June 19, 2024

We’re a Republic, if We Can Keep It

Rebutting CNN’s man-on-the-street attempt to scare people about “threats to democracy.”

“A republic, if you can keep it,” Benjamin Franklin answered when asked what kind of government had been established by the 1787 constitutional convention.

Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution says, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.” The word “democracy” is nowhere to be found.

In explaining our Constitution, James Madison outlined some differences between republics and democracies in Federalist No. 10. He wrote, “Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

In 1776, John Adams wrote, “There is no good government but what is republican.” A year earlier, he wrote, “They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.”

Of course, Adams also said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” That’s something to ponder at a time when groomers target kids, and people who don’t even know what a woman is claim that she has a right to abort her child.

But cultural devolution is not the point here. Our Founders, who had many more thoughts on the subject, deliberately moved us away from a monarchy and to a republic while eschewing democracy. That’s important background for CNN’s latest effort to misinform the American people.

Reporter Donie O'Sullivan, who hails from — ahem — the Republic of Ireland, conducted a “man on the street” interview about the supposed “threat to democracy” posed by Donald Trump. When many interviewees told him we live in a republic, not a democracy, he was shocked and appalled by what was clearly “an attack on democracy.”

After this outrage, he scurried to the newsroom for an interview with historian Anne Applebaum to disprove these backward MAGA types. “I’ve heard a lot of conspiracy theories,” he fretted. “I hear a lot of things out on the road, but to hear Americans, people who would describe themselves as patriots, say that America is not a democracy, that stopped me in my tracks.”

Applebaum delivered the desired authoritative line, asserting without evidence, “America is a democracy. It was founded as a democracy.” Paging Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, and John Adams.

Applebaum had a point when she said, “Honestly, the word ‘democracy’ and the word ‘republic’ have often been used interchangeably.” Cue the clips showing Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush using the word “democracy.” She was wrong, however, in her next sentence: “There isn’t a meaningful difference between them.” Again, Madison disagreed.

Few people see a meaningful difference because the word “democracy” has long served as shorthand for “people voting.” Insofar as that is the case, I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill.

However, there are important points to be made about our system of government. Republics protect minorities — and I don’t mean only or primarily skin color. I also don’t mean people with very public fetishes about their private parts. I mean political minorities — people with different opinions that aren’t the most popular. I mean states with smaller populations and less power. As the saying goes, democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

A republic elected Trump in 2016. A democracy would’ve elected Hillary Clinton. That’s why leftists break out in hives when anyone uses the word “republic.”

Applebaum tries to turn the tables, saying that because her Democrat and Leftmedia pals assert that Trump is such a threat to democracy, the only defense Trump supporters have is to claim it’s not a democracy and conclude that “it doesn’t really matter” if Trump is “attacking democracy.” That’s a logical fallacy that assumes leftists are telling the truth.

She goes further, saying, “There is a part of the Republican Party that would like to rule as a minority, and they need an excuse for why that’s okay.” She thinks they mean, “‘We want Donald Trump to be able to do whatever he wants.’” That’s pure projection.

O'Sullivan concluded the segment by asserting that a constitutional republic is really just “a form of democracy.” But, he says, “This is not actually a debate about government, about democracy; it’s an attack on democracy.”

These people.

The real reason Democrats want everyone to use the word “democracy” is because their party is named after it. Ergo, they are its defenders. The opposite could be said of the GOP, as well, but Republicans have the advantage of the Constitution establishing a republic.

Democrats want to destroy the Electoral College, a cornerstone of our republic. They want to pack the Supreme Court, which Joe Biden ignores to transfer student loans to taxpayers. Biden also just issued another amnesty despite having no power to do so. What did Applebaum say about a president doing “whatever he wants”? They want to end the Senate filibuster and add states just so they can have more Democrats in the Senate. They foment hateful protests and violent riots when it suits their purpose of coddling a favored minority.

Oh, and by the way, they aim to jail the leading opposition-party candidate so as to make us a banana republic.

The only thing that matters to Democrats is power. Anything that facilitates the acquisition of it is “democracy.” Anything that gets in their way is a “threat to democracy” — including voters knowing that we live in a republic.

Follow Nate Jackson on X/Twitter.

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