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Democracy vs. republic?
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Editor, When a President or politician calls this country a democracy he is ignorant or trying to fool you. This country is a republic.
For the sake of the point I am hoping to make with the reader, I feel it is prudent to expound upon the fact that the founding fathers did not establish a democracy but a republic and to distinguish the differences between the two.
The word democracy means, “people rule.” On the surface that may sound lofty, idealistic and noble but the reality is there is an explicit danger in true democracy. In both a direct and representative style of democracy, the majority’s power is absolute and unlimited, which means that law is fluid. Depending on the will of the electorate or the elective, laws can ebb and flow like water as it is moved upon by the shifting winds of public opinion. It also means that the minority would be considered to be of no consequence and would find themselves in the undesirable position of having to conform to the majority’s will in order to survive.
If one cares to search the record, he will find that the founders realized the inherent danger of ruling by popular opinion. In short, they stood vehemently against the “excesses of democracy.” The father of the Constitution, James Madison, wrote that “democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.” Suffice it to say, the historical record is clear: the founders never intended that the United States be a democracy
A constitutional republic, by definition, means literally, “a thing of the people” or “interests of the people.” So first consider that distinction. Where a democracy is a form of government where “people rule,” a republican form of government is one that functions in the interests of the people. That is to say, the objective is not necessarily in accordance with the people’s whims. Madison expounded upon this distinction in the Federalist Papers and argued that the greater good often required going against popular opinion because it can be erratic at best. Madison wrote, “There are moments in public affairs when the people, stimulated by some irregular passion or some illicit advantage … may call for measures which they themselves will afterwards be the most ready to lament and condemn.”

— Arlie Webster
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