rod miller: we the people, mob rule and wyoming town halls | cowboy state daily
That phrase is frequently used in town hall meetings in Wyoming, wherein an elected official is roasted for their voting record because We the People dont like it. Its about the only part of the Constitution that is quoted in these diatribes.
Absent the rest of the Constitution, We the People is nothing more than a mob. The balance of the Constitution describes a political process in which a mob becomes a nation under the rule of law. And the end of the Preamble has We the People ordaining and establishing that process.
This is what Plato had to say about mobs: Mob rule is a rough sea for the ship of state to ride; every wind of oratory stirs up the waters and deflects the course. The upshot of such a democracy is tyranny or autocracy; the crowd so loves flattery, it is so hungry for honey, that at last the wiliest and most unscrupulous flatterer, calling himself the protector of the people rises to supreme power
We the People in the context of our Constitutions means that we reject mob behavior in favor of a system of common governance. It means that we have entrusted that system with our own political power.
It means that we favor elections every couple of years over storming down some dark street with pitchforks and torches to guillotine politicians when they dont do what we want. Our Constitution is not mean to protect politicians from mob rule, its meant to protect us from ruling by mob.
Our Constitution all but guarantees that pissed off citizens will always be present in our republic. We live in a system that promotes opposition instead of suppressing it. How those angered citizens express their anger is how they define themselves as We the People in our Constitution, or the mob.
Keep this in mind while you talk with your fellow citizens about our political life together. Pay attention to the level of political discourse around you, and when you hear an appeal to mob behavior, remember that our Constitution has 4,400 words, not just three.
rod millar - ceo for brightstar international corp
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