Re:virus: The New Pledge of Allegiance

From: Onikan (
Date: Mon Jul 08 2002 - 14:34:39 MDT

You're right Rafael, but there's more to America than what's seen on CNN. It's a commonly shared belief that the American government is run by money. What isn't run by money? Did you know that the primary priority of the average member of Congress is to get re-elected? That's not bad. That's healthy! Why? Because the only way Congressmen and Congresswomen get re-elected is by doing good stuff for us. That means they need to get in the paper a lot and show us what they're doing for us. And if we agree with what they're doing then they get re-elected.

Once you understand how American democracy works, it's fun to watch, and it's very enlightening.

The U.S. Constitution has the following four unique characteristics:

1. Separation of powers.
2. Popular sovereignty (i.e. limited democracy (republic))
3. Federalism
4. And our individual rights are guaranteed.

Why is America a limited government? Why is being limited healthy for us?

First of all, we are interdependent. Our Legislative branch, Congress, creates the laws. Our Judicial branch, the Supreme Court, interprets the laws. And our Executive branch, the President, enforces the laws. Every biennial 1/3 of the Senate's seats are challengeable and Senators serve terms of six years. Representatives serve 2 year terms. The Supreme Court judges are in for life until the President chooses new judges. (Last I heard, Chief Justice Rehnquist was retiring, but he said he's not.) The President serves 4 year terms and is voted in by the Electoral College, a confusing system that I won't get into.

In short, here are the advantages and disadvantages of a limited democracy:

1. Prevents dictatorship (What was England's government in 1787?)
2. Prevents takeover (important to original foundation of America)
3. Prevents radical changes (We have to go through the bureaucracy to check and balance new laws.)

1. It's inefficient. (Efficiency wasn't the goal.)
2. Slow. (Because of all the checking and balancing.)
3. Stalemate.

That's it for today's American Government 101!

This message was posted by Onikan to the Virus 2002 board on Church of Virus BBS.

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