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The Right to Free and Democratic Governance

By Constance Lavender  Posted by Constance Lavender (about the submitter)     Permalink
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A government is established among the several people whom share a common bond of community and nationhood. The United States of America stands as a free and democratic government representative of the people and based upon a social contract derived from our foundational documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our sense of commonality, community, and purpose is further expressed in the great documents of a shared history: the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, Franklin D. Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, State of the Union Address of January 6, 1941; Woodrow Wilson's War Message to Congress, April, 1917; George Washington's Farewell Address, Theodore Roosevelt's The Duties of American Citizenship, and others.

But what gives us pause today is not the sentiments of faith, hope, and peace expressed by free citizens in a free society, but the curtailment of the people's inherent right to have the government represent them. Washington is awash in influence peddling, money, and political corruption while the people are denied access to the right to have their voices heard on matters of national importance. Such affairs as this, the tyranny of perpetual government terror on its own people, the role of favors, gifts, and money in legislation and elections robs the people of their government.

When one man, who controls some millions of corrupt dollars to be dispensed in the Congress, holds more influence and power then the people for whom the government needs exist, there manifests a condition so obnoxious, unbearable, and weighty that the people reflect on exercising their prerogative to dispose of the Government. How can it be that the power of one man nullifies the will of the people?

There is no higher duty then service to one's community and country. We achieve and celebrate that service in so many ways small and large. It is through that work, through the building of communities, through the ordinary acts of extraordinary people that the spirit of democracy and freedom is kindled.

Our spirit of liberty and justice today is threatened by monied interests who have bought influence and sway in the government at the expense of the people. As a free and democratic people we demand certain basic rights. We believe in:

1. the right of the people to expect their legislators to be honest, ethical, and hardworking towards conducting the people's business
2. the right to a government free of special interests and money in lobbying
3. the right to fair and free verifiable democratic elections
4.the right of the people to expect their representatives in the Congress to devote their undivided time and effort towards accomplishing the work of the people and providing for the general security of the nation without outside influence and purchasing access
5. the right of the people to expect their legislators to uphold the time-honored traditions and adhere to the old standards of bipartisanship, deliberation, dignity, goodwill, judgement, reason, and tolerance befitting the elected representatives of a free people
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When the government no longer represents the will of its people, the people must engage its Government and hold them to account. The expression of the will of the people to demand their rights by ballot and the franchise will restore the spirit of democracy and the soul of liberty in the land.

Constance Lavender is a pseudonymous HIV positive freelance e-journalist from Galloway, New Jersey. Ms. Lavender believes that a free country is premised on a free press. Her work has appeared in numerous online venues including OpEd News and the Gay Financial Network.
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