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.


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not quite accurate

in our system, the people, jointly, are sovereign.

Individuals don't hold their sovereignty individually, not under any concept of the constitution that was ever debated by the founding fathers. (if your understanding is different, I'd welcome a citation to a source).

The concept of a republic is kind of broad as there are different kinds of republics. It is not necessarily the case that a republic recognizes the people in any sense as being sovereign. China doesn't. That we do here in the U.S. doesn't mean that is the only form a republic can take.

The founders did fear what is called a true democracy but there were founders who favored something more in that direction.

Query: is there a practical difference between a true democracy and a system where each person individually is sovereign? Isn't the end result of both mob rule?

And isn't that why we're blessed with the vestiges of a representative republic?

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

Individual Sovereignty..WOW!

You spelled this out in a very concise straight-forward way.
Thanks, this is great!
I think I need to print this out and frame it, put it in a prominent location in my home, as a reminder, and for all to see.

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

China is a Republic, so was the USSR.

I submit respectfully that your assertion is quite wrong.

or it does not adequately address the world that we live in today.
my effort is to make it as simple and comprehensible as possible.

as someone once said, "if you cannot explain it in simple terms, you do not understand it well enough"


China is a Republic?

..I'd assert that this label is a "contrived" label.
A republic in name(by propaganda)only, not in deed (same as us?)
USSR?...we may be not too far from what that "republic" was....the same corruption, graft,and "ruling class".
Yes,as Pogo once said:
"We have met the enemy...and it is us!"

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

I wonder how many of our politicians know the difference?

How many times have we heard from our politicians and the media that we have a democracy? I'm beginning to think that they may be right, could it be at some point in our history there was a coup? Did we lose the Republic? I hope not. Your point is correct, they can't understand liberty without knowing the difference and the difference is fundamental. As the Lao Tzu quote goes, "a split hairs difference and you separate heaven and earth"

This is a short video that does a good job defining the differences between the forms of government and exposes the false narrative of left/right politics.

do you think I should change the headline?

"what is the difference between a democracy and a republic? do YOU know?"
and maybe include a link to your video?
there was another one that I remember... about "ism's" it was in an animated format....

I will hold it as self-evident that not only do we have a LOT of very smart people here, but that also there is much confusion over the definition.

Thank You.

fireant's picture

"Did we lose the Republic?" Yes, in 1913.

The essence of a Constitutional Republic, representation of the States at the Federal level, and a prohibition of any direct taxes on the people by the Feds (tax the States, not the individual people), was destroyed with the 16th and 17th Amendments. We have been a Nation State since that time, rather than a Nation of States, as per original intent.

Undo what Wilson did

May I Suggest Turning the Clock Back Further to 1861?

Abraham Lincoln without the consent of Congress obliterated the highest law of the land by illegally suspending the habeas corpus provision of the U.S. Constitution (see: http://www.civil-liberties.com/pages/did_lincoln.htm ).

A republic lost

Good points!

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

The difference

Democracy: two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
Republic: the wolves, as duly elected representatives of the sheep, vote on what to have for dinner.
Constitutional republic: the theory that words on paper (or sheepskin?) will persuade the elected wolves not to vote to have mutton for dinner.
Anarchy: the sheep carry guns, and nobody votes.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...



Simple Facts and Plain Arguments
A common sense take on politics and current events.


Democracy is illegal in this country.

the people need to know the basics.
the difference between a Democracy and a Republic is the "Rule of Law"

that is as simple as you can make it for them.

Our version of the Rule of law is our constitution. it was designed to protect the people from both themselves AND the government.

I submit that this is the core reason that the Liberty movement cannot gain any traction. simple ignorance of the basics.

I would say about 97.5% don't know the difference...

...or would sooner make the claim of the USA being a democracy, than call it a republic, which it is.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

I find it very alarming.

it you cannot tell the difference.... how could you chose one or the other?
how can you have an intelligent conversation with them?

what I tell them is that the difference between the two is the rule of law.
China is a republic. they have a different rule of law than we do. ours is enshrined in our constitution.

the people need to be protected from both themselves AND the government. that is why ours restrains both.

and that is the message that they need.

Is China a republic?

or is it an oligarchy?

a Republic can be an oligarchy. why not?

what people don't know today, is that our constitution is OUR version of the Rule of Law.
and until they do, we will not succeed in what it states at the top of this website.

"Dedicated to restoring Constitutional government to the United States of America"

thanks for participating and bumping this post, I truly wish someone would write a better one......

China may meet a text book definition of a republic

In operation it functions like an oligarchy. Although they do have a constitution and thereby meeting the definition of a republic, the laws change at the will of a few.
"In practice, this election falls into the category of ‘single-candidate’ elections. The candidate is recommended by the Presidium of the National People’s Congress [The 2009 NPC Presidium is made up of 171 members and headed by the Secretary General of the NPC legislative session]" Wiki

Our constitution with its bill of rights stands in stark contrast to the republics of the communists countries. At least it did at one time.