Quick Update on Civics

I cannot believe I need to say this but the Internet has gone insane. To be clear:

1. The United States is a Representative Democracy.
2. Citizens elect representatives to represent their local interests on a Federal level.
3. Representatives then represent their constituents in Congress.
4. Congress shall:
– Lay and collect taxes, duties and excises
– Pay for debts for the common welfare
– Borrow money on credit for the United States
– Regulate commerce with other countries and between states
– Establish a uniform rule of naturalization
– Provide punishment for counterfitting
– Establish a post office and postal roads
– Promote science* and technology and the arts
– Punish piracy.
– Declare War.
– Raise and support armies and navies.
– Call up militia
– Make life hard in Washington DC
– To make laws

The United States is not:
1. A direct Democracy.
2. Ruled or have legislation crafted by referendum**.
3. Ruled or have legislation crafted by talking heads, political pundits, or pollsters.

Representatives vote for legislation they ran in the previous election, not what they are going to run on in the next election.*** A bill passed by Constitutionally and Legally elected majorities in the House and Senate is how the system works. The Constitution is here. The Federalist papers are here. If you are not happy, you have a right to voice your opinions at the ballot box every two years when every Representative of Congress is up for reelection. Senators, of course, are up only every six years.

I expect people who are not happy will suddenly discover American Civics and find themselves at the ballot box in November. Or, perhaps, get involved on more than a “posting on the Internet” level. Just as I was equally unhappy over the Iraq War. Or the Bush Tax Cuts. If that results in a swing in November, then that is American Civics in action.

* They need to get on that.
** Unless you’re the state of California but that is another story.
*** In theory. Not so much in practice.