Our early American leaders who formed and framed the Constitution all read Montesquieu, a brilliant philosopher during the enlightenment period. He differentiated despotism from monarchy and monarchy from democracy. He found one governing principle for each. Despotism was fear, monarchy was honor, and democracy was virtue. Freedom was practically synonymous with virtue. Today, we don't provide leaders like those of the past because, as Plato said: "What is honored in a country will be cultivated there." Today, we have wonderful athletes (mostly under-educated), but inferior politicians, because we have so cruelly separated freedom from virtue, because we have defined freedom in a morally inferior way. We have long had what Herman Melville, the author of Moby Dick, called the dark ages of democracy.
Republicans are now the craven embodiment of our current dark age of democracy. They have consistently done nothing that advantages the disadvantaged, and their latest vote on eliminating the Affordable Care Act is just another part of their sad legacy in the fight against what the people want.
Our elected representatives must be people that practice our constitutional heritage of substance over form, virtue over prestige, achievement over money, character over charisma, the enduring over the ephemeral, and God over mammon.
Representatives of conscience must practice reciprocal altruism; whatever is good for another is good for me. It is essentially classic utilitarianism that states that whatever is good for all, the greatest happiness or good for the greatest number, versus limited utilitarianism that says whatever is good for my group.
We need to elect representatives that will be part of the transformative power, the soft power of moral suasion, rather than the hard power of coercive authority.
Republicans have not and do not deserve our future consideration, as they do not work for "we the people," but for the coercive powers that Citizen United has allowed to control them.
After all, peace and representatives that act with virtue is our civil right.
The penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves. Plato.
Tonka Bay, Minnesota
Democratic district 33a 33b, Director