DEMOCRACY OR REPUBLIC, WHICH IS IT?
by Benedict D. LaRosa
December 13, 2006
How many times have you heard people refer to America as a “Democracy”?
We hear it all the time from relatives, friends, news reporters, local businessmen and from media “talking heads.” We read it regularly on Internet websites, newspaper articles (including editorials), magazines, and even our children’s textbooks. We even hear it from the President, members of Congress, state and local elected officials, and educators — even those who possess a license to practice Law.
How many times, in response, have you quietly mumbled under your breath or shouted at the television, “It’s not a Democracy, it’s a Republic !!, (insert your choice of belittling descriptor such as dimwit, meathead, dolt, nitwit, dunderhead, etc.)”
Those of us who know the truth of the matter could simply ignore the ignorant and go about our lives, but cannot for a very compelling reason: We are a nation of Law.
The Law, as the nexus and written reference that comprises the rules that are the essence of civilized society is premised upon a presumption that words have precise, definite meanings that transcend time and generations. And the Law must be so — for without meanings that remain fixed in definition, understanding and historical context, the Law becomes nothing more than a tool of tyranny and power for those that jockey into position to control the lexicon of the language.
Although not generally recognized as such, it is likely the imprecise use of language and general ignorance of the etymology of our legal and political vocabulary has contributed significantly to the societal decay our nation now suffers. The institutionalized abuses of language in our written laws, our children’s textbooks, and the endless verbiage of the media is hastening our inability to educate our children about their civic responsibilities in sustaining Liberty, is undermining the foundation of our system of Justice, and is decimating the grand design of Natural Law that is the foundation of our form of government.
Indeed, language is the means by which we communicate our most complex thoughts, beliefs and dreams — even the grandest dreams bestowed upon us as the Founding Principles for our nation. Indeed, within a single “word” lies the power to either manifest our highest ideas into reality, or to destroy them by allowing a word’s meaning or use to be sabotaged in an attempt to forever remove those ideas from the mass consciousness of the People.
It is no mere mistake that over many decades our People now fail to discern any real difference between the words “Democracy” and “Republic”, for within them we find the distinction between Liberty and slavery. Although this is but a single example of what we face in our quest to restore Constitutional Order, it’s time to fight back against the institutionalized abuse of our language — and our Law.
It’s time to “Set ‘em Straight” about the constitutional republic that is the United States of America.