Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


Three Simple Questions

Despite the best efforts of liberty’s enemies both home and abroad, our great American experiment in freedom is still alive. In early September around the family dinner table, I listened to a conversation—more of an interrogation actually—which made me proud. America may be 235 years old, but I can say with certainty the best years lie ahead thanks to patriots in the younger generation. Here is what happened.

It had been six weeks since we had seen our five Kimmel grandchildren, a clear violation of our one-month rule, so the trophy wife and I raced to Great Falls for a quick overnight stay. Joining us for supper was Jess, a former Yellowstone County girl who babysat my mini-Kimmels when she was in high school. Jess is an important spoke in the family wheel, and over Labor Day weekend she motored 814 miles from the University of North Dakota to introduce the family to her boyfriend, Jake. With the kitchen table stretched to the max, all eleven of us sat down and Mae, our six-year-old, said grace.

We laughed as Jake and Jess described their non-stop drive across the bigger part of two states. They had rolled out of Grand Forks around 4:00 Friday afternoon and staggered into the Kimmel house at 5:30 Saturday morning. They suffered from Honda-Accord-lag (a travel syndrome less serious than jet lag), but they were surprisingly bright by dinnertime, which was good because my son-in-law, Tim, was planning to interrogate Jake.

Tim grew up a Montana ranch kid so being a hard nosed federal law enforcement officer comes natural to him. He and Meagan had recently hired a part time nanny and Tim asked her some very blunt questions during the interview. I was joshing Tim and said, “Why don’t you ask Jake the same questions?”

He chuckled and tried to change the subject, but finally blurted, “Okay, I will.” “Question one: Jake, do you smoke pot? Question two: Have you ever cheated on your girlfriend? Question three: “Democracy or republic?” The third question was so powerful and thought provoking, my mouth fell open and I stared at Jake while waiting for the answer.

Jake stammered a couple answers before Jess jumped in and shouted, “Democracy!” Since Jess is still suffering through college indoctrination, plus the fact most high school civics texts erroneously refer to America as being a representative democracy, her answer was reflexively predictable.

“Wrong,” Tim fired back, “but two out of three isn’t bad.” The hot lights were clicked off and this brings me to my point.

Our founders purposely crafted an American republic because they despised tyranny, but feared democracy as it is a temporary form of government which always progressively descends back into tyranny. They only form of government which has any chance to ensure liberty for perpetuity is a republic where the rule of law guaranteeing rights of the people reigns supreme. This is the precise reason American elected officials pledge an oath to the Constitution rather than an oath to represent the majority opinion of their constituents. (Politicians always miss this point.)

Democracy is just a fancy, yet fatal word for mob rule, and today it is thrown around universities in a manner suggesting it is synonymous with republic. If majority rule is supreme, then a majority vote could suspend every right our Constitution is crafted to ensure. It was the fact Tim recognized the importance of the question which made me proud.

As a ranch kid, Tim was seasoned by long hours on the back of a horse and the seat of a tractor. He is the youngest of four and he lost his father to a car accident when he was nine. Tim, his siblings and mother worked hard to keep the ranch together so it is not surprising he worked his way through college. Recent world and national events have awakened his generation and given me optimism. Everything they have earned—note the keyword earned—is at risk, so they understand the importance of restoring our American republic. In Tim’s case, the battle for liberty begins across his kitchen table. Does it yours?

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