Does America Want a Democracy or an Oligarchy?
- 23 June 2006 by Author 0 Comments
Does America Want a Democracy or an Oligarchy?
Idaho State Journal June 23, 2006
By Richard Larsen
It’s been intriguing this past few weeks to see the numerous, mostly unsubstantiated, positions posited regarding the recently defeated Marriage Protection Amendment. Many letters to the editor as well as a couple of editorials have addressed the issue. Most simply opine. And opinions, as the truism states, are worth exactly what you pay for them. Nothing! None provided evidence or research to substantiate their postulations. But simply because one such opinion may be an attorney, is that sufficient “evidence” to warrant redefinition of marriage? I submit that it is not. Actually it is symptomatic of the most significant underlying issue.
Most telling is the fact that those arguing against the amendment, and in favor of extending the definition of marriage to include homosexual relationships, have failed on two crucial points. They have not refuted my evidence of accelerated collapse of societal morality or the challenge to free speech and free exercise of religion issues I’ve raised the past few weeks, and none have provided convincing argument for why a permanent homosexual relationship has to be a “marriage” versus some other convention recognizable by the state. All they provide is erudite, opinionated platitudes devoid of empirical substantiation. The only demographer they can cite in support of their position has proven to be fallacious.
Previously asserted evidence, especially that from the Scandinavian countries, requires serious consideration, not just glib knee-jerk reactions about rights and discrimination. Most people in this country believe in absolute truths and values. Not everything is up for negotiation or compromise as society morphs to increasingly value-less shades of gray. Marriage between a man and a woman is one such verity. When evidence is afforded of homosexual couples being able to, without artificial means, conceive and bear children, then you may have a point. Until then, homosexual unions are at best imitation, counterfeit, and artificial “marriages.”
From a political science perspective, however, there is perhaps even a more fundamental question. That has to do with what sort of government we believe we have. We maintain as citizens that the United States is a republic. Even the Pledge of Allegiance correctly states, “…and to the republic, for which it stands…” A republic is a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law
However, as it relates to this particular issue, I submit that we have an oligarchy. This form of government is one in which a small group exercises control and power, typically for selfish purposes. The oligarchy is comprised of the handful of judges scattered around the nation that have ignored democratic initiatives on state ballots and even President Clinton’s Defense of Marriage Act of 1996. These jurists seek to impose their will by fiat upon the will of the people. Rather than interpret the law, as they are required to do, they coerce the devaluation of our republic by striking down any laws that reinforce the sanctity of marriage.
Whether this elitist egotism is symptomatic of the legal profession is left to the reader to decide. One can’t help wonder after perusing the condescending arrogance exemplified by a local member of our legal community in a recent editorial. We are simply to accept their premises without justification or corroboration because they are the “enlightened” ones.
A recent gallop poll indicates that over 60% of Americans believe marriage should not be redefined to include homosexual couples. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 43 states have laws that bar recognition of same-sex “marriages.” Twenty-six states have statutes defining marriage as being between a man and a woman, and 17 have constitutional language, and 22 states have passed ballot initiatives preserving marriage between only a man and a woman. Yet individual judges in several of those states, including Michigan, Oregon, California, and Georgia, have overturned those democratic initiatives. Not based on unconstitutionality, but on personal opinion.
So there is your oligarchy; a handful of jurists who arrogantly ascribe to themselves the role of protectors of the homosexual political agenda. The populist will of the people doesn’t matter. Legislative and Congressional statute bear no weight. Ostensibly because we as an electorate, and our elected leaders, are not as enlightened as they seem to perceive that they are.
If we are to have our collective will reflected in our body of law, we must maintain the checks and balances against an egotistical, out-of-control handful of judges that overturn popular initiatives and sentiment. Since legislative statute and Federal Law can’t reign them in, the only way is through a Constitutional Amendment. If we want to live under the delusion that we are a republic, we do nothing and let the oligarchic judges rule. If we want to maintain our republic, a Constitutional Amendment will eventually be necessary.
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.