It's a Republic, but can we keep it?
Monday, October 14, 2013 10:00 PM
Exitus in dubio est.
Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Tuesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two points if you can translate it. Ten points if you know its place in early U.S. history. And a gazillion points if you connect all the dots and have an answer on how to fix this.
The translation is, "the outcome is in doubt." The history comes in because that's what was printed on our dough when the U.S. was still wrapped in swaddling clothes and not a few trillion bucks in debt.
It was around the time when Ben Franklin was asked what sort of government we were going to have. "A republic, if you can keep it," was his reported response.
Both historical notes seem appropriate when our federal government feels more dysfunctional than an episode of the Kardashians and the faith of those living outside the D.C. beltway is waning badly.
We're way beyond normal griping and grumbling about politicians. Thing is, I don't know if we're near the point of complete and total apathy or if we're facing a fundamental change in our country unlike anything we've seen since the tumultuous '60s?
This isn't a Republican problem. Not the Democrats. Not the Tea Party, either. There's enough blame to go around for all of them. And you and I don't get off scot free either. We put these clowns in office by either voting for them or not voting at all. Too many of us have become completely disconnected from our responsibilities in keeping the republic.
I don't pretend to have a magic answer, but maybe, just maybe, it's not that tough. The political types have been explaining how complicated things are and I may be a simple guy, bordering on being a moron, but it seems pretty straightforward to me.
One side won, one lost. A big part of the issue is Obamacare, and as a guy who owns a couple of businesses, I don't like very much of what I've seen of this new health care plan. But whether I like it or not, there are a few things that are fact. One, it passed both chambers of Congress. Two, the highest court in the land upheld it. Third, and perhaps most importantly, it was a big issue when we elected a president and the guy who's name is attached to it won. In the country I grew up in, all those things mean it's the law. The folks who don't like it should meet and discuss and plan and strategize on what to do about it.
At. The. Next. Election.
We've had peaceful transitions of power that way for more than 235 years. Anything else is tip-toeing awfully close to something that starts feeling too much like a coup.
Let's think about this in a different way. What if it were local? What if Mayor Todd Barton proposed something, got elected on it and then got the city council to buy in? What if one group then decided they didn't like it? Would we all sit back and let that one group grind everything to a halt?
I suspect not.
Yet we're allowing it in D.C.
Like I said, I see things in simple ways. If we the people (yup, used that phrase on purpose) decide we've had enough, we could change it pretty quickly. Phone calls, e-mails, letters to the editor, texts, tweets, Facebook, you name it . . . if enough of us said, well, enough, those inside the beltway out east would listen.
We've got a republic. Can we keep it? Exitus in dubio est.