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The United States is NOT a democracy and never was


Al-O-Meter

Well-Known Member
USis-Republic.jpg

Welcome back to Middle School where we relearn something Americans should have all been taught in 7th grade Social Studies and had reinforced in 8th grade Civics. The United States is not a democracy. It never was. The United States is a republic. America’s government does have democratically elected positions but that does not make it a democracy and adding ‘representative’ to the beginning of democracy doesn’t fix the fundamental reason the US is not a democracy, representative or otherwise.

What is a democracy?

The defining characteristic of a democracy is right in the word itself. It comes from the Greek ‘demos’, meaning ‘the people’, and ‘kratia’, meaning ‘power, rule, authority’. In a democracy it is the will of the people that is the supreme authority. In a representative democracy, the people elect representatives to speak on behalf of their constituents but it is still the will of the people that is the highest authority.

The US elects representatives who govern on behalf of their constituents so doesn’t that make the US a representative democracy?

No, the United States is not a representative democracy even though the people of the United States democratically elect representatives to govern on their behalf. This becomes crystal clear when you understand that a law passed by the people’s representatives with broad popular appeal can be struck down by the courts as unconstitutional. In the United States, the US Constitution is a higher authority than the will of the people. THAT is what makes the United States a republic.

It is true the people can amend the US Constitution, but even that process must be done in accordance with the US Constitution. In the American system of government the US Constitution is the highest authority. It is above the ‘will of the people’, and that is a very good thing. Majorities of people can be fickle, vindictive, and make stupid decisions. The popular majority cannot be counted on to preserve the rights of individuals at all times, and it was that point more than any other for the founders of our country to choose to fashion our system of government as a republic.

Those telling you that our democracy is in danger are trying to manipulate you with a lie. We don't have a democracy. We never did. We have a republic for as long as we can keep it.
 


Red

Well-Known Member
Call it whatever you want, it evolved to “one man, one vote” with the expansion of the franchise over time. In 2020, Trump tried, very hard apparently, to throw my “one vote” away. Or rather, he tried to render it meaningless. He had help, too. Key members of the Republican caucus. A mob on 1/6. Key right wing media figures, and key Republicans, pushing the Big Lie, Trump’s invalid, illegitimate reason for trying to overturn the results of the election. I cast a vote for the man who won the election. I decided I might as well take it personally that Trump,and his allies and supporters want to overturn this election, and try to prevent a peaceful transfer of power. I played by the rules and voted for the winner. I want a full accounting. I played by the rules and exercised my right to vote. I expect everyone to,
play by those rules, and if not, I want to know why.

You have spent an inordinate amount of time promoting Franklin’s words, as it were, which were accurate after all. But distinguishing democracy from a constitutional republic is not really the point of much of what we have been discussing in the threads involving 1/6, and the thread involving “why Republicans want to restrict the vote”, etc. The democracy I am visualizing is contained within that phrase “one man, one vote”(yes, I recognize it’s not really gender specific). My vote went to the winning candidate. I’m resentful, and insistent on a full accounting of 1/6, and the effort it represented to make an effing joke of that concept.

Anyone who gives a damn about this republic should want a full accounting of Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

In relation to what Trump attempted, in relation to 1/6, your points are irrelevant.
 

One Brow

Well-Known Member
In the American system of government the US Constitution is the highest authority. It is above the ‘will of the people’, and that is a very good thing. ... and it was that point more than any other for the founders of our country to choose to fashion our system of government as a republic.
If the Constitution is the highest authority, we do not have a republic.


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
 

Al-O-Meter

Well-Known Member
In relation to what Trump attempted, in relation to 1/6, your points are irrelevant.
What happened on January 6th is in the past. When people say "our democracy is in danger", they are talking present tense. They aren't talking 1/6 but rather trying to make an argument for the Federal government to seize control of the elections away from the states. In the context of passing the so-called "voting rights act", anyone who tell you our democracy is in danger is lying.

The lie is especially transparent seeing as the United States has been there, done that as far as shenanigans in the Electoral College taking away the seating of a candidate who won the popular vote and should have rightfully won the majority of the electoral vote except for a backroom deal to faithlessly switch enough electoral votes to make the loser the President. The event was so obviously untraumatic to US History that it didn't end our government as we know it and wasn't even important enough for nearly everyone to know which President it was. That phrase is a telltale of the information being given with the phrase is highly suspect.

The President who received 47.9% of the vote as compared to his challenger who got 50.9% of the vote and should have won the 185+ electoral votes needed to win in 1876 where Rutherford B Hayes and Samuel J Tilden.
 

One Brow

Well-Known Member
It is and we do. If you still have a PoliSci textbook lying around from college, look it up in that because Webster is playing loose with their terms.
It is a dictionary, and any effort to define terms according to how the public uses them will be loose.

However, why don't you quote a definition of republic from somewhere that describes us and excludes China?
 

One Brow

Well-Known Member
The lie is especially transparent seeing as the United States has been there, done that as far as shenanigans in the Electoral College taking away the seating of a candidate who won the popular vote and should have rightfully won the majority of the electoral vote except for a backroom deal to faithlessly switch enough electoral votes to make the loser the President. The event was so obviously untraumatic to US History that it didn't end our government as we know it and wasn't even important enough for nearly everyone to know which President it was.
Without checking your spoiler, I already knew that was Presidents, aka, more than one. The "fraud" and before him, the kid.

Still, it's good to know you don't think it matters if the President who wins the EC still loses. It does tell us where you stand.
 

LogGrad98

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Contributor
2020-21 Award Winner
Without checking your spoiler, I already knew that was Presidents, aka, more than one. The "fraud" and before him, the kid.

Still, it's good to know you don't think it matters if the President who wins the EC still loses. It does tell us where you stand.
I think he is trying to say that if his guy loses the EC he should still win the election and if someone loses the popular vote and still wins the election there is something wrong, as long as it isn't George Bush because that was good and right apparently.
 

Red

Well-Known Member
Sometimes democracy looks like this. Thousands gathered on the lawn of the Capital. Exercising freedom of speech, freedom of assembly. Stopping short of invading and trashing the People’s House. I can’t remember the speaker that day, 1970 I think, but this is what..democracy…looked like, at times. Took too long, but it did make a difference.

 

Al-O-Meter

Well-Known Member
Sometimes democracy looks like this. Thousands gathered on the lawn of the Capital. Exercising freedom of speech, freedom of assembly. Stopping short of invading and trashing the People’s House. I can’t remember the speaker that day, 1970 I think, but this is what..democracy…looked like, at times. Took too long, but it did make a difference.


That is what freedom of speech and freedom of assembly looks like. Claiming those things are democracy is what "concept creep" looks like and it is a significant contributor to people on the political right and political left having difficulty talking to each other. Speech is violence. Silence is violence. Male swimmers are now the best girl swimmers. Making your voice heard with a group of like-minded people is now imposing a right to rule. Apologies for coming across so harsh. I know what you meant Red, but the crazy things people are doing to language is a thing I find deeply concerning.
 

Gameface

Stand With Ukraine
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2020-21 Award Winner
This is really funny because I was going to post a pet peeve yesterday about how fun it is to have someone explain that the United states is a Constitutional Republic.

So this thread makes it about the 1,000,000th time I've had it unnecessarily explained to me that the United States is NOT a Democracy.

The point is SO incredibly relevant... oh wait, it isn't.
 


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