I got into a bit of a “discussion” the other day with someone who should have known better and referred to our country as a “Democracy”. Ever since I started getting back involved a few years ago it has really irritated me when someone misspeaks of our “Democracy” in this country. And it’s not like everyone doesn’t do it from the President himself all the way down to the county party worker.
There is a very BIG difference between a Democracy and a Republic.
When I tried to explain it, all I got was a kind of blank stare… what about a Republic as opposed to a Democracy is so hard to understand? Perhaps, upon understanding the difference, you’ll also understand why some are wanting to change us over to a “Democracy” today in more ways than a verbal misstep.
We as Americans should at the very LEAST be able to learn and properly refer to what form of government we live under. Therefore, I am providing some good information that can hopefully help educate. It is important to keep in mind the distinction between a Democracy and a Republic, as very dissimilar forms of government.
Understanding the difference is essential to comprehension of the fundamentals involved. It should be noted that use of the word Democracy as meaning merely the popular type of government–that is, featuring genuinely free elections by the people periodically–is not helpful in discussing, as here, the difference between alternative and dissimilar forms of a popular government: a Democracy versus a Republic. This double meaning of Democracy–a popular-type government in general, as well as a specific form of popular government–needs to be made clear in any discussion, or writing, regarding this subject, for the sake of sound understanding.
These two forms of government: Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but antithetical, reflecting the sharp contrast between (a) The Majority Unlimited, in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) The Majority Limited, in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority; as we shall now see.
The chief characteristic and distinguishing feature of a Democracy is: Rule by Omnipotent Majority. In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man.
A Republic, on the other hand, has a very different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. Its purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual’s God-given, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all minorities, and the liberties of people in general. The definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally-limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution–adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment–with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Here the term “the people” means, of course, the electorate.
To gain an even greater understanding, read the entire article: An Important Distinction: Democracy versus Republic