowing full well that no previous republic in history had survived is why they were so very careful in constructing how our government should work. They were giving the coming generations of Americans the best possible shot at being able to keep the republic they had established.
James Madison said, "Every word of the Constitution decides a question between power and liberty." In other words, between our being able to exercise our God given rights in our lives, or, being subject to the tyranny of government. If one reads the records from the time (deliberations at the Constitutional Convention, Federalist and Anti-federalist papers, state Ratification Conventions, letters exchanged, speeches given, etc.), the clear meaning of every word in the Constitution is obvious.
There are certain responsibilities that citizens must fulfill in order to maintain a republican form of government. One of these responsibilities is voting.
When I was growing up, my parents and their friends all treated voting as a sacred obligation. That sounds really extreme now-a-days but I assure you, they would have had to be on their death bed to miss voting! I remember one of my brothers teasing them, saying things like "You don't really think your vote makes a difference do you?" or "You don't think your vote really matters do you?" My mother would respond before anyone else had a chance, "Of course it matters! If you don't vote, you have no right to complain!" Believe me, if she didn't approve of what the government (local to federal) was doing, she let it be known! The others would nod in agreement and sometimes a discussion would follow. These people had lived through WW II and the depression. Some had lived through WW I. They understood and appreciated how lucky and blessed we are to be living in America. They also understood that to maintain a great country, we have to maintain a good government and that requires living up to our civic responsibilities – like voting.
We had a vote here in Claremont the other day. The City of Claremont has just over 14,000 residents of which 6,058 are registered voters. The polling places are easy to get to, there was same day registration available at the polls and absentee ballots were available ahead of time. The polls were open from 8AM to 7PM. The vote was primarily about articles that affect taxes here in Claremont – specifically school taxes. So, how many concerned and responsible citizens showed up to vote? 900. That is almost 15% of registered voters!
Claremont's taxes, both the school taxes and the city taxes, affect every single household and business in Claremont whether you own or rent. The new changes in the taxes are the result of less than 15% of the registered voters. Put another way, about 85% of the registered voters, and more than 93% of the residents in Claremont were not represented in this vote even though the results will affect their lives. This kind of voter apathy is showing up around the country. This level of apathy and non-participation in government – even when it will obviously affect your life – makes me wonder if America can survive for long as the "land of the free and home of the brave".
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Contact: ken.s+sunacom.com (replace "+" with "@")