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 œDemocracy? Constantly!

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

For example:Benjamin Franklin, upon his emergence from the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in1787, was asked: œWell, 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.”

œIn a single republic, all the power surrendered by the people is submitted to the administrationof a single government; and the usurpations are guarded against by a division of the government intodistinct and separate departments. In the compound republic of America, the power surrendered bythe 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 ofthe people. The different governments will control each other, at the same time that each will becontrolled by itself. (Bold print added for emphasis)

As evident from the following, the framers considered œdemocracy as the worst form of government:
¢ œA simple democracy ¦ is one of the greatest of evils. And dismissed it as œmobocracy.Benjamin Rush
¢ œIn democracy ¦ there are commonly tumults and disorders. ¦ Therefore a pure democracy isgenerally a very bad government. It is often the most tyrannical government on earth.Noah Webster
¢ œPure democracy cannot subsist long nor be carried far into the departments of state; it is verysubject to caprice and the madness of popular rage. John Witherspoon
¢ œRemember, 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 ofturbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or therights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent intheir deaths.” James Madison, 1787, Federalist Paper #10
¢ “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may takeaway the rights of the other forty-nine.” Thomas Jefferson

œDemocracy 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 ofAmerica, because democracy has no place in America.Rather, Article IV, Section 4, of the Constitution for the United States of America states:œThe 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 theExecutive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Today we say the œPledge of Allegiance to the Flag which states:œI pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic forwhich 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:œTRAINING MANUAL {WAR DEPARTMENT,No. 2000-25 } WASHINGTON, November 30, 1928.CITIZENSHIPSECTION IX, LESSON 9. REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT, œParagraph120states,inpart:œComparative analysis. ” The following comparative analysis shows the principal characteristicsof 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 upondeliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard toconsequences.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 establishedevidence, 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 œRepublics.

œAll 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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