You know when politics gets really scary? When people begin to deny that the United States is a democracy, that is when I start fearing for the current political livelihood of my country. And when those same people pass laws that make it mandatory for children to learn that America is not a democracy, that is when I begin losing hope for any good future. I knew I was coming back to a State that is a few ticks short of normal, but I had not idea it was coming to this: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/51390319-76/bill-compound-constitutional-curriculum.html.csp.
So, apparently all of those wars and skirmishes we have fought over the past 40 years haven’t been for the spread of democracy as usually claimed, because conservatives, who claim to represent the majority of us, do not think that we are or should be democratic; so why should we fight for that right for others? Were we fighting for them to become “compound constitutional republics?” Does that even mean anything? There is no actual hard and fast definition for a “compound constitutional republic.” As far as I know, Sen. Madsen made it up. I am assuming he means “a political system, backed by a constitution, in which a separation and balance of elected representatives keep each others’ powers in check.” He does not attempt to explain this, but he does make it a point to imply that democracy has something to do with socialism. Huh?
Interestingly, I think he knows exactly what he is doing. Let’s go to dictionary.com for a standard definition of socialism: “a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.” (By the way, I challenge anyone to describe to me why this is such a bad idea.) Gosh, what theory or system of political organization does this sound like (see dictionary.com’s definition of democracy here)? They are so close in meaning that they are practically the same concept. One deals with politics and one deals with money… but of course, what is politics if not money? You see, no one is actually teaching socialism in our schools, as Sen. Madsen is suggesting; but we are teaching democracy, and as far as Sen. Madsen and his friends are concerned, it’s the same damn thing.
One problem though. How does Sen. Madsen think that the “compound constitutional republic” comes about? Does he think that representatives are elected out of thin air? I can’t speak for his intelligence, but it should be pretty clear to anyone else that those representatives are elected democratically by The People. Truth is, we are a “compound constitutional democratic republic,” and to claim and teach otherwise is preposterous and, I think, dangerous.
What message does this new law send to Utah’s youth? Will their voice matter when they are old enough to vote? Do we still value We The People? Or have we been replaced by We The Politicians? Most importantly, are we so afraid of anything that can be construed as socialism that we are willing to throw out democracy along with it?