“I pledge allegiance to flag of the United States of America and to the democracy for which it stands.”
That’s not what we say when pledging our allegiance to the flag! But today that’s what most people have come to think America is all about. Everywhere you read and nearly every commentary and Congressman you hear talks about how we are a democracy, but we’re not. The Constitution specifically states that we are a republic (Article IV, section 4) and nowhere in that document will you find the word “democracy” or “democratic” and there’s a good reason why.
The word “democratic” comes from the Greek word “demos,” meaning “people” and “kratos” meaning “force” or “power.” Therefore this word literally means, “power to the people.” The Greek word “arche” means “to rule.” Therefore, the word “demos- arche” (democracy) means “the people rule.” But isn’t that what our Constitution is all about, you ask? Surprising as it may seem, the answer is “No.”
Pure democracy is mob rule. If I got five of my friends to agree that we should take your money, under a democratic system, if six of us voted “yes,” and you voted “no” you’d lose your money. Our Founding Fathers realized that a democracy is one of the worst forms of government because people can easily be swayed by a charismatic leader to vote against their own best interests.
The word “republic” comes from the Latin word “republica” which is a contraction of the word “res,” meaning “interest” and “publica” meaning “public.” Therefore, a republic is a form of government that has the public’s best interest in mind. In our system of government there are certain rights that ALL citizens have that no one can take from us, even if 99% of the people vote to do so and those rights are listed in the Declaration of Independence and in our Bill of Rights.
Those who don’t like to abide by the rules of our republican form of government get around that obstacle by claiming we are a democracy. By saying it often enough they hope to sway an ignorant public into believing it and once that happens then it becomes an easy matter for some charismatic leader to get 51% of the people to vote away all of our freedoms. As Tea Party members we are fighting to save our republic from becoming a democracy.