Are we a republic or a democracy?

Posted: January 29, 2012 in politics
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We need to ask ourselves this question, as the future of our country is going to be decided in less than a year with the presidential election. There is a big difference, and there has been alot of debate on how our country is governed. The first thing to do is define what exactly is a republic and a democracy, discuss the difference, pro’s and con’s, then decide which one we should be.

 

What is a republic?

 

A republic is a system where the people elect representatives who are free to act on their own, based on their personal beliefs, conscience or other factors, to do what they feel is right.

 

It is a centuries old idea. We elect the most educated and wisest among the populace. These elected officials use that wisdom on behalf of the public, to guide policy as they deem fit.While the general populace has no interest in the bureaucracy and monotone meetings that comprise daily C-SPAN programming, we elect people to soldier on through all the tedious red tape and hearings.

 

What is a Democracy?

 

A democracy is a system where the representative is expected to obey the mandate of those that elected him/her, be it his/her district, state, nation, regardless of his/her personal beliefs.

 

Originally, the founding fathers believed in a republic, but it developed more into a democracy as people became better educated and had more access to information, making their influence stronger, making politicians cite the desires of their constituents as a reason for their positions.

 

Pro’s and Con’s

 

As a republic, electing people that we consider wise would be a great idea. If we believe in a candidate’s vision as to how our country should be governed, we gladly elect him/her, and let them take the reigns and hopefully lead our country into a successful future.

 

Unfortunately, we don’t always elect the wisest people. The last two presidents alone make for an interesting testimony.

 

In his two terms as president, George W. Bush (R), led us into wars based on lies and stripped away our basic rights with the PATRIOT ACT just to name a few.

 

Since being elected to office, Barack H. Obama, continued Bush’s wars, while starting others, bailed out bank after bank, and recently signed the NDAA which is just another step toward an authoritarian government.

 

This is the problem being a republic . The American people did not want war, we did not want to bail out banksters, we don’t want our men and women in the armed forces policing the world, yet because we elected these people to run things, we have to deals with the consequences of their actions.

 

In a democracy, we the people tell our elected leaders how things should be, what agendas are important to us. In a democracy he/she works for us and our interest no matter their beliefs.

 

One big problem is that not all the people are informed, or concerned on everything involving statecraft. Many Americans do not care about foreign policy, or the in’s and out’s of macroeconomics. Which is fine, we don’t all have the time or concentration to learn about such things. Politics can be quite boring for some. But in order for us to truly call ourselves a democracy, every citizen needs to get involved. At both local and national levels. Imagine what could be done if every citizen went to city council meetings, or half a state requested an audience with a governor. We could honestly be the catalyst for change we have been looking for!

 

So, what are we?

 

I believe that we all want democracy. Being a republic has not served anyone in the world too well except a small group of people who buy our representatives. The problem with being a republic is that when decisions are made in the halls of power that is the District of Columbia, we now have no say in the matter, except election time, then afterwards it all goes back to normal, normal meaning rich, powerful corporate, industrial, puppet masters shaping policy to make them even more rich and powerful.

 

The only way we will ever get out of the mess we are in, is by direct democracy. With the political awakening happening for the last decade, i believe that we are almost to that point, we just have to open a few more eyes. And once all the citizens are awake, focused and ready to get involved, there is nothing we as a nation can’t accomplish, at home and in the world.

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