But this is a democracy.... isn't it?

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

I hear many people complaining about many thing in our nation. The one thing that seems to arise every fourth year about this time is about the electoral college. "We should just have a popular vote and be done with it, the electoral college thing is stupid." As the great philosopher Forrest Gump has well stated, "Momma always said, 'stupid is as stupid does.'"

I think it's as simple as the simple (and single) difference between a democracy and a republic. In a republic the sovereignty is in each individual person. In a democracy the sovereignty is in the group.

In a Democracy the sovereignty is in the whole body of citizens. The sovereignty is not divided to individual citizens. To solve a problem the whole body acts. Also, being citizens, individuals have duties and obligations to the government. The government's only obligations to the citizens are those legislatively pre-defined for it by the whole body.

In a Republic the sovereignty resides in the people themselves, whether one or many. One may act on his own or through his representatives as he chooses to solve a problem. The people have no obligation to the government; instead, the government being hired by the people, is obliged to its owner, the people.

The United States is actually a mixture of both to a certain extent (Republican under Common Law, and democratic under statutory law). The People enjoy their God-given natural rights in the Republic. In a democracy, the Citizens enjoy only government granted privileges (also known as civil rights).

The following comes from Training Manual No. 2000-25 published by the War Department, November 30, 1928.

  • A government of the masses.
  • Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of "direct" expression.
  • Results in mobocracy.
  • Attitude toward property is communistic--negating property rights.
  • Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether is be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.
  • Results in demogogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
  • Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
  • Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.
  • A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.
  • Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy.
  • Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
  • Is the "standard form" of government throughout the world.
One more very short analogy if I may:::   One vote in a jury can stop all of the majority from depriving any one of the people of his rights; this would not be so if the United States were purely a democracy.


IF YOU DECIDE NOT TO VOTE,  you may think that it won't make a difference.  If a thousand other people in your area did the same thing, it would make a huge difference.  Here's a random site with how just a few votes decided some elections in the past- One example- In 1980 in Massachusetts, Reagan beat Carter by only 6,000 votes. Full turnout in just one neighborhood could have changed Reagan's margin of victory and his claims of nationwide mandate.

...more to follow later

*some info adapted from "law notes" &

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