The United States of America is continually (and incorrectly) referred to as a Democracy. Even our politicians refer to us as a Democracy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Well, sadly, I think maybe we have become a Democracy through years of corruption and greed. The Founding Fathers fought for and assembled the foundation and framework for a Republic. This is fact and cannot be disputed. If you think this in error then take some time to read The Federalist Papers. Yea, I know, most of you have no clue what The Federalist Papers are. I don’t think I will waste my time explaining what they are here; if curious you can look them up. It’s not hard. Very few have taken the time to actually read the Constitution let alone any of the Federalist Papers.
What is the difference between a Democracy and a Republic? Well I’m glad you asked. A democracy can be boiled down to a single statement, “majority rules.” Meaning, the attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based on deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice or impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. The majority rule of democracy is destructive of liberty because there is no law to prevent the majority from trampling on the rights of the individual. Whatever the majority says is law and there is no recourse. A perfect example of majority rule is a lynch mob, pure democracy in action. There is only one dissenting vote, and that is cast by the person at the end of the rope. A democracy leads to mobocracy and the communistic negating of property and individual rights. It leads to demagoguism, agitation, discontent and anarchy. Before you ask… “Yes” I had to look up the word demagoguism to ensure I was using the word correctly.
A Republic is derived through the election by the people of public servants best suited to represent the voting body. The attitude toward property and individual rights is based on respect for laws and a sensible economic procedure. Law is administered through justice in accordance with fixed principles and established evidence with a strict regard to consequences. The establishment of a Republic avoids the dangerous extremes of tyranny and/or mob rule. It results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment and progress.
A Republic is a form of government under a constitution which provides for the election of: 1) an executive and a 2) legislative body, working together with 3) a judiciary that, when combined, acts on and enforces recognition of 4) certain inherent individual rights. Take away any one of these four requirements of a Republic and you will start to drift in an autocracy; add more to this and you will drift into a democracy. The thing to take from this is, “A republic is a government of law under a Constitution.” The application here is it is the Constitution that holds the government in check and prevents the majority from violating the rights of the individual. With a republic a lynch mob is illegal and the criminal cannot be denied the right to a fair trial even if the majority of the citizenry demands otherwise; can you say Ferguson?
I’ve seen the following attributed to several people from history, so much so that I will assume whoever I indicate as the author there are those who will dispute it. So, I will just say that someone smarter than most of us said it a long time ago and I will go out on a limb here and say this individual probably lived through this transformation prior to assisting with the creation of our republic. “A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of Government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess out of public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that Democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship.” Does this scenario sound familiar? We portray this trend with every election. Meaning, if you have one hundred people with 10% paying out 50% of their income in taxes and the other 90% paying 20% of their income in taxes any vote to raise taxes on the high earners will win and the 10% already footing most of the bill will pay more.
This great nation started as a Republic. Those that formed it were well aware of the destruction a democracy is capable of. They fought hard to build it and for 200+ years others have fought hard (and died) to preserve it. Sadly, it is safe to say we are now more of a democracy than a republic. Individual rights are trampled on repeatedly under the veil of progressive advancement.
We are losing our Republic and we cannot blame the politicians. We, the people, are to blame due to ignorance, blind apathy, laziness and selfish greed. Shame on us.
In case you are curious: demagoguism (dem-a-gog-ism) – the art and practice of gaining power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people. Now if that does not sound familiar than you paid no attention during that last election.
Give credit where credit is due – much of the information here came from Google searches I gathered together for my own edification of the difference between a democracy and a republic.
Edification (ed-i-fi-ca-tion) – instruction or enlightenment, especially when it is morally or spiritually uplifting.
OK, now let’s see how many tolerant, non-hating liberals call me an intolerant hater and a racist because I had the audacity to do the research and gather the facts on my own thereby setting aside the accepted method of taking someone’s undocumented understanding of it.
Very few who even started reading this little snippet made it to the end. If you are reading this last sentence then I thank you and you can be proud of yourself because you want more than can be said on a bumper sticker.
PS: Democracy vs. Republic has nothing to do with being Democrat or Republican.