Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Republic vs Democracy. Unfortunately for Republicans, both.

Monologues of Dissent wisely pointed out how one state Republican, Rep. Bill Kramer, revealed openly that we don’t live in a democracy in response to Democratic Rep. Gary Hebl's thanks protesters who were booted out for practicing democracy. According to Rebecca Kemble:
June 13, 2013 - After Speaker Pro Tem Bill Kramer expelled members of the public from the gallery for applauding a speech made by Rep. Sandy Pasch, Rep. Gary Hebl acknowledges them, is chastised for breaking decorum, and the entire Democratic side of the aisle stands and applauds the public.
But as the crowd applauded, jackass Rep. Kramer was determined to take that moment away by claiming:
Kramer: “Gentleman from the 46th, I’m really sorry you feel it hurts democracy, but thankfully we live in a republic.”

Technically yes, but a democratic one. Republicans love to hear their parties name in their little gotcha sound bite, but if any one of them looked a little deeper, and we know they never will, they would know the truth.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Given the existing confusion over terminology, it is not surprising that the framers employed various terms to describe the novel government they proposed. A few months after the adjournment of the Constitutional Convention, James Madison proposed a usage that would have lasting influence within the country though little elsewhere. In “Federalist 10” Madison defined a “pure democracy” as “a society who assemble and administer the government in person,” and a republic as “a government in which the scheme of representation takes place.” In short, for Madison, democracy meant direct democracy, and republic meant representative government.  

In November 1787, only two months after the convention had adjourned, James Wilson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, proposed a new classification. “[T]he three species of governments,” he wrote, “are the monarchical, aristocratical and democratical … in a democracy, it is inherent in a people, and is exercised by themselves or their representatives.” Applying this understanding of democracy to the newly adopted constitution, Wilson asserted that “in its principles, … it is purely democratical: varying indeed in its form in order to admit all the advantages, and to exclude all the disadvantages which are incidental to the known and established constitutions of government.
At the Virginia ratifying convention some months later, John Marshall, the future chief justice of the Supreme Court, declared that the “Constitution provided for ‘a well regulated democracy’ where no king, or president, could undermine representative government.” The political party that he helped to organize was named the Democratic-Republican Party.

Following his visit to the United States in 1831–32, the French political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville asserted in no uncertain terms that the country he had observed was a democracy—indeed, the world’s first representative democracy, where the fundamental principle of government was “the sovereignty of the people.” Tocqueville’s estimation of the American system of government reached a wide audience in Europe and beyond through his monumental four-volume study Democracy in America (1835–40).

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