Democracy Vs Republicanism


I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Democracy for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice
for all. Well, hopefully most of you caught the
glaring error in my version of the pledge of allegiance. I said, and to the Democracy for which it stands instead of and to
the Republic for which it stands. Well, that raises the question, what is
the difference? After all, we hear about the importance
of democracy and that democracy is a good thing, that america is a democracy and that we want to see democracy in other parts of the world
and yet in our pledge we use the term Republic… so are they the same… or are they different… is the US a democracy… or is it a republic? Well to understand, we need to know the difference, and that means we gotta go back to the beginning. And, that is the first instances of
democracy, at least in any large-scale, and that occurred in ancient Greece. In ancient Greece people would gather
together, mostly men who had property, and they would make decisions on their
behalf, that fundamentally, is democracy where people get to make decisions on their own behalf. Contrast that to other forms of
government where someone else makes a decision and you have no say in the matter, like under a king or under a dictator, or under what’s called an aristocracy where the elite govern and they may or may not care
about what the people have to say, or what they want. Those are other forms of government, contrast to a democracy. In a democracy, the people have the say and that is the
masses have a say, so majority rules is very important. But, they are actually different forms a
democracy. On the one, hand you have up form what’s called direct democracy, and that really is the type of democracy
the ancient Greece used, that’s where the people vote and make decisions directly
themselves. We actually have forms of direct
democracy, in some states and cities across the
United States. An example, would be when voters go to the polls and they see a proposal on the ballot they can vote yes or no to, because they’re voting directly on the law, there exercising direct democracy in those situations. So, direct democracy is one form
democracy, but it is not the only form of democracy. They’re also indirect forms a democracy, or what we often call republican government. The idea of a republic has its origins in ancient Rome. Before Rome became an empire, it was called the Roman Republic. And in the Roman Republic, others would make decisions on your
behalf, but you had input, usually, in those decisions. Well that is a somewhat democratic regime because the people have some say even if others are making decisions on
their behalf. At is, in essence, a form of indirect
democracy, and those are really the two primary
types of democracy, though there are other variations… direct democracy and indirect democracy. Direct democracy is where people vote on issues themselves. Indirect democracy or what we will call republican government is were people elect others to make their decisions… to make decisions on their behalf. But, there are other distinctions between democracy and
republicanism that are important to know, and the reason is because the founding of our country, this was one of the debates, and our founding fathers clearly had a
preference of one over the other. Founding fathers like James Madison criticized the idea of democracy. But, what they were referring to was
direct democracy or what they would often call, mobocracy, and that is the idea that all it takes is 50 percent plus one of voter’s to tell the others what to do
and to make decisions. That concerned the founding fathers
because one of the values they placed was in the idea of minority rights and
individual rights that is the idea that the majority isn’t always right simply
because it’s the majority. So, whereas in direct democracy the masses are important, and in the
republican form of government the individual also has some
significance. Whereas in an a direct democracy the
government is pretty much unbounded, it just acts as the people’s
will. In a republican form of government the government is usually limited by a
document like the Constitution. As is the case in the United States… so, that brings me back to my original question. Are we a democracy or are we a republic? Well, the truth is we are both…in the
sense that people get some say in their decisions or in most cases a major say in their
decisions, we are democracy. But, in the since that we elect others to make those decisions on our behalf and we place a special value in minority
rights in the individual, we are a republic. So, we are a democratic republic, or to be even more precise, a
Constitutional Democratic Republic.

Maurice Vega

7 Responses

  1. Well, thanks a lot for explaining, I learned many new terms with awesome background emphasis. 🙂

  2. The weak minded who cant handle reason want democracy to rule with feelings.

    Too bad! We want our constitutional republic which made America great. Turning back to the constitution will make America great again!

    As an immigrant non-white man minority I dont want the majority to be the ruler. I want the law to be the ruler based on a simple constitution that enumerates my inherent rights to life, liberty and pursuit to happiness.

  3. Lol, conservatives are starting to point out this fact as if anyone who is leftist doesn't already know that we are a Republic. Yes, we are a Republic, but we've had democratic assembly from the start. Andrew Jackson formed the Democratic party because he wanted the common man to be represented better; something thats missing today in the US. Republics take many forms too, ie.( Democratic, Socialist, and People's Republics, etc). Nowhere in the constitution is it written that we could only have a capitalist economy that corrupts and forms plutocracy.

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