We the People?

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Ever since Trump was elected in 2016, his supporters have taken on the mantle for themselves of “we the people”. It’s been a constant refrain from them ever since, culminating in them chanting it as they attacked the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress, causing destruction, beating police (with the American flag, no less), and many of them searching for the “traitors” inside (such as VP Pence, ironically) to do who knows what with them if they found them. 

In the end, 5 people were dead, many more injured, and our image and reputation as an exceptional democracy worth emulating was damaged as the whole world watched in disbelief and dismay. 

We the people?

They said they were there for the revolution.

That this was their 1776 moment.

They called themselves patriots.

They were under the impression that this is what is needed to save the country. They thought they would be hailed as heroes. They thought this was something their kids and grandkids could be proud of them for.

But they are not “we the people”. They never were.

They do not represent “we the people”. They are a faction of a faction of the people. That is all.

“We the people” did not attack the Capitol last week. Rather, much more accurately, “we the people” thoroughly repudiated that insurrection and “we the people” quickly impeached the President for inciting it. 

“We the people” did that.

Anyone who has studied the founding and the thoughts of the founders, will recall that one of their biggest worries revolved around the problems associated with factions. They put a lot of thought into creating a system that would counter the problem.

“So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts.”

– James Madison, Federalist 10

Of course, their major concern was the problem that occurs when a faction becomes so big that it is a majority. They reasoned that if they created a system of government that was always a pure democracy, meaning that all decisions would simply be decided by what the majority of people wanted, then we would run into the problem of the “tyranny of the majority”. This was historically one of the biggest causes of failure of all previous democracies. 

A faction would grow to a majority size and then rule over everyone else that was not part of the faction. The oppression created by that would eventually increase tensions until things blew up and destroyed the democracy.

Their solution? A representative republic. 

They created a system with different branches of government, each with their own separate powers, and each checking each other in various ways. And they devised it such that each of these branches were elected/appointed in different ways, with varying democratic degrees, further avoiding the possibility of the “tyranny of the majority”. One branch elected by a direct majority vote of the people (the House), one selected by each state legislature (the Senate), one elected through an indirect “Electoral College” (the President) and one appointed with input from two different branches (the Judiciary).

These differences in ways of electing or appointing the members of our government in the different branches was done this way by very careful design, in order to counter the problem of tyranny of the majority that is caused by allowing a direct majority to decide the make-up of the entire system of government.

The most directly democratic part of the system is the House of Representatives. Representatives in the House were the only ones in the federal government that would be directly elected by the people using a direct majority vote within each district. 

In our system of government, the House of Representatives is the representation of “we the people”. Not the Senate, not the President, not the Supreme Court…and certainly not a mob of, pissed-off, misinformed, out-of-control Trump supporters attacking the Capitol.

Those who truly love America, who truly love the constitution, who truly love the law and order that it creates, will realize and understand what I am saying. If you want to know, officially, constitutionally, and legally what the view of “we the people” is on any given topic of national concern, the only proper and legitimate way is through the representation and actions (votes) of the House of Representatives. 

Not through polls, not through what the talking heads on TV and radio are saying, and definitely not through the President. One person can never appropriately or legitimately represent the views of so many. That’s not how our system works. And it’s not how any liberty-loving system can work.

The House of Representatives is the representation of “we the people”. Whether you agree with the decisions they make or not, that is the way our representative republic works, and any law-abiding, constitution-loving, America-loving patriot would know that and would respect that. 

If you can’t respect that, then it is you that does not love America, no matter how high you wave the flag or how loud you chant, “USA.! USA!”, or how tall you stand for the National Anthem. 

Loving America is knowing and respecting how our system works.

Make no mistake, “we the people” have made it very clear that insurrection against our cherished constitutional republic is not okay, and those who have done it, or believe it needs to be done even more to “save the country”, are not “we the people” at all, no matter how loudly and obnoxiously they chant it. 

“We the people” were the ones inside the Capitol doing the constitutional work that was mandated by the people. 

Of the people, by the people, for the people. 

The mob that attacked the Capitol were, literally, attacking “we the people”.

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About Steve Wood 257 Articles
I am a husband, a father, a small business owner, a veteran, and a Citizen of the United States. As my avatar depicts, I believe The People need to relearn and focus on the basic principles that our Republic was built upon. My contributions here will be geared toward that end. Please join me in rational, civil discourse.