“The United States is not a ‘democracy,’ it is ‘a Republic.’”

This is such a frustratingly ill-informed argument that the other side needs a simple link to address it. So here it is —remember it:


Yes, it is true, the Framers meant to establish “a Republic.”

And yes, they openly and repeatedly criticized “democracy.”

But the “democracy” they were criticizing was “direct democracy,” and the “Republic” they were championing was “representative democracy.”[1]

So can you guys (and it’s almost ALWAYS guys) please just give up on this silly “I’m-so-much-smarter-than-you high school debater’s quibble:

Yes, we are a Republic,

which means,

Yes, we are a “representative democracy,”

which means (on the logic of “a Ford truck is a truck”)

Yes we are “a democracy.”

We are just not a direct democracy—and I don’t know anyone who ever said that we are (and I’d be happy to join with anyone to argue we should not be).

[1] Here are just some of the relevant quotes—and give it up or I’ll have to collect more—from The Federalist Papers:

The Federalist №10 (James Madison), 57 (“A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place”);
The Federalist №14 (James Madison), 77 (“The true distinction between these forms was also adverted to on a former occasion. It is, that in a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic, they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents”);
The Federalist №39 (James Madison), 233–34 (“[W]e may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior. It is essential to such a government that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic. It is sufficient for such a government that the persons administering it be appointed, either directly or indirectly, by the people; and that they hold their appointments by either of the tenures just specified”).