January 14, 2007

And To The Republic For Which It Stands

Holy crap, am I the only one who hadn't realized that the United States is a republic and not a democracy?? I don't know how I missed it, since it's right there in the Pledge of Allegiance, but I did, and there it is, and maybe we can move on now from how little I was paying attention when I was droning that pledge in elementary school.

There is so much talk out there about democracy, I guess I just assumed that's what we were. I was getting exasperated about how supposedly democracy means we all make the decisions together and yet sometimes it seems as if a small group, or even a group of one, is making huge decisions against the wishes of a larger group, and there's nothing the larger group can do about it except be dragged along. That's when I discovered the republic situation.

I don't know if I feel better or if I feel worse. It's nice to have things make more sense ("Oh, I see, the reason it seems like we have no say in this is that we DO have no say in this"), but on the other hand it makes me feel even more helpless. Not only do we as individuals hand over decision-making power to other people, we don't have much choice when it comes to which individuals we can hand it to.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A republic government is a type of government where the citizens choose the leaders of their country [1] and the people (or at least a part of its people)[2] have an impact on its government.
Democracy is a political government carried out either directly by the people (direct democracy) or by means of elected representatives of the people (Representative democracy).
Yeah most Americans don't even know this, your not alone. I came to this conclusion with the help of a professor! Why they throw out Democracy so much I will never know!!