View Full Version : The difference between a "Republic" and a "Democracy"

10-27-2010, 4:24 AM
The elections are bringing a number of trolls posters out of the woodwork, complaining that the United States is not a true democracy.

They are right... but this is a *good* thing.

The United States is not a Democracy, it is a Republic.

The word "democracy" does not appear within the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, or any of the 50 state Constitutions.

This video does a great job of explaining the difference between a "Republic" and a "Democracy". Enjoy. And no need for your tin foil hats. ;)


10-27-2010, 4:40 AM
That's a great video that I seem to frequently pass out to those who've either forgotten that we're supossed to be a Republic. Or for those who've tried to nit pick between Socialism/Communism/Marxism/Liberalism/Progressives. It all leads to an eventual Oligarchy through greed and laziness.

10-27-2010, 5:04 AM
If that's the video I'm thinking of there is quite a bit incorrect about it. Detracted a lot from what could have been a good, instructional video.

In any case a republic is simply a non-monarchical form of government (most of the time; the Dutch Republic had a monarch) that is not a direct democracy or something else that requires different classification (like a religious government, I forget the proper name for it, but it is NOT theocracy). In theory and/or practice it is any government that can be called a "thing of the people." A wide variety of governments can be called republic, from a dictatorship to an oligarchy to a socialist state to a representative democracy to a mixed government.

What most people here seem to mean when they use the term is a mixed government, one that combined elements from various forms of government, to include monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, etc. and is designed to create a balance of power. Such a government can be monarchical or republican and it is the latter most seem to be referring to (although the Presidency in such governments is often modeled off of the role of a monarch; ours was deliberately modeled off of the British monarchy at the time of King George III's reign with a couple of powers transferred to Congress).

Currently we do not have a balance of power and thus cannot be said to truly have a mixed form of government. We are now a representative democracy with many States also being a mix of representative and direct democracy with all the attendant flaws of democracy (and they are generally fatal flaws).

10-27-2010, 6:47 AM
bigstick has it correct, the US is now a representative democracy, we stopped being a republic (except CA which is a "Peoples Republik" :43:) a long time ago. And as to the video, my understanding of anarchy is that chaos isn't always a part of it though most times it usually is.

10-27-2010, 6:57 AM
lol, "a more accurate perspective will show government having zero power on the far right" :rolleyes:

I really dislike when people throw around the term that we're a democracy and when done in conversation will challenge their use of the word, so I agree with you there...but that video, while a lot of effort went into making a very simple visual, is not terribly accurate.

10-27-2010, 7:12 AM
I love that video and recommend it to people all the time. The presentation is masterful. I've probably watched it myself, end-to-end, a dozen times. I just watched it again end-to-end. God bless our republic.

10-27-2010, 7:22 AM
Great video.

Republic - a nation governed by law
Democracy - a nation governed by majority

Not difficult to comprehend.

M. D. Van Norman
10-27-2010, 7:22 AM
Wow! Totally wrong in less than a minute! :eek:

10-27-2010, 7:36 AM
"I pledge allegiance......and to the Republic for which it stands..."

Rhythm of Life
10-27-2010, 7:46 AM
We are a Democratic Republic because not all of our officials are representatives.

10-27-2010, 7:51 AM
Wow! Totally wrong in less than a minute! :eek:

A cute little loosely "Documented" quote from Franklin, A statement about what is being taught and then the controversial left is communism the right is fascist. Where is it TOTALLY wrong?

10-27-2010, 8:14 AM
When I hear a lefty shout that we are not a Democracy we are a Republic, it seems they are saying the majority opinion does not count. Indeed for many on the left the masses are ignorant and their opinion should not count.

We are a Republic and have a representative government elected directly by the people in a Democratic manner (except for the judicial branch on the federal level). In a Republic certain rights can not be abridged by the majority of voters. In a true Democracy the majority rules absolutely.

10-27-2010, 8:19 AM
lol, "a more accurate perspective will show government having zero power on the far right" :rolleyes:

I believe you misunderstood. The "far right" you're referring to has nothing to do with the "far right" end of the scale the narrator was describing.

M. D. Van Norman
10-27-2010, 8:25 AM
Where is it TOTALLY wrong?

First, there is the false dichotomy between a republic and a democracy, but as the video complains in reference to other political terms, republic and democracy are at this point in the video undefined terms.

Second, the video distorts the already inaccurate metaphor of the political spectrum, suggesting that the far left represents total government while the far right represents no government. In fact, there should be a vertical axis to represent the weight of government. This model would correctly reveal that there are left authoritarian governments and right authoritarian governments, where left refers to public ownership of the means of production and right to private ownership.

In less than a minute, the video demonstrates that its authors don’t understand the differences between communism, socialism, and fascism. I stopped watching, because they clearly won’t understand republicanism, democracy, or libertarianism either.

10-27-2010, 8:27 AM
We WERE a Republic. The change to a socialist form of government began with FDR and solidified with the current administration.
The Republic is dead, and Franklin was right to be concerned...we COULDN'T keep it because the American Public wants the government to do everything for them. The minute government decided we needed social security, medicare, and utilized Keynesian economics we lost our freedom.
Embrace the horror or fight it.

10-27-2010, 8:33 AM
We are supposed to only elect our direct representatives,"Congress Critters". Senator's, until the the stupid 17th amendment, were appointed by the state, And the president is elected by electoral college. REPBULIC. We started screwing it up in the age of the progressives. Right about the time they started the Great Society crap(ie. 16th,18th, Hailing Stalin as man of the year, Hailing Mussolini as man of the year, Margaret Sanger's eugenics "New Race", Noam Chomsky's propaganda......)

10-27-2010, 8:39 AM
[QUOTE=M. D. Van Norman;5197018]First, there is the false dichotomy between a republic and a democracy, but as the video complains in reference to other political terms, republic and democracy are at this point in the video undefined terms.QUOTE]

Your right he should have used a political compass, or to be even more clear a 3d globe model broken into hemispheres, but i digress, for the average American who can't pay attention for an entire episode of lost, a really basic 2d flat model will at least grab the attention and have them maybe, if Shakira is not on MTV, do a little more research on the subject.