It seems like every American should already know this, but just in case there were any questions left…
Democrats are people who believe that the United States of America is, and should be, governed as a Democracy.
Republicans are people who believe that the United States of America is, and should be, governed as a Republic.
That sounds pretty simple doesn’t it? But what does it really mean?
Lets start with defining the terms. Webster defines them thusly:
a: a government by the people ; especially : rule of the majority
b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections. (underscoring added)
a (1): a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2): a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government
b (1): a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law. (underscoring added)
Let us notice some seemingly subtle, but quite profound differences between the two.
- “The people”. Who are “the people”? They are exactly what it says, “the people”, everyone; not a people, not some people, not our people, it means ALL of the people on the land. Generally that definition includes illegal aliens, resident aliens, temporary foreign workers, felons, prisoners, traitors, children, the insane, the severely mentally handicapped, and any enemy invader. It means everyone.
- How are decisions made in a democracy? By majority, period.
- Does the minority get a say in anything? No. the majority rules supremely and absolutely.
- Is the majority constrained by law? No.
- Is the majority constrained by the separation of powers? No.
- Is the majority constrained by ethics or morality? No.
- Is the majority required to recognize the rights or needs of the minority? No.
- Can the majority change any rule or law or constitution or right or tradition? Yes.
- Can the majority completely change the form of government to anything they want? Yes.
- “A body of citizens entitled to vote”. Who are they? They are, first of all, citizens. Non-citizens have no say in the way a republic is governed. Second, they are citizens who have been entitled to vote.
- Are there citizens who are not entitled to vote? Yes there are. Illegal aliens, resident aliens, temporary foreign workers, felons, prisoners, traitors, children, the insane, the severely mentally handicapped, and enemy invaders are examples of people not entitled to vote.
- Are there any rules that govern who can vote and who cannot? Yes, the law governs who can vote and who cannot vote; not the “majority”.
- Who makes the law? The legislature.
- Is the legislature constrained by the law? Yes. The Law written in the Constitution.
- Is the legislature constrained by separation of powers? Yes.
- Does the legislature make decisions democratically? Contrary to popular belief, No they don’t. They vote on them, but the minority gets to voice their opinions and ideas and may add amendments to bills and block legislation by procedures and filibusters.
- And after a bill passes in the legislature, is it then law? No. It must pass both houses (if a two house system) and it must be signed by the elected head of state, then it becomes law; but if challenged in court, it must be held constitutionally sound, lawfully enacted, and jurisdictionally operable and functionally possible and not in conflict with existing superior law. If it doesn’t hold up in court, according to the law, then it is not law.
- Is the legislature constrained by ethics and morality? If either or both are existing in the law, then yes.
- Is the majority in the legislature required to recognize the rights and the needs of the minority? Yes.
- Can the majority in the legislature change any rule or law or constitution or right or tradition? No. The majority may only change the law when both houses agree and the head of state consents, or if the head of state does not consent, then a super majority is required to over-ride the head of state. Even then it may still be challenged in court and found unconstitutional, inoperable, impossible, or in conflict with existing superior law.
- Can the legislature change the constitution on its own? No. The legislature may begin the process, but it cannot act alone. The constitution may only be changed by a super majority of the States, or a super majority of the people acting in convention. The head of state has no role in this process.
- Can the legislature or the head of state, or the courts or all of them together, eliminate, or suspend, the constraints of the constitution, or the whole constitution itself and thereby change the form of government to something else? No, they may not. To do so would be treason and the penalty for treason under the law is death.
Now, after considering all of the above, and looking at my own beliefs, conviction, positions on legislation, opinions expressed, voting patterns and desires for the future of my nation. I conclude that I fall solidly into the Republican camp.
How about you; and how about the people you know? Where do they fall?
Let’s be honest here. If you were to be on trial using the above as the litmus test, and after weighing all the evidence, do you think a jury of your peers would hand down a verdict of Democrat, or Republican for you? And what is your confidence level on that? If your confidence level is not high, or very high, then perhaps you should study on the subject some more. (the below video may help)
So, why do I ask this question?
Because being a Republican or a Democrat is not just a party name, or the equivalent of a home team sports loyalty, or a family tradition. Being a Republican or a Democrat means something, and that something has consequences if you don’t understand what is at stake or what is “in play”.
So the next time you hear someone throwing around the word “democracy”, a red flag should go up and you would do well to judge carefully what may lie beneath the surface of that the person’s agenda.
What did the founders have to say about it?
Article IV, Section 4 of the United States Constitution, entitled “Republican government” states:
“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government”
All of the other sections of the US Constitution describe a republican form of government for our national government as well, and the word “democracy” never appears, nor does any variation of it. The founders didn’t approve of democracy and feared it. We would be wise to do the same.
James Madison said:
“Such 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.”
Thomas Jefferson said:
“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.”
And on this subject I now offer you this excellent but brief video presentation entitled:
“The American Form of Government”