Introduction: I made the decision to register Republican in 1979 and as a Young Republican at University I worked to help elect Ronald Reagan as President. While at University I read the works of Hume, Locke, Montesquieu, Hobbs, Plato, Cicero, and others. I made the personal decision that I wanted to live under a Republican form of government, because I believe it is the most humane. Now that I am running for 2nd Vice Chair of Georgia's 7th District, Republican Party, I want to share a series of articles that clearly define my understanding of republicanism and the principles of the Republican Party.
The easiest way to explain my understanding of Republican government is to offer it to you in a story to include coconuts.
Imagine that all the citizens of Georgia's 7th District (Gwinnett and Forsyth) decided to move to an uninhabited island in the Caribbean replete with white sandy beaches, blue water coves, and coconut trees. We decide to form a government in order to protect our lives and property. We form a government that protects us from foreign invaders and to make laws that prevent others from stealing our coconuts. What will be the form of this government we decided to create?
Do we appoint one person to make all these laws and decisions? That would be a King, Dictator, or Monarch? Probably not, that has been tried in the past and it always leads to tyranny.
Do we want democracy whereby 50.1 percent of the population can vote away the coconuts of 49.9 percent of the people? Probably not, that has been tried before and it leads to a collapse of the civil society and tyranny.
Do we want to segment the island into equally populated districts, whereby we elect a neighbor to represent our interests in a legislature? This form of government is republicanism and has been tried in the past and works rather well; especially if it is a Constitutional Republic.
Now we must decide whether we want to give the legislature the power to do whatever they please? Probably not a good idea. The citizens select neighbors to gather together and write a Constitution. This document will empower the legislature to do certain things and restrain them from doing other things. We give the power of taxation and spending directly to the legislature, because this is the most dangerous power impacting our financial freedom. This form of government allows us to hold accountable the representatives elected by the people in the districts.
To protect our individual liberties we determine what we don't want the legislature to be involved with; 1. Speech, 2. Religion, 3. Due Process, 4. Guns, 5. Habeas Corpus, etc. We will call this portion our Bill of Rights. This document is presented to the citizens of the island to determine whether this Constitution should be made law. If the people agree with this Constitution, it is ratified and becomes the law of the island.
The Constitution protects all the islanders from those that would try to take your coconuts. If the Constitution is not adhered to, we find that the legislature takes more-an-more of the coconuts from those on the east side, and gives them to those on the west side. The coconut farms on the east side are much more prosperous due to climate and environment. This was not authorized in the Constitution, but more islanders are moving to the west side where they get coconuts for free. The balance of political power is shifting to take from the prosperous and give to the those who have fewer coconuts. The neighbors elected to serve in the legislature reject their first principles.
The legislature regulates the means of transportation, telling us it is for our safety, making it more expensive for the east producers to transport and sell their coconuts to islanders in the North and South. Unfortunately this puts several coconut farmers out of business and they move to the west for free coconuts. With more islanders demanding free coconuts, the legislature must raise taxes and take more coconuts from the producers in the east for re distribution to those in the west. It turns out to be a never-ending process until one or two big coconut farmers remain and they in turn give coconuts to members of the legislature for favors.
Eventually the majority of the island's population is dependent on coconut handouts and an oligarchy results with the same neighbors returning to the legislature over-and-over again. Eventually the neighbors elected to the legislature become rich and the majority of the islanders become poorer.
Does this sound familiar? This is exactly where we are as a nation. We have not held our legislators accountable to the Constitution at the state and federal level. The only way to fix this is a return to first principles. These first principles are incorporated into the Republican Party Platform; financial freedom and individual liberty. I would like to address these first principles in my next article.
Bill Evelyn is running for 7th District, 2nd Vice Chair for the Republican Party.
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