Republicanism cannot survive such all-out assault. The principle of majoritarianism requires that communal decisions be respected, even as minorities try to persuade majorities to change their policies. Constitutional laws created through a legitimate political process are not binding only for those who vote for those laws. When leftists refuse to accept that President Bush is their president regardless of whether they voted for John Kerry, they undermine American republicanism.
I don't like Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), and I wouldn't have voted for her were I a resident of New York. Nonetheless, she remains a U.S. Senator, and her vote in the Senate is just as legitimate as that of Senator George Allen (R-VA), with whom I generally agree. I didn't like Bill Clinton, and I wouldn't have voted for him. Nonetheless, he was my president. When President Kennedy was shot, Republicans and Democrats alike mourned. Americans mourned because Kennedy was our president. He was America's president, not Democrats' or Republicans'. The same was true of Clinton, and the same is true of George W. Bush.
I fear that today's left disagrees. Were President Bush assassinated, thousands of leftists the country over would pop open champagne before realizing that Vice President Cheney was next in line. Then they'd go to work attacking Cheney's legitimacy.
The American democratic process is worthy of respect, whether or not we like the results. It is worthy of respect because the American people are worthy of respect. The decisions Americans make through their political processes are legitimate as long as they are in concert with the Constitution. Today's left disagrees. Today's left agrees with the British headline the morning after the 2004 election: "How could 50 million people be so stupid?"
The American people are not too stupid to be trusted with important issues like abortion. They are not too stupid to be trusted with deciding who becomes president.
Last week, 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore told a Palm Beach County, Fla., audience, "I truly believe that American democracy faces a time of challenge and trials that are more serious than we have ever faced." Gore is right -- but it is he and those like Planned Parenthood that threaten the fabric of American republicanism.
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