Age Old Argument 

I seen, just a few minutes ago, that Condoleezza Rice wrote about our Democracy, which made me laugh. So I asked a liberal friend which do we live under, which the reply was what I expected, one he couldn’t answer, but why? It’s in black and white, literally. 

A Republic has a charter, or constitution, which limits the powers of the state. In a Republic, the people elect representatives to govern the state, but the representatives are still expected to follow the laws created in a charter/constitution. The rights of the minority are protected in a Republic.

A Democracy, is a government by the majority, in which the votes of 50.0000000001% is the ruling force. If a Democracy even has a charter/constitution, it’s not the supreme law of the land. There is no law in a Democracy, except the opinion of the majority. 

In fact, the Founding Fathers were worried the United States would become too Democratic. Benjamin Franklin once said, 

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch

Nowhere in the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution does it say “Democracy”, but it does say “Republic”.

Even the ancient philosophers understood the problems with Democracy. Plato argued, 

Dictatorship, naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery, out of the most extreme liberty.

With all these differences, why do elected officials still confuse the two? In two years of speeches, Obama referred to the United States as a Republic 3 times. He stressed the values of us as a Democracy, over 300 times.

Obama specified the United States as a Republic here, 

The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace tyranny of a King, with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

Obama recognized difficulties with a Democracy, 

And so democracy is messy and it’s tough, and our system is broken to a large degree. 

But also made these arguments, 

You see, in our democracy, this remarkable system of government, you, the people, give the final say.

This statement is actually false, in the United States,  our charter – the US Constitution – has the final say, because we are a Republic. Understanding the difference between the two is one of utmost importance to understanding one’s rights as a citizen of the United States. 


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