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Democracy or Republic

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  1. #1

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    Democracy or Republic

    I thought it would be an appropriate time to post a discussion on USA political system of government. Non-citizens of the US seem to confuse democracy with Republicans. Here is a little government lesson, and remember, there are two sides to every story.

    We often hear the claim that our nation is a democracy. That wasn't the vision of the founders. They saw democracy as another form of tyranny. If we've become a democracy, I guarantee you that the founders would be deeply disappointed by our betrayal of their vision. The founders intended, and laid out the ground rules, for our nation to be a republic.

    The word democracy appears nowhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution -- two most fundamental documents of our nation. Instead of a democracy, the Constitution's Article IV, Section 4, guarantees "to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government." Moreover, let's ask ourselves: Does our pledge of allegiance to the flag say to "the democracy for which it stands," or does it say to "the republic for which it stands"? Or do we sing "The Battle Hymn of the Democracy" or "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"?

    So what's the difference between republican and democratic forms of government? John Adams captured the essence of the difference when he said, "You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe." Nothing in our Constitution suggests that government is a grantor of rights. Instead, government is a protector of rights.


    Democracy now refers to the election process, which is not majority rule, as recent election of Bush proved, but a cloak over manipulation by the corporations and money Barron's to decide who is president, and in many cases, who governs at local levels.

    An Electoral College choses the winner, and they alone can decide who to vote for. Popular vote is a farce in the USA.

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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerryCo:
    John Adams captured the essence of the difference when he said, "You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; rights derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe." Nothing in our Constitution suggests that government is a grantor of rights. Instead, government is a protector of rights.
    How is this any different from the justification for Sharia law?

  3. #3

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    I might be being completely stupid, but isn't a republic without democracy called a dictatorship?


  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by PerryCo:

    We often hear the claim that our nation is a democracy. That wasn't the vision of the founders. They saw democracy as another form of tyranny. If we've become a democracy, I guarantee you that the founders would be deeply disappointed by our betrayal of their vision. The founders intended, and laid out the ground rules, for our nation to be a republic.
    I'm not exactly sure what point you are trying to make here, it's somewhat convoluted. In any case, it's a big stretch to say that the founders saw democracy as a form of tyranny. A republic also has the meaning of having a government which doesn't rely on monarchy which was a pretty obvious intent since the founders were seceding from Britain.

    Madison, Hamilton and Jay articulated their conception of a republic in the Federalist Papers and they characterized it as a representative democracy, they certainly didn't make a direct parallel from pure democracy to tyranny. They simply said that it would hinder the formation of an oppressive or irresponsible majority.

    As to their visions, governments have always been corrupt and influenced by power/money so that hasn't really changed any... There is simply more power and more money now therefore the stakes are higher and the corruption is more profound.

    The saving grace of any system is freedom of speech and of the press. That allows enough people to know what's going on and hopefully exert some kind of pressure on the guilty parties.

  5. #5

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    >> Popular vote is a farce in the USA.

    Stop moaning and fix it then.


  6. #6

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    How do you get to be a member of the electoral college?


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by leghk:
    I might be being completely stupid, but isn't a republic without democracy called a dictatorship?
    I guess it depends on how you define all those terms. China is a republic but whether you would term it a dictatorship depends on your perspective.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by hullexile:
    How do you get to be a member of the electoral college?
    You apply and there's a vote?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by leghk:
    You apply and there's a vote?
    Just Googled it. Weird system. I always thought the people in the state voted for the candidate they wanted and then the electoral college members were meant to vote the same way. Didn't realise you didn't actually vote for the presidential candidate but for some unknown who promises to vote for the person you wanted. Never understood why you couldn't just have a normal vote and cut out the college.

  10. #10

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    >> Never understood why you couldn't just have a normal vote
    >> and cut out the college.

    That would put too much trust into the people and prevent backroom deals.

    Without stops and checks of the college, you'd see people like George Bush get elected ....

    Bah .. never mind ..

    ouwen likes this.

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