At the heart of a Republic is the protection of individual rights and liberties from both the omnipotence of a majority and the despotism of an elite through a limited, representative government and the rule of law as established by the consent of the governed.
Our republic doesn’t just need equal branches of government, it needs the full weight of a responsible, active, law honoring, and educated citizenry overseeing its representatives and holding them to account for their actions and their ability to uphold the rule of law.
As with all forms of government a Republic has its limitations.
- A Republic can’t secure individual rights and liberties — without the governed securing its individual responsibility.
- A Republic can’t maintain a representative government — without the governed maintaining its personal participation.
- A Republic can’t enforce the rule of law — without the governed honoring those laws and hold their representatives accountable to those laws.
- A Republic can’t have the informed consent of the governed — without the governed educating themselves and providing sound judgement.
When we collectively fail to do our part for our republic, we open the door to the ruling elite of the Oligarchs. And they aren’t worried about petty party loyalties. They have the money to pay both sides to get what they want.
How else do you explain, that in 2008 federal prosecutors officially adopted new guidelines and a “softer” approach to corporate crime that is still in effect today. Which, not incidentally, is why there have been no real prosecutions of the endemic fraud in both the financial and mortgage industries.
From As Wall St. Polices Itself, Prosecutors Use Softer Approach by Gretchen Morgenson and Louise Story, NY TImes:
“Though little noticed outside legal circles, the guidelines were welcomed by firms representing banks. The Justice Department’s directive, involving a process known as deferred prosecutions, signaled “an important step away from the more aggressive prosecutorial practices seen in some cases under their predecessors,” Sullivan & Cromwell, a prominent Wall Street law firm, told clients in a memo that September. The guidelines left open a possibility other than guilty or not guilty, giving leniency often if companies investigated and reported their own wrongdoing. In return, the government could enter into agreements to delay or cancel the prosecution if the companies promised to change their behavior.“
And the SEC got an early start on the “soft” approach back in 2005, but didn’t make it official until last year. No wonder Harry Markopolos couldn’t get the SEC to investigate Bernie Madoff for ten years. They were waiting for Madoff to report himself!
More from Prosecutors Use Softer Approach:
The Securities and Exchange Commission also added deferred prosecution as a tool last year and has embraced another alternative to litigation — reports that chronicle wrongdoing at institutions like Moody’s Investors Service, often without punishing anyone. The financial crisis cases brought by the S.E.C. — like a recent settlement with JPMorgan Chase for selling a mortgage security that soured — have rarely named executives as defendants.Defending the department’s approach, Alisa Finelli, a spokeswoman, said deferred prosecution agreements require that corporations pay penalties and restitution, correct criminal conduct and “achieve these results without causing the loss of jobs, the loss of pensions and other significant negative consequences to innocent parties who played no role in the criminal conduct, were unaware of it or were unable to prevent it.”The department began pulling back from a more aggressive pursuit of white-collar crime around 2005, say defense lawyers and former prosecutors, after the Supreme Court overturned a conviction it won against the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. That ended an era of brass-knuckle prosecutions related to fraud at companies like Enron.”
So it is our government’s official policy, under both Bush and Obama, to save corporate brass from the loss of jobs, pensions or other negative consequences. At the very same time “our” government, under both parties, has done nothing to save millions of jobs and homes for average Americans, and now wants to cut “entitlements” for those same average Americans.
Seriously, can it get any clear as to whom our government and both parties considers the boss? Is it too late for average Americans to reclaim our Republic?
Or have the Oligarchs become too powerful?
Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them. ~~ Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833
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