Re: Shamos Rebuttal, Draft 3

From: David Jefferson <d_jefferson_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Fri May 06 2005 - 17:12:39 CDT

Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution requires all states in the
union to have "a Republican Form of Government". A few years ago had a
discussion with Shamos (a lawyer) about just what that phrase means,
and he said as far as he could tell it had never been adjudicated. But
he, like me, thought it means "representative democracy", since that is
in fact what all 50 states have.

I think it is in the spirit of that clause in the Constitution that
Shamos says we are a "republic". I suggest we not fight with him over
this word--it is a semantic distraction.


On May 6, 2005, at 2:56 PM, Edward Cherlin wrote:

> On Thursday 05 May 2005 18:18, Teresa Hommel wrote:
>> 3. Do not refer to the American govt as a republic. It is
>> supposed to be a democracy.
> Your view is historically inaccurate. The US is quite explicitly
> not a pure democracy, but a representative democracy and a
> republic with checks and balances between branches of government
> and the people.
> A little old lady supposedly asked Benjamin Franklin during the
> Constitutional Convention what kind of government they were
> preparing for the country inside there, and he supposedly
> replied, "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."
>> A republic can be a dictatorship.
> As in Soviet Socialist Republics and People's Republics, yes, but
> that isn't relevant. They also have constitutions proclaiming
> various civil rights that haven't apply in court until recently.
>> Just because Shamos uses the term doesn't mean you have to use
>> it.
> Just because Communists and others who don't get it misuse the
> term doesn't mean we shouldn't use it.
> --
> Edward Cherlin
> Generalist & activist--Linux, languages, literacy and more
> "A knot! Oh, do let me help to undo it!"
> --Alice in Wonderland
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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:23 2005

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