I am part of the post war generation. I am old enough now that I guess I need to explain which war. That would be the post WWII generation. There are a couple of dates that do not need to be explained to my generation, December 7th and 9-11.
I never remembered having a daily prayer in school in public school. But, every morning we did the pledge of allegiance, ‘…and to the Republic for which it stands….’
I was working in a middle mid-west state government, when 9-11 happened, “we should have known”, “why weren’t we looking, listening..” were the comments on my left and right. The Patriot Act was passed. The Democrats in our office decried “intrusion, the loss of personal rights”, the Republicans in our office decried “national protection, the need to be ever alert”. The real concern in bills like this, is, at passage everyone knows what is expected, sometime later no one will remember the intent, only the availability of the power.
We didn’t perceive an event like the Boston Marathon bombing, but the review afterwards of the available information, began giving a picture of the bombers complicity and ideological base. A couple of weeks later the Federal Government entered a Minnesota mobile home and arrested an individual who was perceived “might” have threatened to harm local government officials. It was stated he had a stash of weapons, pipe bombs, and had been “touting” WE NEED TO BE READY when the government begins taking away our rights. (I think that’s too late.)
The other night, we watched, again, the movie RED. There is this one character, who believes the CIA (government) is watching, tapping, listening to everything we do, say, buy, etc., he seems a bit paranoid. Or is he? Ask that unknown Minnesota man who hasn’t been heard of since the government entered his mobile home. (or at least the national press no longer cares to ink his story)
Then there is the IRS, Tea Party scandal stuff.
I really do see the need for “due diligence”, but there seems to be a misplaced perspective of authority. When do you use the power and when not. The so-called liberal press has learned that even their own reporters are not immune from governmental scrutiny, after having all of his telephone records pulled looking for the government insider leak.
Today, with a Democratic President, it’s now the Democrats which tout national security, and the Republicans decry intrusion of privacy. Interesting how the table turns.
My thoughts return to the “Pledge”, …and to the Republic, for which it stands. I began to wonder why was the word Republic used and where did it come from? I have since discovered that the wording is in the Constitution of the United States, declaring that the states were to have a “republican” form of government.
After all these years of standing up and saying the pledge, I’m thinking, ‘I don’t really understand what is this Republic/republican government concept. Maybe it’s because I’ve become old(er) and don’t remember what I was taught in school, if it was taught to me. What is the difference between our Republic and our Democracy?
I have found it stated, that in a Republic, the civilization/members/body, vote on a position and majority rules, but if the minority doesn’t like it the position, they don’t have to follow it.
Conversely, in a Democracy, the civilization/members/body, vote on a position and the majority rules, but if the minority doesn’t like it, tough, they have to do what the majority says or go to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200, and also never to be heard from again. Sort of sounds like some central American dictatorships formerly in the news.
I’m thinking, we probably need to change our pledge, obviously, we are no longer a Republic.