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Editor’s note: Listen to this column online.

Except for a brief period during the Reagan years, America has been moving steadily toward becoming a social democracy rather than the republic our founders gave us. There is a very good reason why this is happening.

Since 1933, Democrats have had complete control of government – presidency, House and Senate – for 34 years. Republicans, on the other hand, have had control of government for a total of four years (108th and 109th Congress). Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for 56 years, while Republicans controlled both houses for only 12 years. For 22 years, the Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate; none for the Republicans.

Clearly, Democrats have steered the ship of state since the Roosevelt era. While Democrats loudly blame the Republicans for all the nation’s woes, it is the Democrats who must accept responsibility for the state of the nation.

As bad as things are in the United States at the moment, it is in far better shape than most of the rest of the world. But the nation is nowhere near as good as it would have been had the republic – and its free market – been allowed to prosper.

The “Progressive” era that arose from the writings of Marx, Lenin and others, embraced fully by Woodrow Wilson’s administration, infested the Democrat Party and since Franklin Roosevelt has promoted policies that advance Marxism and erodes the republican form of government designed by our founders.

Witness the birth of self-government in this inspiring portrayal of the Constitution’s genesis, “A More Perfect Union”

The republican form of government created by our founders consists of three primary pillars: the election of representatives who make policy, the election of a president through the Electoral College, and the election of senators by state legislatures.

All three of these pillars are under severe attack. Increasingly, state and local policies are being decided by direct vote of the people, instead of by representatives elected by the people. This is direct democracy, not the way a republic functions. Our founders carefully avoided the possibility of a direct democracy, well aware of the inevitable anarchy that always follows democracy.

The Electoral College is under severe attack. In addition to constitutional-amendment proposals being introduced into Congress that provide direct vote of the people to elect the president, there is also a powerful movement afoot at the state level to award electoral votes to candidates on a percentage basis rather than on a winner-take-all basis. This proportioned vote distribution is certainly more democratic than the winner-take-all basis. But our founders were not trying to create the most democratic process. They were creating a republic, not a democracy.

The Woodrow Wilson crowd erased one of the three pillars altogether, when it promoted and adopted the 17th Amendment. This amendment took from the states the power to elect senators and put that power into the hands of the public. Again, singing the progressive song of advancing democracy, the voters adopted the amendment in 1913, right after the 16th Amendment, which gave the federal government authority to tax income. These two amendments leave the republic a faint shadow of what our founders created. Marxist-driven progressives in the Obama administration are hell-bent to completely destroy what is left of the republic.

The philosophical foundation of a republic includes the idea that people are sovereign and that the government people create derives its power from the consent of the governed. A social democracy thrives on the idea that the government is sovereign and may grant or deny freedom to the people as it may please government.

In a republic, the primary function of government is to protect the rights endowed to people by their Creator and to defend the people from all enemies, foreign and domestic. In a social democracy, the function of government is to manage the people’s behavior and activities to achieve whatever goals the government defines.

A republic recognizes that the less involvement government can have in the marketplace, the more prosperous that marketplace will be. In a social democracy, government manages the marketplace to achieve social objectives rather than prosperity.

Since Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic Party has led this nation further away from the republic our founders created and steadfastly toward the Marxist utopia embraced by communists, socialists and social democrats around the world.

The only way to retain what’s left of the republic our founders gave us is to rid Washington and state and local governments of the progressives – and replace them with people who respect, understand and embrace the Constitution.

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