America is not simply a democracy. Nor is it simply a republic. It is both. It is meant to balance both. Too much republic, and the leaders become tyrannical. Too much democracy, and you’ve only really got an ochlocracy. That’s why it was originally a House of Representatives elected by popular vote, and a Senate elected by state legislatures. That’s why there is an Electoral College.
It’s definitely true that you can’t put too much power in the hands of the general masses. Anendotal example: In English class we were supposed to give a “present” to a character in the novel The Grapes of Wrath. After everyone presented, we were to vote on the best one. Now, some people had some well-thought out gifts, but ones that weren’t too appealing to the general masses. What did appeal to the general masses were breast pumps. People voted, and that’s what won.
Not everyone is a politician, not everyone is informed enough to make important decisions. That’s why we elect representatives. Many people aren’t willing to sacrifice in the short-term to achieve a long-term goal.
Would you rather have a well-educated or an uneducated person lead you? Or, let me put it this way, would you rather have an informed person lead you, or an uninformed person lead you? Not everyone can be trusted to lead. Not everyone is fit to lead. It does make a difference who leads us.
Now, this doesn’t mean that there’s an elite class to rule us, it just means that some people are better leaders than others. And those that are better should be leading. There are less people who can lead than those who can’t. That’s why we can’t just let the general public decide everything.
I’m not going to go into the dangers of lending to much power to the republic side. We all know about the dangers of dictatorship. I just wanted to explain that an ochlocracy is also dangerous.
Let me apply this to the recent successful California governor recall. According to what I said, perhaps you’d think I would’ve been against the recall. Not so. This is because it was at the state level. States are more local and should be influenced more by the general public. The federal government has more distance. States should be able to decide whether a popular vote can recall a state official. California did decide that. The recall was good. As long as the standards are set high enough, it keeps democracy and republic balanced.
So, it looks as if Davis is gone, and Arnold is governor of California. This is a pretty momentous, being only the second recall in American history. Since I’m a Californian, this should affect me, but right now, I don’t have much to say. Let’s just wait and see what happens.
Hm, I don’t like being wrong. The day after I write my commentary, the new polls show Arnold way out ahead. By all indications — and, by all indications, I mean that one poll — Arnold is going to win. Plus, it looks like people want Gray Davis out. Or shall I say, “Grave” Davis. That one came from a slip of my teacher’s tongue, haha.
Although, as this election draws to a close, we see the smear campaign going in full force. Huffington quits the race, and she’s just mad an Arnold. She completely flips her position from supporting the recall to being against the recall. I wonder how much of the dirt is due to Davis, and how much is due to Huffington.
There isn’t that much time left, so unless something drastic happens, I’m not commenting on this issue again until after the results of the election are known.
If I was to only put one comment here, it would be that, in my opinion, Huffington is a joke. She kept making personal digs at everyone. Then, with multiple questions, she kept digressing to “fighting the Bush administration,” and how the “two-party system is broken.” I don’t think she really contributed anything positive.
I didn’t watch enough to have any decent comments about Camejo, but I figure he has no chance of winning anyway.
Schwarzenegger didn’t do all that bad; he held his own. However, based on the parts I saw, more of what he said was rooted in ideals rather than facts. McClintock seemed more down to Earth, and to have actual goals.
I don’t really know what to say about Bustamante except when he was speaking, he really exuded “politician.” It didn’t seem like he really engaged in conflict, whereas some others did.
I’m still sticking by my original guess that the recall won’t pass (barely). If it does, I think McClintock may actually win it. Based on the polls, he’s the only one gaining momentum in the race. And when people think he’s got a chance, more will flock to him, because that was what was inhibiting them from wanting to vote for McClintock.
So much news coverage, so much. And won’t it all be for naught if the recall doesn’t even pass in the first place? It looks like that’s the direction where things are headed. People assumed Davis was dead. They underestimated him, and he can be one mean dirty politician. I mean, that’s how he won the last election.
That doesn’t mean I like Davis, far from it. I do think the Californian government needs some rehauling, to cut down on spending. And, I think Davis’ complete incompetence, especially during the energy crisis, justifies the recall. However, I wonder how much good anyone can do in the governor’s seat at this point in time. Oh well, I haven’t been following it too closely because I don’t think the recall is going to pass, and I don’t want all my attention to be spent for naught.
Bustamante would’ve had a real good chance of winning if he had just gone for it. Not this “no on recall, yes on bustamante” cumbersome crap. That would’ve been interested if he’d said “Yes on recall.”
With all this media attention, you’d think Schwarzenegger could’ve had a decent chance. But what has he done lately? Does anyone know what he’s really about? No definition, and I guess people will say, no vote. Moreover, some people are concerned he’s just a puppet for Wilson and Riordan.
McClintock just may have a chance. He has the ability to get a lot of the conservative vote because that’s what he is, conservative. He managed to differentiate himself during the debate (which I didn’t watch).
So, we’ll see what happens. But again, I’m predicting the recall won’t pass.