22 votes

99.9% of Americans do not know the difference between a Democracy, and a Republic.

I submit this for peer review.
is this true because I live in Arkansas? or is it true where you live also?

I submit that if a person cannot elucidate the difference between the two easily, and without much thought involved.
how could they tell the difference?
and...if they cannot tell the difference between the two..... and if they cannot define the difference between the two.... is there any point in talking to them further? until this point is clarified?

it is an easy question to ask people. it is also non-provocative and informing.

yes, we are (or were) a Republic. and so is China.

I invite you to ask this simple question. ask the smartest people you know.
please share your findings.


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.


Baseball, kickball, stick ball.

Teams in competition. I was always looking for a game. Headed over the the St. Clair River. My cousins in town could call together enough for two teams.

There are rules, like euchre pinochle, poker. House rules are standard, but other rules often suggested.

Having written rules is a good way to start. Bowl or tennis, golf. Competitive competitive sports.

If government can borrow and tax it will create the kind of environment it deserves. It's not good for the general welfare.

The Articles of Confederation did not satisfy creditors who loaned money to the Revolutionary War effort.

Creditors, through Alexander Hamilton their agent, wanted a government legally able to borrow and tax.

The war debt was now owned by a government that could borrow then set about to setting a whisky tax to repay creditors and raise tariffs.

In 1835, Andrew Jackson paid off all foreign national debt.

At that moment the Republic was born. Every four people owed a Copper cent. The Unites States and territories owed no one anything. Didn't last. Government was bent on implementing the American System by Alexander Hamilton.

Creditors make money by lending money and Congress is a sucker born every minute.

About a third of the Civil war debt was paid off by 1893, the rest and more is still owed today.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about Democracy in America after h had traveled throughout America in 1842.
Moving up the great lakes to Detroit, to Flint and on to the the Saginaw Bay. Next stop Mackinaw Island then on to Green Bay territorial centers. If I recall he headed up the Fox River towards the Mississippi.

One author called their book, Jacksonian Democracy. Michigan territorial counties were created during Jackson's or Van Buren's presidencies.

A County can be a Republic that respects the popular voice if they can not go in debt or tax, that is how a republic is maintained.

2 cents

Free includes debt-free!

Thanks Brother, but I got a bone to pick...

I was... and mebbe I still am pissed about the reception to this post.
humor me.
the answer is SIMPLE one has the "Rule of law" the other does not.
why make it more complicated than that?
I will give you an example of my reasoning.
in electrical terms. DC power has polarity, AC power does not.

I invite ANY electrical engineer or ANYONE else to give me shit about what I just wrote.
this maxim holds true until one reaches a higher level of understanding.

one has the Rule of law, the other does NOT.

I officially accuse you of obfuscating the central message.

we could commiserate in private if we wanted to. I stand by my preposition.

what are we fighting for?


Not often one finds a tech sharp enough wrestle.

How to create corrupt government:

"If government can borrow and tax it will create the kind of environment it deserves. It's not good for the general welfare."

How to ensure a Republic i would recognize as such?

A County can be a Republic that respects the popular voice if they can not go in debt or tax, that is how a republic is maintained.

Democracy or people having a say that has no authority to borrow or tax can't say much that harms if they protect rights.

Dump the Constitution, Keep the Bill of Rights?

Free includes debt-free!

Sovereign power:

The republican form of government acknowledges that the sovereign power is founded in the people, individually, not in the collective or whole body of free citizens, as in a democratic form. Thus no majority can deprive a minority of their sovereign rights and powers.

Live in Liberty
Tom Rankin

"sovereign power" was intentionally dispersed.

that is what makes us unique.

it was divided 3 ways. and yes, the "people" are at the heart.
I submit that this discussion is about the Rule of law in OUR Republic.

this point is moot if the people cannot even tell the difference between the two. we cannot make progress until terms are defined.


I find it particularly

I find it particularly appalling that people don't know when they're living in a Democracy that has replaced, entirely, the Republic in which they thought they lived.

Equally allarming is the notion that no one cares to know the law that did this to them.

I guess they just like being slaves and participating in, and suporting, the extraconstitutional political system that they complain about.

What's the term for someone who falls in love with her captor and abuser? That is what they are.

~ Engage in the war of attrition: http://pacalliance.us/redamendment/

Yes HVACTech. I've banged my head against this wall for years.

Here's how I put it now:

DEMOCRACY: Everyone has the right to vote!

REPUBLIC: Everyone has rights that cannot be voted on!

And here it is as a Facebook pic:

Quachita Hillbilly here....

if you are in Missouri, we are the "people down the river"

I am located on the very first.."mountain" between here and the coast.

Mr Twain has told me what you think of us down here....


Then you have the former

Then you have the former USSR, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
and the Peoples Republic of China both bastions of freedom.

How about "The United almost Communist Peoples State of America"?

the difference

A democracy is three wolves and a sheep voting on who gets eaten for dinner.

At least in a republic, there would be a sheep senator to place a vote for sheepdom.

In theory.

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

A republic is a well armed

A republic is a well armed sheep contesting the vote.

“Let it not be said that no one cared, that no one objected once it’s realized that our liberties and wealth are in jeopardy.”
― Ron Paul

Defining terms is of little consequence

Elected officials, in the political system, are in essence, there to abide by the constitution and support and implement the wishes of their constituents. 'By the people, for the people'.
This just doesn't happen, why?, because those elected officials are not held accountable by their very own constituents, and allow those elected officials to persue their own stance, usually the party line stance, and their own agenda.
I think the term 'party' was well coined when it was applied to political organizations.
The recall button was put there for a reason.

"Hell is empty, and all the devils are here" (Shakespeare)
RP 2012~ Intellectual Revolution.

Cyril's picture

Crux of the matter is: NO text EVER written can defend itself

The crux of the matter is : NO text EVER written can defend itself - CAN, COULD, or WILL.


ANYONE can write down and propose to make "1 + 1 = 2" into a Supreme Law that everybody ought to abide to...


if the people ever gets dumbed down or rotten enough to believe and follow, instead, those who, by demagoguery, claim that "1 + 1 = 3" (to prop up whatever agenda they have deem better than the first interpretation)...

... it CAN and it WILL happen that "1 + 1 = 2" will be as if it was NEVER written, inevitably.

And what once was at the same time, maybe, law, common knowledge, common sense, rationality, or wisdom... will just happen to be fated to go into oblivion - by mere lack of sufficient conservative practice.

Texts mean NOTHING if people don't care enough about language and the crucial INVARIANTS of it that people have originally unanimously agreed upon, and that ought to be remembered, recalled, and respected - to continue to exist.

Just like natural rights : we LOSE them the VERY second we accept to cease exercising them.

Restoring this :


absolutely IMPLIES - BEFOREHAND - the restoring, in people's mentalities, of the respect for the literal meaning of things in language.

And THAT IS HOW, precisely, I interpret A MAJOR facet of Dr. Ron Paul's four decade-long educative effort - ONGOING :


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

what are they both? a system of ownership.

All governments are a claim of ownership over a person or people. even "no government" would default to "self government" which is ownership of yourself. All governments will impose rules upon people, even those who do not participate in voting... which would be criminal if done by anyone else. 10 people can't get together and vote an 11th person's property away if the 11'th person did not participate in, or agree to the terms of, the vote.

"And also amongst classical Latin, the term "republic" can be used in a general way to refer to any regime, or in a specific way to refer to governments which work for the public good." - wikipedia/Republic

Republic is a form of government ruled by elite "representatives".
If it is a democratic republic, then "the people" (or whoever counts the votes) elects said representatives via voting.

Democracy is a form of government ruled by the majority of the total participating voters. "51% rules the 49%"

I use Blue Wave, but don't expect one of THEIR silly taglines.

I teach 9th grade history

I do teach the difference between democracy and republic. People get very hung up on this distinction, justifiably.

What I choose to emphasize more is that every government is an oligarchy. No matter how you try to dress it up, give it labels, support it with symbols and myths... practically every country is still an oligarchy. Just like the United States has never been a capitalist country and the USSR was never a communist country. Those who control the money and resources control the government.

I instead emphasize Federalism, Article 1 Section 8, the Philosophy of Liberty and Rule of Law. All four are essential concepts perverted over time.

How did they get perverted over time?

by obfuscation.
I respectfully submit that your method contributes to the problem.
the distinction is simple, one has the "rule of law" the other does not. the K.I.S.S principle.

the REAL problem is the pollution of our language. I think this is evident in this thread. and these are members of the DP!!! Yikes!


Was an abomination. I cannot believe they were and are given such a pass in history.

Any history cirruculum that does not strongly emphasize and focus upon the horrors and unspeakeable crimes and sins committed there is negligent of its obligations and quite possibly supports crimes against humanity imo.


Did you interpret something I

Did you interpret something I said as pro-soviet? If so what? Just to be clear, I was saying all governments are essentially oligarchies.


Pointing out my observations and experiences in some of the history courses I completed.

Numerous details and accounts of atrocities in the USSR are smugly dismissed and ignored by many contemporary professors and teachers imo.

What happened there and in Eastern Europe should not be forgotten. How this could of happen in a post-war Europe and even in the 20's and 30's is very damning and telling on how quickly things can become very skewed and out of control.

So many people were executed that if the bodies were piled on one another it would probably reach the moon :(


Cyril's picture

^^^ BUMP this.

^^^ BUMP this.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

you might enjoy this...


check out the first synonym for republic. LOL .. wow.

I use Blue Wave, but don't expect one of THEIR silly taglines.

Me too!

I teach 10th grade history, and I also stress the difference between a democracy and a republic. It's woven into the early U.S. History classes I teach, and is a question on both my midterm and final.

If we were a democracy, we'd be talking about the former presidency of Al Gore...
If we were a democracy, juries would decide by majority rule...
If we were a democracy, the Constitution would be amended by majority vote...
If we were a democracy, we might still have slavery of African-Americans in America...
If we were a democracy, the Bill of Rights would be merely suggestions...
If we were a democracy, we'd be daily pledging allegiance in schools "to the democracy for which [the flag] stands."

Thomas R. Eddlem

I like those examples

I like those examples

I have heard this alleged

I have heard this alleged distinction between a republic and a democracy--that that a republic is governed by an elected representative assembly and a democracy by an undifferentiated mass--ever since childhood. I think the distinction is unimportant, and the use of these words to express it, mere neologism. I challenge anyone who believes this is what the words mean to show me evidence of someone using them this way much before 1950. Whether a representative assembly is better than direct voting mainly depends on how large the population is. If you want to have an imperial republic of 300,000,000 people with enormous power to interfere in the lives of the citizens, then you need to have a representative assembly. This will allow large corporations conveniently to bribe or terrorize the legislators to act in accordance with corporate interests. If you have a small group--fewer than 100,000, say, and you seek no empire, and want only for the government to be limited to carrying out a set of laws written only for the purpose of keeping people from injuring each other, then you want direct democracy. Or such would be the historic conventional opinion.

A Republic, that's what they

A Republic, that's what they have in China isn't it?

Wasn't the USSR a Republic?

Latin, Respublica, translated Republic. Respublica, public affairs.

Websters 1828:
Republic 1. A commonwealth; a state in which the exercise of the sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people. In modern usage, it differs from a democracy or democratic state, in which the people exercise the powers of sovereignty in person. Yet the democracies of Greece are often called republics.

Is this not what we in fact are? A representative democracy with representatives elected by the people?

There are different kinds of Republics. I think many have some confusion on this matter because the United States of America has over time changed from one type to another. But the Constitution does not guarantee WHAT KIND of republic this country will be...

Libra Respublica, Free Republic, or Free from public affairs. Prior to the 14th amendment, the People were free from the public affairs of the Federal government. The Federal government had no jurisdiction over the people, the jurisdiction was limited, and over the States only, and there it ended.

In 1789 the people were free from things public, Libra Respublica, a Free Republic. But then in 1868 the People who became, by choice, US citizens became UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES. These citizens were no longer Free of Public Affairs, but as citizens became SUBJECT TO the Republic. The Republic, still a Republic, but NOT LIBRA Respublica.

"Ehhh, What's ups Doc?" B.Bunny "Scwewy Wabbit!"E. Fudd
People's Awareness Coalition: Deprogramming Sequence

right on!

someone who knows their history!

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

It doesn't matter

if an armed sheep is not going to actually defend themselves from any wolves or armed sheep do not have the courage to help defend each other against a majority pack of armed wolves.

The whole bitching about Republic vs. Democracy is saying there ought to be some armed sheep who defend themselves against wolves to remind the wolves from time to time the sheep are armed ... but I don't want to take any risk to do it myself ... I just want other sheep to do it so I can benefit from the actions of those sheep defending themselves from wolves.

If the armed sheep are going to roll over and say it's pointless to try to defend themselves form a majority pack of wolves then the concept of a Republic doesn't mean jack crap.

the only reason that they need to arm sheep

is that you like to date them

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."-- Albert Einstein

A Republic doesn't make much sense....

A Republic is an indirect form of Democracy (a chosen "representative" speaks on your behalf in theory). But that very indirection, and (unnecessary) consolidation of power, is responsible for the ease of corruption, and therefore the undoing, sabotaging, and the denial of actual public representation.

So with a Republic, the people vote not directly for policies or on choices, but instead vote only for just some clown "representative" to be their advocate. Why? What this does is just invest all the power into the hands of just a few god damn elite people -- and robs the people of all their native decision making power, their self-determination, their free will, their voice, and independence of thought

So this is a bad consolidation of political power. And as we all know, consolidation corrupts and absolute consolidation corrupts absolutely.

It then becomes very, very easy for Wall Street, the Rockefeller Think Tanks, Big Corporations, and the Globalists to bribe, intimidate, corrupt, blackmail, and pressure all of these small tiny handful of representatives (sitting ducks)-- and totally and completely Hijack the Country against the interests of the people themselves.

This is exactly what happened to this Country, and it is the inevitable result of a "Republic". Never let someone else do the job, when you can do it better yourself.

We the people should have a direct voice, and direct votes on all policy matters, and direct participation in the decisions of this Country. That is the only way self-determination can be realized (think of all the Wars we could have prevented -- if the will of the people determined whether Military Authorization passed).

It is much, much harder to bribe millions of people, then it is to bribe just a few 100 people (a.k.a phony "representatives"). This is the reason why a Republic is doomed to fail.

Finally, The Internet is a "Democracy" (successful) -- everyone gets to speak. A Republic robs you of your voice and self-determination.