by Michael Bromka The United States of America is not a democracy. Yes, every two years we all help select county, state, and federal candidates who will run our government. And in Eddy County --as well as all across the U.S.A. --every adult citizen(born or naturalized) is urged to register and freely vote. But please weigh this homey parable to help you get your bearings as a citizen. Imagine a conference room with adults sitting side-by-side around a big table. They can all see and hear each other. A stomach rumbles. Folks chuckle. And someone suggests they send out for pizza. A general nod --though one attendee has brought salad, due to gluten intolerance. The rest discuss toppings. Agreement is reached and the order is phoned in. All was calm, equal, and open .Even that one exercised a
right to abstain. Democracy is pizza. America is not democracy. In democracy, all folks make all decisions jointly. In Eddy County --sticking with pizza yet extending countywide --can you imagine areal time discussion of toppings that involved all citizens of Hope, Queen, Loving, and Malaga? With Carlsbad and Artesia to boot? We don't decide our local, state, or federal concerns that way. Pizza is democracy, but we are not. So, if we are not democracy --then what do we call ourselves? America from federal to state to county to city to school board --is a representative republic. Put simply, active registered voters once every two years select our representatives --from commissioners to senators to governor to president. Terms of office last two, four, or six years. And we abide by the term's length.
When FDR died, Harry Truman finished out nearly four years of the term. Gerald Ford served two and a half years after President Nixon stepped down. We're not Italy with a newly elected government each year. For the individual citizen, voting for a best assessment of any elected representative is a weighty decision. We're supposed to invest serious consideration --not just flip a coin. But the follow up is easy. We give over to our elected representatives all further business. Many decisions arrive which we have neither time nor patience to ponder. This is a republic. Equally, democratically, we select our leaders. Then we change stations to sports or telenovelas. Let our reps earn their pay. So America is a representative republic! And democracy is pizza.