The Principles Needed For a Republic

The Principles Needed For a Republic

Part of the "Republic" Series
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While different countries are fit best for different forms of government, one particular form although imperfect will always be the object of my political devotion. This is the idea of a republic. By no stretch of the imagination are republics perfect, but these days I feel like they can use more appreciation.

I’ve been seeing many absolute monarchist apologists lately, and decided to write a series of articles about republicanism to offer the perspective so many in the US take for granted.
As a disclaimer there are a great variety of republics in the world- some more capitalist, others more socialist, some in between.

This article will discuss in an entertaining way the principles that are needed for a republic.

Self Governance

What is this concept? The concept I will express is a clear one, one of the people’s self governance in place with checks and balance. The first step to a virtuous republic is to have governance over yourself. Governance over your own desires and temptations. I can't just go into a candy store and eat all the chocolate. This first step is taught through the family. If the family doesn’t teach it, the schools should. This can be done secular or religiously, the point is human values. Values such as kindness and goodness that are universal to all religions and peoples. I believe that an Atheist and a Baptist can both reach the conclusion that kindness goes further than cruelty, and that we should show love to the human race.

This is self-governance, the first step in a republic. When I govern over my impulses and do not say the first thing that comes to my mind, this is a sign that I can rule my own spirit.

A young child may hit or scream to get what they want, but when they learn the principle of self-governance the world goes by smoothly.

Virtue

After self-governance comes “virtue” which is very closely related to it. Virtue is a concept of morality and right and wrong. While some moral issues vary based on religious context, I’ll leave these aside for another deeper analysis and get to the core issues. There seems to be a sense of “right” and “wrong’ expressed by human nature. The very idea of a conscious and “I did something wrong” cements this idea. If I stole a kid’s candy bar, I think universally people would say I did something wrong. A republic needs basic laws to prevent citizens from infringing on the rights of others. This is the concept of “virtue.” There are some sins that the government cannot govern, but if what I’m doing infringes on another person’s rights then I’m in the wrong.



Liberty

What is liberty? This in itself has had numerous topics devoted to it. I’d say liberty is the right of an individual to live, to express their views without worrying about imprisonment for being a dissident, to write articles criticizing the government without fear of the gulag, to worship freely without persecution. This is liberty, a combined series of concepts of the very core of human nature- to be themselves. An atheist socialist has the same right to express their viewpoints as a conservative Baptist. The government cannot take this right away unless personal harm is done or threatened.

Equality

Everybody should have a chance to vote and be heard.
People like to paint “liberty” and “equality” as opposing concepts, but I should point out we need both. Liberty without equality will result in anarchy, equality without liberty will result in totalitarianism.

We have the liberty to do what we want as long as we don’t infringe on others liberty. Equality is to give everybody a chance of success. This is where I know a lot of good intelligent people have different concepts of “equality.”
I shall classify us all as “republicans” (not the political party, but believers of the concept of a republic as opposed to a monarchy) Some republicans believe that the lower classes need more help from the government in order to succeed. A poor person growing up in the slums will not have the same access to education and jobs as a wealthy kid growing up right outside DC in the Northern Virginia suburbs.

Therefore this category of republicans believes that the government on the state or federal level should invest more funds into helping these people have a chance at success.

The second category of republicans is more Jeffersonian and believes a lassiez-faire approach works best for the person to truly appreciate their success.

Equality of opportunity vs Equality of outcome. Personally I believe in both, we need to help the disadvantage to have more opportunities of success and we need to open ways to have more jobs in this country for a wider variety of fields. If we have no jobs that people are truly passionate about, how are they free to pursue their own interests?
But this also is a topic I’d love to devote more time to.

Human Solidarity

This I mean as in humanity. We need a concept of solidarity and helping our fellow humans without help from the government. The government steps in when issues are too big for the people to help. But we need a sense of looking out for each other as a family. If we do not care about our fellow citizens, where is our republic? Our republic dissolves into selfishness and greedy people taking over. Of course, selfishness and greed come with human nature but so does kindness and goodness. We needs checks and balances in our government to set greed against itself, to check our fellow people with a sense of critique but also help to help them improve themselves. We need to have open dialogue with those who are different from us. Different races, different religions, different political backgrounds- once we do that we find out we have more in common than we ever thought. One of the most interesting discussions I had was with a girl from a totally different background, class, family background, political and religious views. But this girl and I were passionate about the same topics and interested in the same subjects. This made discussions even more enriching to see her angle and where she came from as an individual.


These are several morals I laid out. Many of them are complex enough ideas that I would love to devote entire essays to them and highlight all the opposing viewpoints. But the most important thing in a republic is that we have some variant of these concepts, and with that the system of a republic consisting of an elected legislature held accountable to the people through frequent elections, the president and legislature both being held accountable to the Constitution which stands as the supreme law of the land to protect human rights. Active citizens who are well-read on the issues facing the republic and open to discussing the issues facing them. These concepts all come together to form the republic. Long live the republic, while it isn’t the perfect system it is a system that gives people of diverse backgrounds a chance to be heard and a chance to succeed.

Cover Image Credit: The American Yawp

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Stop Yelling At Me For Being Conservative

What you shouldn't say to millennial Republicans.
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Society today has a funny way of making Republicans seem like the scum of the Earth. The funniest thing is that it's actually not funny at all — it's an ignorant, rude way to treat people. See, America these days seems to be all about treating everyone fairly. That is, until differing opinions come about. How dare we Republicans view economics and politics differently? How dare we have our own opinions? How dare we identify as Conservative people, even as young adults?

So, without further ado, here are some things that I, a millennial Republican, am beyond tired of hearing.


"You're just a college girl, what do you know about politics?"

Yeah, I'm a basic white girl. I wear Converse to class and my sorority's letters are on my rear windshield. Guess what, though — I do my research. I've been following the presidential campaigns for months now. I've watched the debates, read the articles, visited the websites and studied the polls. I may be in a sorority and I may wear Converse, but I know what I'm talking about when it comes to this stuff. So, if you ask for my opinion, be prepared to hear a well-thought-out, educated answer.

"You only believe what your parents raised you to believe."

No, actually. My parents raised me to understand the value of hard work. They made me get a job when I was 16 years old so I could learn how to budget, save and provide for myself. My parents did not teach me to rely on other people to get what I want. My parents did not teach me to accept handouts. Therefore, I believe that success comes from hard work and dedication. I believe that each individual is responsible for his or her own success (along with his or her own property and obligations), hence why I identify as a Conservative.

"You're voting for him?!"

Yeah! I am! Funny, I thought we were all entitled to our own opinion. It turns out this is my opinion, and [insert candidate] has my vote. Cool how that works, huh?

"The GOP candidates this time around are horrible."

It doesn't take an idiot to see that none of the Republican candidates are the ideal presidential candidate. It also doesn't take an idiot to see that the same thing can be said of the Democratic candidates. Here's the reality: There never has been a perfect president, there never has been a perfect presidential candidate, there is no perfect president, there is no perfect presidential candidate, there never will be a perfect president and there never will be a perfect presidential candidate.

"You're so selfish."

Define selfish. I want my money to be my money and I want my rights to be my rights; I was unaware that that labels me as "selfish." I am confident that I can survive without the government's help.

"But don't you care about the old people/the kids/the environment/the homeless people/etc?"

Yes, I do. What I don't like is that my hard-earned money gets taken from me and used for other things. I'm not against helping out, don't get me wrong. I would love to donate to charities to help children and homeless people and the planet, that is if I had enough money to do so. Sadly, that money gets taken from me through taxes (Which could be considered forced donation, if you ask me. How is that fair?).

"But what about the minorities? You're just racist."

No, I'm not racist and yes, I do care about the minorities. I believe diversity is one of America's greatest qualities. What bothers me, though, is that society changes the meaning of "fair" when it comes to minorities. Yeah, it would be fair for us to all be able to pay our own medical bills and whatnot. Do you know what else would be fair? For even the members of minorities to get jobs and earn their way to success just like I'm trying to do. If illegal immigrants want to come to America, then they can go through the citizenship process, get a job and contribute to society. If they want to be treated equally, they need to start viewing themselves and treating themselves as working American citizens who pay the same taxes, get the same jobs and fight the same daily battles that we fight.

"You're hateful and/or heartless."

Nah. What I am is honest, self-sufficient and confident that other people can be honest and self-sufficient.

"You're ignorant."

Again, no, I'm not. As I've said several other times throughout this article, I know what I'm talking about and I can justify what I'm talking about. If anything, you're ignorant for accusing me of such things.

"You're crazy if you'd vote Trump over Sanders or Clinton if he's the chosen GOP candidate."

Please enlighten me on how this makes me "crazy." In this upcoming election, I will be voting for the candidate chosen by my political affiliation. The Republican Party's only strong opposing candidates include a self-proclaimed Socialist and a woman under FBI investigation. What I would consider "crazy" is if I voted for Sanders or Clinton over Donald Trump, just because Trump has offended some people before. (And no, this is not me saying I'm a loud and proud Trump supporter. In fact, Cruz has my vote either until he's elected into office or until Trump is chosen as the GOP candidate.)

Side note: I've heard the people, who hate Trump for being mean, say meaner things than that man ever has. A very wise man (Jesus, in John 8:7) once said, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."


What you should be saying to me is "Thank you," because I'm voting for freedom. I'm voting for civil liberties. I'm voting for constitutional rights. I'm voting for the will to succeed. I'm voting for the reward for hard work. I'm voting for the things that will actually help America keep prospering.

So, here's what I'll say to you: You're welcome.

Cover Image Credit: Kristi Russell

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Ilhan Omar Is at Best Foolhardy and at Worst, Yes, Anti-Semitic

Her latest statements seem to lack substance, motivation, or direction.

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I find the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be a curious one.

Specifically, I am referring to the recent controversy over select comments of hers that have generated accusations of anti-Semitism. In all honesty, prior to doing research for this article, I was prepared to come to her defense.

When her comments consisted primarily of "Israeli hypnosis" and monied interest, I thought her wording poor, though not too egregiously deviated from that of most politicians in the current climate of bad behavior. After all, Israeli PACs surely do have a monied interest in the orientation of United States policy in the Middle East. Besides, if President Trump can hypothesize about killing someone in broad daylight and receive no official sanction, I don't see the need for the House of Representatives to hand down reprimand to Rep. Omar for simply saying that Israel may have dealt wrongly, regardless of the veracity of that position.

And yet, seemingly discontent that she had not drawn enough ire, Omar continued firing. She questioned the purported dual loyalty of those Americans who support the state of Israel, while also making claim that the beloved former President Obama is actually not all that different from the reviled current President Trump.

In short, the initial (mostly) innocuous statements about the United States' relation with Israel have been supplanted by increasingly bizarre (and unnecessary) postulations.

Those latest two controversies I find most egregious. Questioning the loyalty of an American citizen for espousing support for a heavily persecuted world religion and in defense of a refuge for practitioners of that self-same religion that has existed as an independent state since 1948, seems, in really no uncertain terms, anti-Semitic.

After all, is it not her own party that so adamantly supports persecuted Palestinians in the very same region? Is it not she and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) (who is not without her own streak of anti-Semitic controversy) that have rejected challenges to their own loyalty in being ethnically Somali and Palestinian respectively? Is her claim not akin to the "racist" demands that Obama produce proof of his birth in the United States, and the more concrete racism that asserted he truly was not? And (if you care to reach back so far) can her statement not be equated to suggestions that President John F. Kennedy would be beholden to the Vatican as the first (and to date only) Catholic to hold the presidency?

From what I can discern amongst her commentary, in Omar's mind, the rules that apply to her framework on race, ethnicity, religion, and culture as sacred idols above reproach do not extend to her Jewish contemporaries.

Oh, and may I remind you that over 70% of Jewish Americans voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016.

And yet, beyond even this hypocrisy, is the strange disdain Omar suddenly seems to hold for Barack Obama. Even as a non-Democrat, while I can find reason for this, it is still largely perplexing.

To begin with, I recognize that Ilhan Omar is not your prototypical Democrat. She would scoff at being termed a moderate, and likely would do the same to being labeled a traditional liberal. While she doesn't identify as an outright democratic socialist, one would have to be totally clueless to avoid putting her in the company of those who do, such as Tlaib or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

As such, she's bound to have some critical evaluations of President Obama, despite the lionizing that the Democratic establishment has and continues to engage in. Two points still stick out to me as obvious incongruities in her statement, however.

First, Obama and Trump are nothing alike. Again, this coming from someone who does not regularly support either, I can at least attempt to claim objectivity. While Obama might not have been faithful to all the demands of the far-left during his presidency, his position on the political spectrum was far from the extreme bent that Trump has ventured into.

Secondly, there is the style of the two men to consider. While Obama had his share of goofs and gaffes (I still think it somewhat juvenile that he often refused to say "radical Islamic terrorism" when referring to Islamist extremists) he pales in comparison to Trump. Every week Trump has his foot caught in a new bear trap. Obama is enormously tame in comparison.

And in addition to all of that, one must beg the question of Omar's timing. With Republicans emboldened by her controversies and House Democratic leadership attempting to soothe the masses, why would Omar strike out at what's largely a popular figure for those that support her most? There seemed no motivation for the commentary and no salient reasoning to back it up, save that Omar wanted to speak her mind.

Such tactlessness is something that'll get you politically killed.

I do not believe Barack Obama was a great president, but that's not entirely important. I don't live in Ilhan Omar's district; her constituents believe Obama was a great president, and that should at least factor into her considerations. Or maybe she did weigh the negative value of such backlash and decided it wouldn't matter? 2019 isn't an election year, after all. Yet, even if that's the case, what's to gain by pissing off your superiors when they're already pissed off at you?

You need to pick your battles wisely in order to win the war, and I'm highly doubtful Omar will win any wars by pitching scorched-earth tactics over such minute concerns.

Her attitude reminds me not only of that of some of her colleagues engaging obtusely and unwisely over subjects that could best be shrugged off (see the AOC media controversies), but also some of my own acquaintances. They believe not only in the myth of their own infallibility, but the opposition bogeyman conjured by their status in a minority or marginalized group. As the logic goes, "I'm a member of x group, and being so gives me the right to decimate anyone who has any inclination to stand against me in any capacity, tit for tat." So much for civility.

I initially came here to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar, and I still do hold to that in certain cases. The opposition to some of her positions is unwarranted. She is allotted the freedom of speech, as are all Americans.

And yet, in certain other cases she has conducted herself brashly, and, one could argue, anti-Semitically.

All I can say is that I am content living adjacent to Minneapolis, not in it. You'd be hard-pressed to find me advocating for leadership that makes manifest in such impolitic fashion.

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