The Court of Public Opinion

Posted: August 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

Okay, so I’ve been discussing this concept with people for the past week or so; that there can be no true justice outside of the court of public opinion. I don’t typically get into entries about politics, but this was too interesting of a discussion to pass up.

The idea is that even though we elect government officials and judges, who then make the laws of the land and also appoint bigger judges, who then interpret the laws of the land, can never truly represent the people because our voice just gets lost along the way up the food chain. Some suggest that the country is run by the whims of a select group of individuals who can lie their way into office, then do whatever they’d like.

But even so, even if we were elect representatives who represented us, who also appointed judges and leaders who represented the desires of the people, you could never effectively run the country because of the varying beliefs and convictions of the people. And I think the divide is represented sometimes in those representatives. For instance, the recent healthcare bill was passed with only 7 votes above the “nays” (219 votes for, 212 against).

The court of public opinion concept says that you would have to take each issue one at a time and allow a popular vote to determine the outcome.  Then, and only then, the path that the United States takes would at least represent the will of the people.

Again, those against the concept argue that the problem arises that our nation is so diverse that you have to have laws and representatives to keep the diversity bound to a manageable construct. If the healthcare bill had been put to popular vote, who’s to say it wouldn’t have had the same statistical results with the nation being split virtually in two.

SOME Court of Public Opinion folks also say that the idea of law should be dealt with in the same manner. If the law says that marijuana and other controlled substances are illegal, but 86% (a fabricated statistic for example purposes only) of the nation thinks they should be legalized (either just for the freedom, or because they theorize it would cut back the blackmarket sales of controlled substances; even having the government tax narcotics).

I really want to get your input and ideas on this. Not that it may ever become a reality, but it’s an interesting thought to play with thinking in the context of liberty and how our government is currently run, and even how/who we would like to see in control of our government.

Is this allowing the people to play themselves into self-destruction? Would it turn us to chaos? Would it be the truest form of democracy, or the end of it? Could a democratic government operate in that sort of setting? Would it drive the nation apart or closer together?


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