Letters to the Editor

Representatives are subject to the Constitution

Is the United States government a democracy or a republic?

Democracy: Representatives are elected by the people and have sovereign power. The government is not constrained by a set of rules/laws. The majority can impose its will on the minority. Example: There are three hungry wolves and a sheep. They vote on whether to eat the sheep: two votes yes, one vote no. The sheep is eaten. Majority rules. Minority loses.

Republic: Representatives are elected by the people and don’t have sovereign power. The government is constrained by a set of rules/laws. The majority cannot take away certain inalienable rights. Example: There are three hungry wolves and a sheep. They vote on whether to eat the sheep: two votes yes, one vote no. Law doesn’t allow sheep to be eaten by wolves. The majority loses. Laws give a voice to the minority.

Well, what are we? The United States is a Constitutional Republic. Nowhere in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence does the word democracy appear. Our elected representatives are subject to the Constitution which provides fundamental laws and guarantees certain inalienable rights for its citizens.

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

John Adams said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Now you know.

Joy Klaassen

Anamosa

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