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Tuesday, 31 July 2018 22:40

United States is What? Featured

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We're all glad to be Americans because we live in a democracy right? But wait, is this really a democracy? Let's look at the differences between a democracy and a republic and you will see .... America is not a Democracy! Unfortunately they don't teach this stuff in school anymore. So show this to your kids and grand kids.

When we talked about a democracy, let's look at one from history, ancient Greece. Ancient Greece was a democracy, the people had the ultimate say, so for instance, in the case of a health care law, instead of having lawmakers draft a bill and vote on it and then let the people know what the decision was, they would write a bill, in this example, a health care bill and then all the people would go to the polls and the people would vote and if the majority of the people said we like the healthcare law it would become law and if the majority of people said we don't like it then it wouldn't become law. Everything would be based on majority rules.

But when the founders created our Constitution and our Bill of Rights to establish a form of government, they actually determine that a democracy could end up being the worst form of government. Many of the founders felt that democracy was nothing more than mob rule so they were against democracy and instead decided the correct form of government for this free nation was a republic. Think of our Pledge of Allegiance... "and to the Republic for which it stands"

This brings to mind the question, What's a republic? A republic is a form of government where the people will go to the polls to elect men and women who represent them and then those elected leaders create and vote on laws, the people don't vote directly on laws that affect their life rather its lawmakers who are chosen among the people and these are supposed to be the best, the smartest, the most ethical, the most moral, the most upright men and women in a society who represent the majority of society.

That's the form of government we have in the United States. The other thing that's important to understand is the distinction between democracy and a republic is that a democracy is the rule of man, man ruling over each other which our founders believed would become mob rule. Which we actually see happening somewhat in today's society. Like when someone is scheduled to speak at a university and the "Mob rule" comes out to stop the lecture or visit.

A republic is the rule of law. Laws are formed and created as a Bill of Rights or Constitution and then those laws are never (supposed to be) superseded by mob rule or superseded by elected officials, they are all under law. So a Republic is actually the rule of law. This is why we have to be careful who we elect into office.

Now here in Florida, and in other states, we do have a type of democracy.... in a sense. We the people can vote on amendments to our state constitution and so have a voice in our states law. Like we saw in November of 2016 where the people overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana amendment.

Another important vote is coming up this year, Florida’s 10% cap on annual property tax increases for non-homesteaded properties is due to expire at the end of this year, which will cause an immediate tax increase in 2019 of up to $700 million. The cap was approved by voters in 2008. If voters approve Amendment 2 on the General Election ballot in November, the cap will become permanent.

Unfortunately, voter turnout is the biggest factor in elections, in 2016 presidential election, the national average was only 58%. Florida fared a bit better with 65.61% voter turnout. So get informed for the vote in November, one way to do so is to keep reading this paper as we will cover the various amendments, go vote if you like to physically do that or apply for a vote-by-mail ballot! Oh and here's one more suggestion .... help your friends vote by bringing them with you or helping them apply for a mail ballot.

Vote-by-mail refers to voting a ballot received by mail or picked up by or for a voter who is unable or unwilling to go to the polls to vote during early voting or Election Day. A voter does not have to be absent from the county of residence or have an excuse in order to vote-by-mail except on Election Day (see details below). A request covers all elections through the end of the calendar year for the second ensuing regularly scheduled general election. To receive a vote-by-mail ballot, the voter must contact his or her county Supervisor of Elections.

To do so go to: http://dos.elections.myflorida.com/supervisors/

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