Posts tagged ‘democracy versus republic’

May 31, 2010

Democracy Versus Republic

A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to visit a 2nd grade classroom representing the program, Junior Achievement.  Our lesson for that morning was “Our Community”, from which I had the opportunity to enlighten these young minds about:

1.) What makes up a community

2.) How production of goods works (what production in industry is)

3. ) What taxes are

4.) How elections work

In talking to these students about elections, I emphasized over and over again the importance of their vote and their voice because of our role as citizens in a DEMOCRACY, however as the words rolled off of my tongue, I felt like I was lying.  At one time, I did feel that my vote counted, but as I was speaking the words that day, I no longer believed, I was just going through the motions of saying what I was supposed to say.

Why?  How have I become so cynical about what a democracy is?  Well, that is very simple – a democracy is NOT what the founders and framers of our Constitution had wanted as a FORM OF GOVERNMENT. A Democracy (either direct or representative) is rule by The Majority.  This majority can be whoever is in power at the time based on elections, but that majority can abuse those powers in a tyrannical way if not constrained by a constitution (a constitution or ruling document that can easily be ignored if a majority has that power).

It is a REPUBLIC that is distinctly and strictly controls The Majority in order to protect Individual’s God-given unalienable rights (which ALSO PROTECTS THE MINORITY).  A Republic can be representative still, and elections still take place, and the Majority still has a role, HOWEVER, all of these actions are strictly contained and constrained BY THE PEOPLE whose charge is to constitutionally limit government.  It is the PEOPLE’S jobs to hold elected representatives responsible, and it is up to the people to continually be a part of legislative decisions that affect their communities and country.

When I was speaking the other day, I was speaking of something that I do not believe is the foundation of this country.  We were not founded as a democracy – we were founded as a REPUBLIC (the very words in our pledge of allegiance), and if we were to hold true to that and fight for that, we would see a very different reality.

By Tisha Casida