In Allen Wollscheidt's July 18 letter regarding my Democracy/ Republic letter, he assigns me to "kindly and briefly define what" I "mean by these two terms." However, he fails to define what he means by "briefly."
Fortunately, as I am neither his student or his employee, I will kindly and briefly refer Allen to any convenient dictionary for one source, and any encyclopedia for another.
Since my letter's specific topic was the U.S.A.'s form of government, not those of various forked-tongued Communist countries around the world, I will simply add Clarence B. Carson's definition of the republican form of government as established by the U.S. Constitution: "... those who govern represent the electorate and are chosen directly or indirectly by them. The people do not govern directly but rather indirectly by those chosen to represent them or appointed by those so elected. Thus, while the majority rule holds sway, its impact is limited by a filtering process in a republic."
In the unlikely event that Allen is truly interested in the subject, rather than merely perpetual, tangential, peripheral debate, I will also reference "The Foundations of American Constitutional Government," compiled by Robert D. Gorgoglioni (ISBN 1572460180), and "Basic American Government," by Clarence B. Carson (ISBN 1931789193).
Allen's letters are exquisitely politically correct. There are no fundamentals, no universal truths, nothing so simple we cannot dance all around it, rather than simply address it. Most informative was his stated aversion to quoting dead people, since they aren't here to accept inane assignments explaining mundane details. This aversion highlights the disdain with which many (most?) in contemporary America view history -- our own, as well as the rest of the world's.
We are worse than an ignorant people. We are arrogant in our ignorance. We are perfectly comfortable perceiving ourselves, falsely, as infinitely more wise than those old dead white males that wrote our Constitution -- so much so we needn't even read it, much less understand it, before we attempt to revise it. How can we protect the Constitutional keys to maintaining our freedom when we don't even know what or where they are? Karl Marx knew this when he stated (Communist Manifesto measure number 10) the necessity of free education for all children in public schools. The only cost is our children and our future freedom.
Terry L. Putnam, Young