U.S. is a republic and a democracy
Richard Korte (Sept. 18) needs the help of a good dictionary. While he’s right that the U.S. is governed as a republic, he’s wrong to state it’s not a democracy. In fact, the U.S. is both a democracy and a republic. Wikipedia and Merriam-Webster both indicate that by definition, the U.S. is a “representative democracy,” in so much that our congressional “representatives” and president are elected, either directly or indirectly, by the people. However, it is governed as a “constitutional republic,” as established by our Constitution, which defines how we are to be represented and governed.
The old USSR and the current People’s Republic of China are both organized as republics in that they are governed by elected representatives, but they are not democracies because the people have no say about who is on the ballot. That is determined by the party, in a one-party system. Conservative Republicans appear to be trying to reform their party along similar lines by restricting primaries and forcing the use of voter IDs to disenfranchise certain voters (independents, seniors, minorities, etc.).
The question now is, would you rather have a Democratic Republic or just be an Undemocratic Republican?
JAMES PAULS, Eagle
GOP turning America into third-world nation
After reading about the Arab Spring, I was hopeful that these new democracies would solve some of the world’s problems. Now in the aftermath, I remembered what my history and government teachers said. Democracy can only survive if you have a free press and an educated electorate (knowledge of historical facts and failures).
With national and local elections in November, I worry about our form of democracy’s survival. Here are some of my fears spoken by many Republicans:
Æ They advocate “free markets” as some sort of omnipotent god and cure-all for most social and economic ills.
Æ They support unrestricted capitalism. One of their most intelligent leaders calls this “vulture capitalism.”
Æ They support “trickle-down” economics. Past history shows a complete lack of success except for the very richest. Most have lost a decade of wealth, pensions and incomes.
Æ Twenty-five percent still believe that the president was born in Kenya in spite of all the legal documentation to the contrary.
The United States is becoming a third-world country not because of a lack in a Christian faith, but because we are lacking a knowledgeable electorate.
ALAN PRITCHETT, Nampa
Life as we know it will end under GOP ticket
I think the Mayans got it right when they predicted the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012. I just think they were slightly off in their timing. It probably had something to do with the difficulty of calibrating sundials precisely.
What they were talking about, of course, is what will happen if the Romney-Ryan cartel and their cronies take over the White House in November. For the vast majority of Idaho Statesman readers — women, children, teachers, students, veterans, the middle class, the poor, the retired, the infirm, the uninsured, the unemployed, the minorities, the immigrants, the union members — life, as we know it, will suddenly come crashing down. Just as the Mayans predicted. Think about it.
JOE NUMBERS, Boise
LEGISLATURE, DISTRICT 16
Elect Graham Paterson
We all pay great attention to presidential elections. We get excited about candidates — following the debates, the ads, the mudslinging and the pundits — knowing all along that our four electoral votes aren’t going to matter much. This election, however, there are other important races beyond the office of executive in chief. With congressional races, state races and ballot measures, individual votes can make a big difference this year.
The more local the election, the more it will affect day-to-day living. You won’t be contacting the president about a nearby pothole, state education funding or the sales tax rate. Getting involved and voting for local elections is immensely important, and it will directly affect you.
In District 16 especially, a single vote can make a big difference. Graham Paterson is running for House Seat B, and he’s the type of candidate that will work hard on the issues that are close to home. He’s free-thinking, economy-focused, and has a passion for serving the people in his district.
Get informed, check out websites, and vote for the candidates that make the changes you want to see. Graham Paterson will listen and take action.
EMILY PATCHIN, Boise
LEGISLATURE, DISTRICT 18
Elect Branden Durst
I have lived in District 18 most of my life. As a mother of two daughters, education is a priority to me. All of our children deserve an opportunity to receive a quality education. I have been deeply disappointed with Sen. Mitch Toryanski in regard to his work on education. While Mr. Toryanski was busy giving passionate speeches on behalf of an absurd ultrasound bill, our schools were losing valuable programs, teachers and funding. I do not believe he’s done anything positive for our schools in District 18. Hawthorne elementary lost an innovative, effective, and quality early childhood educational program on Mr. Toryanski’s watch. I find it interesting that this happened the first year Mr. Durst was not representing us, and Mr. Toryanski was. Our neighborhood cared about this program, even if Mr. Toryanski did not. Mr. Durst has always been a true advocate for our students, schools and teachers. He is sincere in his support. I don’t want to continue to see our students lose more educational opportunities or great programs. I want a senator who honestly supports our educators and staff. I want someone who makes education a real priority. If you want the same, vote for Branden Durst.
HEIDI SOTO, Boise
LEGISLATURE, DISTRICT 15
Fred Martin for Senate
Experience and years of proven service are good qualities for a candidate for the Idaho Senate. Fred S. Martin has displayed those qualities over many years.
He’s a conservative, faithful to the Republican values of lower taxes and less government. Martin is the GOP nominee in the newly formed District 15 in western Ada County. He’s a former teacher and knows how important it is to properly fund education with an eye to making sure the money is spent wisely.
Fred Martin has operated business franchises for the last 25 years in Boise and firmly believes that too-high taxes hurt everybody by harming business and the economy.
He won’t be a newcomer if elected to the Idaho Senate. Martin has served in the office of a congressman, has been a precinct committeeman and was sergeant at arms for the Idaho Senate. We believe he will hit the ground running and thus will be able to accomplish things.
DAN L. WYCHERLY, Boise
Elect Betty Richardson
I believe my political ideologies bear a striking resemblance to those of my neighbors living throughout West Boise. Fiscally moderate. Socially progressive. Independent in nature. A belief in doing what is right, not what is popular. This election year, we are lucky to have a candidate in Betty Richardson who will represent these values well in District 15.
The first woman appointed to serve as Idaho’s U.S. attorney, Betty brings a level of experience rarely seen in a candidate. As a Boise City Council member, I appreciate Betty Richardson’s thorough understanding of the laws impacting our citizens, down to the local level. Betty is passionate about the issues and has a detailed plan that will improve the lives of every citizen in Idaho. Betty has the right priorities in mind: an economy that works for everyone, a public school system that is properly funded and turns out young people prepared to succeed in the world, and a state government that is open, transparent, and free of the undue influence of special interests. Please join me in supporting Betty Richardson for state Senate in District 15. Learn more about Betty at www.VoteBettyRichardson.com.
TJ THOMSON, Boise