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Is Glenn Beck unaware of the definition of a democracy?

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    Glenn Beck continues to display his ignorance of American politics. On multiple occasions he has stated, as fact, that the United States is NOT a democracy it is a Republic. Just a few days ago he went as far as saying that Democracies are used to elect dictators. Well here is a little lesson for him.

    Democracy: Noun. Government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

    Republic: Noun. A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.

    The fact is that the two are not mutually exclusive. The United States is both a democracy AND a republic.
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    It would seem that a more precise term is what is required.

    This is from Madison in Federalist #10:

    From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. 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. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.

    Which argues agains a "pure democracy", which as I undertand it means everyone voting on everything.

    It is strange that the GOP has suddenly gotten religion in this regard. In effect, the democatic party is acting more like a republic passing health care against the wishes of a majority. In that regard, how can the GOP argue with them (or make the claim that simply because a majority of americans didn't want the bill.....that such a claim gives them grounds to argue against it).

    By the same token, the GOP should have implemented Social Security reform in Bush's administration. It is needed to ensure Social Security is around for those who need it (and at a level that won't have them freezing to death in winter). You can debate the private accounts later. The fact is that it needed help and the GOP congress forgot we were a republic and bowed to a bunch of crowing and yelling by the opposition.

    Then again, Robert Bork was smeared in the public eye and his nomination was dead on arrival. Who used public opinion against him ? The late (and I can't I was sorry to see him go) Ted Kennedy and our beloved clutz of a VP, Joe Biden.

    Both sides are pretty inconsistent in this regard.
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    Yes, the federalists papers argued against a pure democracy. Pure democracies, in practice, are cumbersome and unproductive. Every person taking time to produce, revising, promoting, and voting on every piece of legislation, then counting the votes of every voter just isn't practical with large populations with a diverse mixture of cultures.

    Listening Wrote:
    It is strange that the GOP has suddenly gotten religion in this regard. In effect, the democatic party is acting more like a republic passing health care against the wishes of a majority. In that regard, how can the GOP argue with them (or make the claim that simply because a majority of americans didn't want the bill.....that such a claim gives them grounds to argue against it).


    First, passing legislation against the will of the majority is not acting like a republic in any sense .

    Second, from the polls I saw, the country was pretty split over the health care plan. 30% for, 33% against, and 37% who were either undecided or didn't care either way (+/- 3%). None of those numbers are anywhere near a majority. Most agreed that the plan still needed work and wasn't perfect. But this is hardly the forum for the health care arguement.

    Thridly, yes smear tactics are used equally on both sides of the aisle. Some are more effective at it than others. It is one of those ugly truths about politics.