Constitutional Republic vs, Democracy
Most of you may already know this but I wanted to post this to make a point of why it is so important for us to elect a head of state (President) ,ie., Ron Paul that is a Constitutionalist first and foremost, and has shown his commitment to the Constitution and the rights of the individual over the long haul by his consistent voting record in Congress.
One of my pet peeves is how the word â€œDemocracyâ€ has crept to the forefront when referring to the form of government this country is suppose to represent when the actual form of government of the United States is a Constitutional Republic.
A pure Democracy is nothing more than â€œmob ruleâ€ with no provisions for the rights of the individual. The Founding Fathers saw this as one of the worst forms of government and in their wisdom provided a framework to secure the rights of the individual, ie., a Constitution and a Bill of Rights with separation of powers subject to Judicial Review which is the â€œRule of Lawâ€ we live under.
True that we do elect our head of state and representatives by a Democratic system, ie., majority popular vote. (Although with the Electoral College and the Florida debacle thatâ€™s even in question), but that aside, once our head of state and representatives are elected democratically they are bound by their oath of office to â€œuphold, obey and defend the Constitution, so help them Godâ€ thus a Constitutional Republic.
A constitutional republic is a state where the head of state and other officials are elected as representatives of the people and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government's power over citizens. In a constitutional republic, executive, legislative, and judicial powers are separated into distinct branches and the will of the majority of the population is checked by protections for individual rights so that no individual or group has absolute power. The fact that a constitution exists that limits the government's power, makes the state constitutional. That the head(s) of state and other officials are chosen by election, rather than inheriting their positions, and that their decisions are subject to judicial review makes a state republican.
Unlike a pure democracy, in a constitutional republic, citizens are not governed by the majority of the people but by the rule of law.Constitutional Republics are a deliberate attempt to hold in check the threat of mobocracy thereby protecting dissenting individuals from the tyranny of the majority by placing checks on the power of the majority of the population. The power of the majority of the people is checked by limiting that power to electing representatives who govern within limits of overarching constitutional law rather than the popular vote having legislative power itself. John Adams defined a constitutional republic as "a government of laws, and not of men."Also, the power of government officials is checked by allowing no single individual to hold executive, legislative and judicial powers. Instead these powers are separated into distinct branches that serve as a check and balance on each other. A constitutional republic is designed so that "no person or group [can] rise to absolute power."
The original framers of the United States Constitution were notably cognizant of what they perceived as a danger of majority rule in oppressing freedom and liberty of the individual. For example, James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, advocates a constitutional republic over a democracy to protect the individual from the majority. The framers carefully created the institutions within the Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights. They kept what they believed were the best elements of majority rule. But they were mitigated by a constitution with protections for individual liberty, a separation of powers.