This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Why the U.S. is a Republic, not a Democracy

If you "don't know much about history", and you really don't know how your government works, and you gather up in large enough numbers, you can cause some real trouble. Sadly, intelligent people can be led astray. It happened in Nazi Germany, it happened in Fascist Italy, and hopefully, it will never happen here. And that's because The United States of America is a Republic.

To define a couple of terms here - a Democracy is rule by all of the people, that is, everybody gets an equal say in the running of the country. A Republic is a type of democratic government that uses leaders to represent the people. The people choose these leaders, and these leaders speak for the people. They are accountable both to the people that they represent and the standards of the country that they lead.

If you understand a Republic, you understand the Electoral College, which is how the U.S. elects presidents. Remember seeing the polls that list "The Popular Vote"? When you cast a vote, you are just telling your representative who to vote for, he or she votes on their own. And, theoretically, if the people of the United States start following a charismatic leader, such as a Hitler, who is popular with the people, but in opposition to the fundamental concepts of the country, your representative will not vote him in. That's one of the "checks and balances" that The United States has. And that is because we are a Republic, not a Democracy. When I was a little kid, they made us recite this:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of The United States of America. And to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I don't suppose kids recite this anymore. But it is a reminder that we are a Republic, with liberty and justice for all. And if you're continually frustrated that this country doesn't seem to follow the "will of the people", remember that our representatives answer to The Constitution of The United States first. And that's what a Republic is all about.
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