A Pet Peeve: America Is Both A Republic AND A Democracy

Somewhere, some talk radio host or blogger probably noted that America is a republic, not a democracy, and from there on out an annoying meme was created.

Now, any time someone refers to America as a democracy, people come out of the rafters, bushes, and weeds to let you know that, “American is a republic, not a democracy.”

Here’s the thing: America is indeed a republic. We elect representatives to govern us and do not determine issues via direct vote.

However, the term “democracy” also refers to any democratic form of government. So, it is perfectly correct to refer to America as a democracy. Take a look at the dictionary definitions of both words if you don’t believe me,

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Republic: a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.

Democracy: government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

Just file this post away for future reference and the next time one of the “America is a republic, not a democracy” people pops up, feel free to refer him back to this post.

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