Thursday, August 19, 2010

Minority Voice

By Douglas V. Gibbs

A liberal commenter wrote: "You don't understand the courts roll in protecting minority groups from the whims of the majority. It's as if you think this nation is a pure democracy.. which is really weird because you think you know something about the US Constitution.

Regardless.. same-sex marriage is legal in a handful of states, and that won't ever become un-done. It will be nation-wide in our life times. I'll be very pleased to see that, and know that your vile nature will have been rejected.

It's coming sooner than you think, and there's nothing you can do about it."

First, learn how to spell "role." Second, I never indicated that this nation is a democracy. In fact, it is the Left that continually denies that the United States is a Republic. Third, your ideas of protecting the minority from the whims of the majority takes a little bit from two locations, the U.S. Constitution in regards to protecting the minority States and the fight regarding the Jim Crow laws, and you have somehow mish-mashed them into something that you think best fits your argument, without taking into consideration the true intent of what you think you perceive. Your comment about same-sex marriage being legal in some states only supports the state sovereignty argument that I am about to convey. If all states, under some kind of federal mandate, becomes same-sex marriage compliant, then it will be a sign of a tyranny, not a victory for gays. The issue is a State issue, and if some States allow gay marriage, great. If others deny gay marriage, that is fine too. If you don't like what your State did regarding the issue, either work to change the law, put up and shut up, or vote with your feet by leaving the State and going to a State that better fits your opinion. As for the liberal's final statement, "there's nothing you can do about it," the statement has a Gavin Newsom ring to it. Nice of you, Mr. Liberal, to determine that your "belief" and "behavior" will be forced on us no matter what we think. True tyranny, indeed.

One must realize that the U.S. Constitution was written so that the minority opinion would also have a voice. The Constitution was not written so that a minority opinion could dominate, or control, the political system, as the radical gay agenda is currently trying to accomplish. The voice of the minority was given the opportunity to be heard by a system of checks, balances, and a separation of powers. This kind of system is a representative republic, rather than a democracy. A democracy can result in "mob rule," which is a dangerous possibility if the people are fooled by a tyranny.

One of the strategies used by the Founding Fathers to guard against this nation following a path toward becoming a democracy is State Sovereignty. The powers of the federal government are few, and the powers of the States are many. The States were also given a voice in the federal government, limiting the direct representation of the people to the House of Representatives. The U.S. Senate was populated by two Senators from each State, appointed by the State Legislatures. This gave the States an equal voice in Congress, regardless of their population, assuring that the minority States, or less populous States, would be heard as well.

The State Legislatures also appointed electors to vote for the President of the United States. But the number of electors was based on population, giving the more populous States a little more elective power. However, the Electoral College is set up in such a way that a group of smaller States can still easily out-vote a larger State, thus still giving a voice to the minority States.

The Founding Fathers understood that rural States had different concerns than industrial States. They did not wish for the more populous industrial States to wield more power over the less populous States, but they did not desire for the rural States to have so much power that they were able to override the industrial States, either.

By giving the States powers in the federal government, plus the sovereign power to handle their own affairs, it allowed the States to be more involved in issues that the federal government could not concern themselves with, not only because of the limitations placed upon the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, but because to allow the federal government to mandate laws regarding local issues, or issues that did not concern protecting, preserving and promoting the union, may lead this nation in the direction of becoming a tyranny. Therefore, we must be careful with what powers we afford the federal government.

Slavery was an issue the Founding Fathers wrestled with a lot. Not only did our economy, and agriculture, depend upon slavery, but the Southern States would not ratify the U.S. Constitution if the signers of the Constitution wrote into the document to ban slavery. Also, they had to take into consideration the issue of State's Rights. Slaves imported from outside the country fell under federal jurisdiction before the persons entered the jurisdiction of the States, but once the slaves were within the borders of the States, the slave became an issue of local authority through the concept of State sovereignty.

Desiring to begin the process of abolishing slavery, but knowing that they must protect the concept of State Sovereignty, while also compromising to make all sides willing to ratify the Constitution, the Founders decided to write Article I, Section 9, Clause 1, which allowed the new Federal Government, in 1808, to prohibit the import of new slaves into America (giving a twenty year warning since the Constitution was written in 1897), which made the anti-slavery states happy; but did not outlaw slavery so that the slave-states would still be willing to ratify the Constitution. Then, true to their word, on January 1, 1808, Congress passed legislation that prohibited the import of new slaves.

Eventually, the slavery issue exploded into an American Civil War, and the 14th Amendment was written to afford the newly emancipated slaves all of the rights and privileges of citizenship, regardless of (as stated in the 15th Amendment) race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Jim Crow laws appeared after the war, which were state and local laws that mandated segregation, and unequal treatment - or as the South stated: Equal but Separate.

In 1875 a Civil Rights Act was introduced, stipulating that everyone, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, was entitled to the same treatment in public accommodations, such as inns, public transportation, theaters, and other places of recreation. The Supreme Court in 1883 struck the law down because they deemed it unconstitutional for Congress to dictate to private persons or corporations what they can and can't do. As a result, though the fight remained, another civil rights law was not passed until 1957.

Through the civil rights movement, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the United States Congress, and the judicial system, ensured that at least from a legal standpoint, blacks would be afforded equal rights and privileges in all parts of society. From this, the Constitutional concept of the rights of the minority being protected transformed into something the courts did for minority groups.

One must also consider, when tackling the gay marriage issue, that the 14th Amendment was written specifically with the newly emancipated slaves in mind, and was not written regarding gender, or behavioral choice. Even the feminists of the women's rights movement knew this - which is why they did not use the 14th Amendment for their cause, but instead proposed a new amendment to the Constitution (ERA - Equal Rights Amendment).

So, to go back to the liberal comment regarding protecting the minority from the whims of the majority, that concept was meant in regards to the minority States versus the more populated States. However, even that part of the system has been broken down, and it was compromised by "progressive" thinking - in other words: liberals.

In 1824 the people began voting for the electors for President of the United States. Prior to that year, the State Legislatures appointed those electors. The 17th Amendment turned the Senate over to the vote of the people during the early part of the next century. What this did was take away the State's voice in the federal government, leaving the voting powers in the hands of the people on all fronts, essentially moving this nation in the direction of a democracy, allowing for the whims of the fooled to vote in a tyranny - and alas, that is exactly what happened in 2006 and 2008. And the last vestige of protecting the minority voices of the smaller States lies in the Electoral College, and there is currently a liberal push to eliminate that too.

As for the will of the people - the representatives are supposed to act in a manner consistent with that of their constituency's wishes. The House of Representatives, the people's voice in the federal government, was actually the most powerful part of government and was the only part purely in the hands of the people. The House has the power to impeach, and holds the purse strings, which can simply defund laws that the people don't like.

Considering the will of the people in a representative republic is not a move towards a pure democracy. Considering the will of the people is a sign that the representatives are truly responsive to, and representative of, the people.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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