|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Some Utah County parents are calling on the Alpine School District to stop spreading "false educational ideas." First and foremost, the parents say, the district needs to clamp down on its use of the D-word: "democracy."
This week, a spokeswoman for Utah's Republic, a group that advocates for a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, asked the Alpine Board of Education to scrap its democracy-centered mission statement. The issue has sparked a dust-up over the past month, garnering petition signatures from hundreds of Alpine parents and a rebuke of the school board by the Provo Daily Herald's editorial board.
Alpine's mission statement is "Educating all students to ensure the future of our democracy."
But this nation is a republic, not a democracy, said Oak Norton, a Highland father of five and the founder of Utah's Republic. The Constitution guarantees every state a "republican form of government." "Karl Marx said, 'Democracy is the road to socialism,' " Norton said. A true democracy, he said, relies solely on majority rule and inevitably devolves into anarchy, which then sprouts socialist dictators.
The term "democracy" is commonly used to refer to American society and the power of the people to participate in government, including through votes on ballot measures and representatives, said Kirk Jowers, director of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics..
"Technically the United States is a constitutional republic," he said. "However, leaders from both [political] parties have often referred to us as a democracy."
1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
2 : a political unit that has a democratic government