Rick Barker | A Republic Can’t Just Wing It

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

As anyone who has read my musings can figure out, I am an unapologetic conservative who has an enormous amount of respect for our U.S. Constitution and form of government, and I have little patience with either side of the political aisle when they lose sight of the basis of that Constitution, which rejects and provides safeguards against the majority trampling the rights of the minority.

Despite what people who didn’t pay attention in civics class seem to think, we live in a constitutional republic as opposed to a democracy. Democracy has been quite accurately described as two coyotes and a rabbit voting on what to have for dinner! In a constitutional republic the rabbit would have certain unalienable rights that would prevent him from ending up on the dinner menu by being outvoted by the two hungry coyotes! 

The major problem with our republican form of government is it requires an educated and involved populace that is willing and able to hold elected leaders’ feet to the fire when they stomp all over our Constitution and our protected rights as free people living in this incredible country. As Founding Father Ben Franklin famously said at the close of the Constitutional Convention on Sept. 17, 1787 when he was asked by a man as he left the hall in Philadelphia, “What kind of government have you given us Dr. Franklin?” 

He replied: “A republic… if you can keep it!”

I am an unapologetic supporter of Rep. Mike Garcia, who like me is a staunch supporter of our Constitution and our republic. Mike has taken a lot of flak from uneducated, partisan people over his support of a measure before the House objecting to the electoral vote counts in Arizona and Pennsylvania. People seem to conveniently forget Democrats did the same thing in the elections in 2001, 2005 and 2017 when they objected to the Electoral College results where their candidate lost, and I don’t recall the national uproar over any of those perfectly legal and constitutional procedures that took place under the The Electoral Count Act of 1887.

To hear some people talk, you would think this was some bizarre, unheard-of hat trick that Republicans came up with in the last election, and nothing could be further from the verifiable truth. Both political parties have the right to do this and both have availed themselves of it over the years when they felt it was warranted, even though none of the cases filed under this act has ever been successful.

Like it or not, the 2020 election was probably one of the most bizarre elections of modern times for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that it took place during a national pandemic where existing states’ election rules were set aside, allowing more mail-in balloting than ever before nationwide. Several governors actually usurped the constitutional authority of their state legislatures by unilaterally changing their states’ procedures for voting. This resulted in legal challenges from Republicans, just like it would have had the situation been reversed and the Democrats had availed themselves of the same Electoral Count Act provisions like they did on the elections listed above.

I will leave the argument of the election being stolen to others because if anything is apparent it’s that neither side is EVER going to be convinced they are wrong and it’s pretty much water under the bridge at this point. What I do believe, and I’m betting Garcia feels the same, is that we as a country should do everything in our power to make sure that ALL elections are held and ALL legal votes get counted in the ways proscribed by the Constitution and the legislatures of the states. This ridiculous and haphazard “winging it” can’t be allowed to ever happen again because it will tear our country apart even more than it already has.

Rick Barker


Related To This Story

Latest NEWS