Do We Live in a Democracy or a Republic?

on Sep 18 in Articles by

How often do we hear today that our government is a “Democracy”? Constantly!

In a “democracy”, the majority rules. In a “republic”, it is “the rule of law” that controls. Our Constitutional fathers, familiar with the strength and weakness of both autocracy and democracy, with fixed principles definitely in mind, defined a representative republican form of government. They made a very marked distinction between a republic and a democracy and said repeatedly and emphatically that they had founded a republic.

For example: Benjamin Franklin, upon his emergence from the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, was asked: “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” To this question, Franklin answered succinctly and without hesitation, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

“In a single republic, all the power surrendered by the people is submitted to the administration of a single government; and the usurpations are guarded against by a division of the government into distinct and separate departments. In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered by the people is first divided between two distinct governments, and then the portion allotted to each
subdivided among distinct and separate departments. Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people. The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.” (Bold print added for emphasis)
JamesMadison – Federalist 51

As evident from the following, the framers considered “democracy” as the worst form of government:
• “A simple democracy … is one of the greatest of evils.” And dismissed it as “mobocracy”. Benjamin Rush
• “In democracy … there are commonly tumults and disorders. … Therefore a pure democracy is generally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.” Noah Webster
• “Pure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state; it is very subject to caprice and the madness of popular rage.” John Witherspoon
• “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” John Adams
• “Democracy is the most vile form of government … 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 deaths.” James Madison, 1787, Federalist Paper #10
• “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” Thomas Jefferson

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.”

The word “democracy” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution for the United States of America, because democracy has no place in America. Rather, Article IV, Section 4, of the Constitution for the United States of America states: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

Today we say the “Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag” which states: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

The United States Army provided the following as a part of very lengthy Training Course titled: “TRAINING MANUAL {WAR DEPARTMENT, No. 2000-25 } WASHINGTON, November 30, 1928. CITIZENSHIP” SECTION IX, LESSON 9. REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT, “Paragraph 120” states, in part: “Comparative analysis. — The following comparative analysis shows the principal characteristics of the three forms of government:
Autocracy: Authority is derived through heredity. People have no choice in the selection of their rulers and no voice in making of the laws. Results in arbitrariness, tyranny, and oppression. Attitude toward property is feudalistic. Attitude toward law is that the will of the ruler shall control, regardless of reason or consequences.
Democracy: A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of “direct” expression.
Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic — negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
Republic: Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them. Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure. Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences. A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass. Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy. Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.”

Examine governments, at all levels, today. They are intentionally no longer the required “Republics.”

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke

CSBP, c/o P.O. Box 211, Elverson, Pennsylvania 19520

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