Yes, there is a difference. It is important we understand those differences. It is important that Freedom Loving Americans stop referring to us as a democracy and start to call us what we were intended to be, a Republic. The United States is becoming a democracy and the more we move from republic to democracy, the less free we will be.
The key difference between a democracy and a republic lies in the limits placed on government by the law, which has implications for minority rights. Both forms of government tend to use a representational system, that is citizens vote to elect politicians to represent their interests and form the government. In a constitutional republic, a constitution or charter of rights protects inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if it has been elected by a majority of voters. In a democracy, the majority is not restrained in this way and can impose its will on the minority.
We were founded as a republic because the founders understood the weaknesses of a democracy. They told us that democracy is really mob rule. They explained that democracy is in fact a dictatorship of the majority over the minority. They also understood history and told us that democracy leads to dictatorship of the few over the many. Lenin reinforced the belief of the founders when he explained that democracy is necessary to bring socialism and socialism is the gateway to communism.
A republic limits the power of government. In our Constitution we have enumerated powers that we the people gave to the government. These enumerated powers are not a suggestion of the type of power the government can have, but they are a limitation on the powers of government. Those calling for our country to transform to a democracy are also calling for bigger and more powerful government. To restore our republic, we would have to limit both the size and scope of government. Freedom Loving Americans say that this is good. We say that we should eliminate much of government and we should start with removing the Federal government from education, from health care, from regulating how we live our lives, choices we make, and how we think.
A republic protects our rights and liberties, namely those which were endowed upon us by our Creator. Before the people would ratify the Constitution they insisted that many of these rights and liberties be specifically named. Thus, we have the Bill of Rights. It is important to note that the 9th amendment states, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” This expands the list of rights and liberties protected for the people from government.
The 10th amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. “This clearly limits the expansions of the powers of the Federal Government and protects the role of the states.
Furthermore, because a republic is ruled by law, or the Constitution, and not by the emotions of people, a republic is built on the principle of “rule of law.” “Rule of Law” is a principle under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws that are: publicly promulgated, equally enforced, and independently adjudicated. Under “rule of law”, a congressional committee would not be able to deny due process as defined in the Constitution to a defendant, even to the President of the United States. Under “rule of law” different standards could not be applied to people who broke the law even though they claimed to be promoting social justice, as opposed to people who were deemed to be insurgents. To promote either of the above would be in violation of the Constitution, it would be refuting republic and endorsing democracy. In a democracy, the majority or those in power can say the law can and should be changed and applied as the majority or those in power believe is necessary to bring justice as the majority or those in power defines justice.
In a republic, the government is limited. In our Republic, only the legislature can bring a bill with the intention of it becoming law. Both houses in our legislative branch must pass the bill and the executive must sign the bill for it to become law. The Constitution does not provide any other manner for bills to become law. The opinions of the Supreme Court are simply opinions and are not law. Executive orders and regulations set forth by the bureaucracy are just that and are not law. A directive by any bureaucrat, in any form or manner, is not a law.
In a democracy, the majority or those holding power can declare what ever they decide to be law. If they declare a Supreme Court opinion to be law, it is law. If they declare an executive order, a regulation, or a mandate to be law, it is law. In a democracy, those in power or the majority can suspend the Constitution for any reason, they can restrict speech, assembly, belief in the Bible, if the government can be redressed, what information the public is given, if the public can or cannot have guns, and who will and will not be extended due process under the law. In a democracy, those in power or the majority, can dictate who can or cannot participate in the political process. In a democracy, those in power or the majority have no limitations.
There are great differences between a republic and a democracy. The purpose of republic is to limit the government to the role of being the servant and place the people as the sovereign. Under a democracy, the power of government is increased so the government becomes the sovereign and the people become servants to the will and demands of the government.
Benjamin Franklin told us we were given a republic if we could keep it. We are failing as those of the American Left, and some who call themselves Freedom Loving Americans, are telling us we are a democracy, and we must protect our democracy. What these people are really telling us is that the people must accept the role of the government as sovereign, a sovereign that has the power to tell the people how we must live our lives, what choices we must make, and how we must think, because our role is to be a servant to government.
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