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Sat Oct 23, 2021, 01:25 PM

The Constitution never enshrined Democratic ideals, nor does the GOP. Its a divide as old as America

In the hazy rear view mirror of patriotic nostalgia the two foremost founding documents of the United States can almost seem indistinguishable. but each one marched to the beat of a different drum. At its core the Declaration of Independence addressed the concept of justice, and the complementary repudiation of injustice. In so doing it proclaimed adherence to moral ideals, whereas the U.S. Constitution was a blueprint for power sharing that established a legal framework for America while proclaimed full allegiance to the rule of law.

The first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence affirms that "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation". The next passage of the Declaration defines the cause of the American Revolution in stating "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Powerful ideals that are easier stated than achieved.

Those ideals have played a key role in propelling the dialectic of American history, but they have also been contested. The sometimes opposing but also heralded definition of America is that ours is a nation governed by laws, not men, and that American exceptionalism is rooted in the concept that no one here is above the law. Perhaps, but laws themselves are amoral. Laws are written my men (here the gender pronoun is still mostly accurate) and often tailored to further the self interests of those very same men or their powerful sponsors. The U.S. Constitution said nothing about "all men being created equal", it defined Negroes as 3/5ths human for census purposes. Slavery has been since been abolished through amendments to the Constitution, and women have been given the right to vote etc. But the electoral college hasn't been abolished. American "Democracy" does not reward the presidency to the person for whom most Americans vote. When "Bush beat Gore" many Americans found it unsettling that the loser of the popular vote could none the less become President. Increasingly most Americans are numbed now to that occurrence, dutifully keeping score of winners and losers using the anti-democratic rules embedded in our Constitution, with the popular vote an afterthought if thought of at all.

Today's GOP adheres to a vision of America that is not rooted in democratic ideals, nor guided by a quest for Justice, and in so doing builds on centuries old American precedent to arrive at their current perspective: Any legislation deemed constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court is appropriate to pursue if deemed in the interests of those who have the power to prevail under rules laid out in the U.S. Constitution. So, for one timely example, if under one interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, a majority of lawmakers in a State Legislature decertifies the slate of Presidential electors (under whatever "legal" pretense) chosen by the voters of that state, and instead certifies an "alternate" slate of electors, that action is fully constitutional if the Supreme Court says it is And that is how power should be wielded in the Republican version of America. All is fair in love and legislation, Make sure you control the courts, abstract concepts of justice be damned. First you legislate the strike zone to the advantage of the pitchers and batters on your team, then you chose the umpires who call the balls and strikes, and then you can "play by the rules."

Mitch McConnell sees nothing anti-American in how he plays the game. It adheres to his vision of America

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