"A government is republican in proportion as every member composing it has his equal voice in the direction of its concerns, not indeed in person, which would be impracticable beyond the limits of a city or small township, but by representatives chosen by himself and responsible to him at short periods."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
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Reader comments about this quote:
To translate for the slow ones in the group: WE ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY! (...and never intended to be one... and to quote a more recent cogent thinker "More democracy equals less freeddom!")
 -- helorat, Milton     
    Bang on helorat!! I am constantly reminding the unwashed that we are not living in a democracy, but a republic founded on democratic principles. That I believe is the source of our nation's political strength and adaptability, which will hopefully endure long after we are gone. So many good people have invested their lives and their honor for our Republic. We need to remember that in our political arguments. There really is an abyss out there.
     -- Eric Engstrom, Wichita, KS     
    Good short explanation as to why we are a republic.
     -- warren, olathe     
     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    Republican (not the party) representation works well when you have responsible politicians who respond to the will of the people. For those times that responsible politicians are few and far between in both major parties, I am grateful that my state as well as many others have an initiative/referendum process where the people can use the hammer of direct democracy on unresponsive, irresponsible politicians. That process should be used rarely, however.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    The word 'democracy' that is used to describe American government should be replaced with 'representative republic'. Only after the Federal Reserve got its charter did Presidents start referring to the country as a democracy. Repeatedly we hear it in the news and from our 'elected' officials. I believe it is a socialist attempt to grant special privileges to propertyless citizens that they indeed do not have -- the idea that our inalienable rights are up for debate and subject to vote. Nothing could be further than the truth. The primary intent is to legalize theft by destroying the idea that the right to private property is an inalienable right.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Republic and democracy are only nuanced descriptions of the same thing. The prefix RE means "back", "again". So we have words like turn and return, do and redo, try and retry and public and republic. It means to go back to the people. If you don't like the word democracy maybe you like my favorite "Of, by, and for the people". Mr. Archer could you explain inalienable property rights versus imminent doman.
     -- Bruce, Alabama     
    A very large difference Bruce. Dang you need an education. Must have gone to public school recently.
     -- Warren, Olathe     
    What is the large big difference Warren? Could you explain yourself? "Of, by and for the people", re-public (back to the people), democracy "control vested in elective officers who may be upheld or removed by the people. Republic "a representative democracy". If you listen to Rush (by the way where is he now, jail, Vegas, on drugs or what) he will tell you "This is a republic not a democracy and so you should be a Republican and not a Democrat." Jefferson called his political party "The Democratic-Republican Party". Did you know that in England Public Schools are private institutions.
     -- Bruce, Alabama     
    Ideally, the USA will become an actual democratic-republic, but unfortunately it is still an oligarchic-republic...where big-money gets to effectivey decide who the candidates are that we the people get to choose from with our votes...
     -- EF, CA     
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