Far right is wrong
There is considerable argument these days as to what this grand experiment in the governance of our nation, these United States of America, is. Is it a democracy? A republic? A Democratic Republic? Constitutional? Yes, to all. A democracy is a a system of government by the people and for the people. In a republic, supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen by them.
Split all the hairs you want, there is no difference between a Republic and a Democracy. At present, the Republicans ought be ashamed. They are wrong. In all aspects.
The terms "democracy" and "republic" both advocate a government that provides leadership, provides for our common defense. Provides public services and maintains order. Our nation has a constitution that lays out the basic and founding laws by which our democratic republic is defined.
The beauty of our system of governance, never perfect, is that it can ever be honed to more finely remove barriers so as to refine justice, to make it possible to a refine our government to remove barriers and so create opportunities for its citizens ... all of them; natural born or naturalized, indigenous or immigrant. It can ever be made more fair, more inclusive.
Our nation's constitution is predicated on the ideal that all men are created equal, and over the course of long, hard fought and painful years, most have come to agree that "all men" doesn't refer to gender, but to all citizens, regardless of race, creed, color or religion. We are all citizens of a great nation, some by virtue of birth, others by a desire to be part of and to support this "last best hope of earth."
In our nation's declaration of independence, we reverently acknowledge that we are, each of us, endowed with certain unalienable rights; to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. And if we read properly, those rights are reserved not just this nation's citizens, but all this world's creatures endowed equally by a creator.
But let's get back specifically to this nation's citizens.
Each of us who meet the legal requirements, which would in an ideal world apply equally to all citizens, are also endowed with enfranchisement, the right to vote.
But we live in an imperfect world, under a government that aspires to inclusion but written by men of good intent but with pointed world view, limited by and intended, naturally, to protect their kind, their profits, their wealth. They crafted a constitution appropriate for their time, fully recognizing its shortcomings, including provisions by which it could be refined over time so as to ever form a more perfect union.
And from then to now, we have come slowly closer to the ideal that all men, and women, are created equal. The first amendment, 1791, recognized that ours is a nation of diverse religious belief.
The 13th amendment, in 1865, asserted that slavery and involuntary servitude, having existed upon the soil of this nation for more than 300 years, would exist no more.
The 14th amendment, in 1868, established that all people born within the confines of our national borders, or those immigrants naturalized, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.
The 15th: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
"No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Lest you assume the system is rigged in favor of civil rights, in forward progress, don't forget 1919 and the 18th amendment, Prohibition. Brought by the righteous, rejected by the rest of us and repealed in 1933 by the 21st amendment.
The 19th, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."
It sounds like straight-forward progress, a slow march to enlightenment. But it isn't. Each step forward came only after traumatic national cataclysm; the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement. And always there was a section who opposed, thinking falsely that the granting of rights to other meant relinquishing the rights they perceived themselves entitled.
Today, we are in a period of regression that's been building for years, with one faction trotting out the same senseless tropes of racism centuries old now dressed in modern attire; "cancel culture," "replacement theory," "wokeism," "critical race theory."
No matter the stylishness of the garb, the raiments clothe the same ugly old cadaver, a corpse that should never have lived yet somehow still refuses to die.
Supremacy. The idea that I, thanks to the "blessings" of my birth, my race, nation, sex or religion ... none of which, by the way, I had any say in, am better than those "less fortunate," or worse, "those who should be grateful for my benevolent guidance."
Rulers of all epochs and eras have held to such lunacy while those they purported to hold subservient accomplished great things. Supremacy is earned, not inherited, and those who earn by their accomplishments, by the strength of mind, arm and/or character, will most often stay quiet and do their work, unheralded, while those born to glory and privilege will make up monsters that don't exist, swear that only they can protect us and convince us that only by our trust and selfless donations can they keep us safe.
It's a scam. Those who fall for it are being played.
Ask yourself ... what are the sacrosanct and unassailable rights endowed by our constitution? To life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Is it heroic for a white boy with an AR, Kyle Rittenhouse, to "protect himself" at a protest in the aftermath of the August 2020 police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man pulled over on a claim of domestic violence? Is it okay for a peace officer to hold his knee on another man's neck until that man, begging for his life, dies?
Does color, race, creed or religion attribute a right to one to abuse or make it right that another be abused?
I say no. And I call out the many GOP leaders; Gaetz, Goemert, Hawley, Jordan, Boebert, Greene, cowards all, all who support MAGA, who believe the big lie ... you are unscrupulous liars with no sense of service. You are shameful ... all of you.
A democratic republic, never perfect, seeks to remove barriers, to create opportunities, to hold high the virtues of each and every citizen.
The only way to stop the right wing extremists is to laugh ... aloud. Everything they do is silly and senseless. We ought not be held in thrall to the magnanimous right ... there is no truth in them.
Mike Weland, Publisher
6931 Main St.
6619 Kaniksu St., Rm 19
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
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