By The People
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With the Vice President's recent death and President DeWitt's health worsening by the day, the precarious balance of power between the Democratic President and a Republican-controlled Congress has moved to the right. Albert Wantner, the politically shrewd Speaker of the House, will ascend to the Presidency if the ill and elderly President dies before a new "veep" is appointed. For this reason, Wantner plans to delay Congressional approval of any candidate, and the President realizes that he must choose a person so politically pure that the public will clamor for his confirmation and punish Wantner for any delay. Enter Roberto Huerta, a disillusioned first-term, Democtratic congressman from Texas, who recently became American's newest celebrity by rescuing a woman from an assault by Washington street thugs. After some soul searching, Huerta accepts the President's offer, and a bitter - but ultimately successful - bid for Congressional approval takes place. Soon after Huerta is sworn in, the President drops a bombshell in a speech to a joint session of Congress, leaving a frightened and somewhat astonished Huerta struggling to establish a Capra-esque executive branch that is truly directed "...by the people...".
Between 1898 and 1918, many American states introduced the initiative, referendum, and recall--known collectively as direct democracy. Most interpreters have seen the motives for these reform measures as purely political, but Thomas Goebel demonstrates that the call for direct democracy was deeply rooted in antimonopoly sentiment. Frustrated with the governmental corruption and favoritism that facilitated the rise of monopolies, advocates of direct democracy aimed to check the influence of legislative bodies and directly empower the people to pass laws and abolish trusts. But direct democracy failed to achieve its promises: corporations and trusts continued to flourish, voter turnout rates did not increase, and interest groups grew stronger. By the 1930s, it was clear that direct democracy favored large organizations with the financial and organizational resources to fund increasingly expensive campaigns. Recent years have witnessed a resurgence of direct democracy, particularly in California, where ballot questions and propositions have addressed such volatile issues as gay rights and affirmative action. In this context, Goebel's analysis of direct democracy's history, evolution, and ultimate unsuitability as a grassroots tool is particularly timely.
The American way of life, built on individual liberty and limited government, is on life support. American freedom is being gutted. Whether we are trying to run a business, practice a vocation, raise our families, cooperate with our neighbors, or follow our religious beliefs, we run afoul of the government--not because we are doing anything wrong but because the government has decided it knows better. When we object, that government can and does tell us, "Try to fight this, and we'll ruin you." In this provocative book, acclaimed social scientist and bestselling author Charles Murray shows us why we can no longer hope to roll back the power of the federal government through the normal political process. The Constitution is broken in ways that cannot be fixed even by a sympathetic Supreme Court. Our legal system is increasingly lawless, unmoored from traditional ideas of "the rule of law." The legislative process has become systemically corrupt no matter which party is in control. But there's good news beyond the Beltway. Technology is siphoning power from sclerotic government agencies and putting it in the hands of individuals and communities. The rediversification of American culture is making local freedom attractive to liberals as well as conservatives. People across the political spectrum are increasingly alienated from a regulatory state that nakedly serves its own interests rather than those of ordinary Americans. The even better news is that federal government has a fatal weakness: It can get away with its thousands of laws and regulations only if the overwhelming majority of Americans voluntarily comply with them. Murray describes how civil disobedience backstopped by legal defense funds can make large portions of the 180,000-page Federal Code of Regulations unenforceable, through a targeted program that identifies regulations that arbitrarily and capriciously tell us what to do. Americans have it within their power to make the federal government an insurable hazard like hurricanes and floods, leaving us once again free to live our lives as we see fit. By the People's hopeful message is that rebuilding our traditional freedoms does not require electing a right-thinking Congress or president, nor does it require five right-thinking justices on the Supreme Court. It can be done by we the people, using America's unique civil society to put government back in its proper box. From the Hardcover edition.
This study is part of a research program undertaken by the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales concerning the access to justice and legal needs of disadvantaged people in New South Wales. The specific aims were to investigate: (1) how law reform in New South Wales occurs; (2) what opportunities and constraints there are for public participation in law reform, directly and through representative bodies; (3) what particular constraints there are for the participation of disadvantaged people in law reform and; (4) the implications of these findings for law reform in New South Wales. Particular attention is paid throughout the report to the participation needs of disadvantaged people and civil society organisations (CSOs).
What vision for our political life does Christian faith affirm and how might its principles be applied to specific political issues? In speaking to these questions, this book defends a third alternative to the liberal and conservative ideals so influential in American public life, and in the process, criticizes the so-called Christian Political Right for misunderstanding what Christian faith means for politics. Christians worship the God of all-embracing love who wills that all people flourish here in this world through a beloved community. Because this God is ever-present in the deepest experience of all people, the true vision for our common life can be discerned and applied through politics by way of full and free discussion and debate. Democracy is, then, the political form of the beloved community, and justice means empowering all to achieve in ways that enhance human mutuality. This theological account is articulated in relation to diverse contemporary issues: abortion, same-sex marriage, affirmative action, campaign finance reform, economic inequality, and our nation's responsibilities within the wider world. The writings herein represent the author's engagement with Protestants for the Common Good, a Chicago-based organization that seeks to educate and mobilize Christians for democratic politics, and contains some of the official political statements of that organization. "Running through this book is a critical and endangered notion of the `common good.' Gamwell dares to propose that there is such a thing and that Christian faith' has a vision for the human community at odds with alternate visions in the culture.'It is a vision ofinclusivity that is contrary to the ideological divide that polarizes everything and erupts in culture wars. It is a vision that rests not on what divides us but the possibility of common ground on which we might actually stand together."---from the Foreword by John M. Buchanan Pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illiois
The Ninth Amendment lurks like an unexploded mine within the Bill of Rights. Its wording is direct: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” However, there is not a single Supreme Court decision based on it. Even the famously ambitious Warren Court preferred to rely on the weaker support of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause for many of its decisions on individual rights. Since that era, mainstream conservatives have grown actively hostile to the very mention of the Ninth Amendment. Daniel Farber, a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley, makes an informed and lucid argument for employing the Ninth Amendment in support of a large variety of rights whose constitutional basis is now shaky. The case he makes for the application of this unused amendment has profound implications in almost every aspect of our daily lives.
'Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.' Churchill had more reason than most to rue the power of democracy, having been thrown out of office after leading Britain to victory in 1945. Democracy, when viewed from above, has always been a fickle master; from below it is a powerful but fragile friend. Most books on democracy focus on political theory and analysis, in a futile attempt to define democracy. Of The People, By The People takes the opposite approach, telling the stories of the different democracies that have come into existence during the past two and half millennia. From Athens to Rhaetia, Jamestown to Delhi, and Putney to Pretoria, the book shows how democratic systems are always a reflection of the culture and history of their birthplaces, and come about through seizing fleeting opportunities. Democracy can only be understood through the fascinating and inspiring stories of the peoples who fought to bring it about.
Christians can control the affairs of their countries by the preaching of the Gospel, which only is the source of salvation to mankind. The more people submit to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the better the society and government will be. And God listens to the cries, prayers, and intercessions we make on behalf of our nation and people. The heart of the king is in the Hand of God, and He can turn their hearts as we pray, no matter the demonic opposition that is against our nation. And we have to take part in the politics of our country, directly or indirectly. This is because if we are indifferent to our national politics, those that the devil will put there will rule and lead us.