Constitutional Republic vs Democracy -- practical distinctions, in your view

This is a discussion on Constitutional Republic vs Democracy -- practical distinctions, in your view within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Frequently, the comment is made in the forums that the USA is a Constitutional Republic and not a Democracy . Practically speaking, where the rubber ...

Results 1 to 15 of 15
Like Tree30Likes
  • 1 Post By Echo_Four
  • 2 Post By ccw9mm
  • 1 Post By GlassWolf
  • 2 Post By HotGuns
  • 1 Post By GlassWolf
  • 3 Post By 19Kvet
  • 2 Post By Echo_Four
  • 2 Post By Hoganbeg

Thread: Constitutional Republic vs Democracy -- practical distinctions, in your view

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    26,514

    Question Constitutional Republic vs Democracy -- practical distinctions, in your view

    Frequently, the comment is made in the forums that the USA is a Constitutional Republic and not a Democracy.

    Practically speaking, where the rubber meets the road in terms of effects on the 2A and other liberties, what is your view on the distinctions between these two ostensibly-different forms of governance? Your views on the practical ramifications of having a Constitutional Republic and not a Democracy? What distinguishes the two, primarily, in terms of actual practical effects?

    Consider that many countries have constitutions, elected representatives, checks and balances, and requirements that any new laws conform to the restrictions placed upon them by the constitution. And yet, in many (even all) countries there are infringements, creeping changes that over time seemingly destroy the point of the constitution and balances.



    To get us started, here are some opinions/essays on some differences some folks see ...

    Fundamental Question: What is a Republic and why does it matter? | Peace . Gold . Liberty

    American Rhetoric: Anna Howard Shaw - The Fundamental Principle of a Republic

    Republic vs. Democracy

    republic (government) -- Encyclopedia Britannica
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    VIP Member Array NONAME762's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    About 235M out of The Palouse WA
    Posts
    7,450
    You're absolutely right CCW. I'm probably mistaken but while a few countries world wide have constitutions like America does the USA is the only true Republic. It's just less of the Republic than when the Founding Fathers started it from all the malarkey the politicians of the last 100 years or so have done to it.
    Firing a suppressed is on my Bucket List.

    I'm just a spoke in the wheel but not a big deal.

    America...a Constitutional Republic. NOT a democracy as the liberals would have us believe.

  4. #3
    VIP Member
    Array Echo_Four's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Land of the mostly free
    Posts
    2,829
    Having a Republican form of government, and not a Democracy, is important. In democracy you're subject to the whim of the majority. When a majority of people decide to take your guns, they're gone. When they decide to take away your freedom of religion, it is gone. It is a dangerous system to use, particularly with universal suffrage where every citizen has a voice. (When the poor can vote themselves money from the rich you've failed... maybe Washington should consider that!)

    For the Republican form of government to really flourish the people that are elected have to worry more about doing the right thing than the popular thing. In any circle- right or left- you will see people screaming about not electing someone or impeaching someone because they voted the "wrong way" on an issue. When elected officials care more about staying in power than they do in properly representing their people you end up with a perverted form of democracy rather than a republic. Whether the voters agree with the decision or not, a republic demands that the elected representatives be willing to vote as the Constitution demands and for the decision that will be of most benefit to the society.

    Sadly, we have precious few people that are willing to actually stand and do that. Our politicians want to please the voters to ensure they continue to win elections. As such the Constitution may outline a Representative Republic, but that's not what we have. We're operating under indirect democracy. People on all sides (including me) aren't voting for the men and women we believe will weigh the issues and make tough decisions based on what they believe is right. We vote for people to go and vote as our opinions dictate. When our candidate wins, we expect them to vote just as we would on every issue. When our candidate loses we attack the winner at every opportunity. What we fail to do is understand that this process probably responsible for many of the problems we're wanting to fix.
    19Kvet likes this.
    "The only people I like besides my wife and children are Marines."
    - Lt. Col. Oliver North

  5. #4
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    26,514
    For me, most of the distinction hinges on one thing: Sovereignty ... of the individual primarily, of the citizenry, of the state. Without that, rights have no true meaning or longevity.
    ANGLICO and zacii like this.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    3,202
    Theoretically, the idea is to prevent abuse of government authority by legally limiting the power of government to certain spheres or jurisdictions.

    Practically, the effect is to make it more difficult to abuse government authority, and allow the possibility for correction when it IS abused, as inevitably it will be. It depends greatly on how the constitution is written, but ultimately, someone has power, whether it's a king, a judge, or the people themselves; and power corrupts. The power structure will adhere to the constitution exactly to the degree necessary to ensure the continuance of the power structure. A President won't negate an election if he loses - his only basis for the power to do so IS an election, as provided for in the Constitution - but that doesn't mean he won't bend the rules in other areas.

    In the end, the real defense of liberty is the interest that a significant portion of the power structure has in maintaining liberty. In the United States, this portion is the electorate, and it's done a good job so far. Of course, the problems come when the electorate places other concerns higher than liberty, which is when it begins to abuse its power in pursuit of some other goal, such as income equality or universal health care. Power can corrupt the electorate as much as it can an official or an office, and the American electorate is thoroughly corrupted at this point. If the voters don't care about the limits of the Constitution, politicians will find ways around those limits - for example, how they've negated the Tenth Amendment by means of the commerce clause. It's just a slower process than it would be in a true democracy.

    To summarize, I'd say the practical effect of the US Constitution has been to give the United States a solid 200-year run in generally advancing the cause of liberty. Barring a major revival of the cause among the populace in the next twenty years or so, it will likely fall to others to take up the struggle.
    "Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of the way... The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way."

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    1,747
    democracy for one thing, as already mentioned, serves the majority. a republic serves the individual's rights.
    Not sure how that matters? Let me demonstrate:

    Obama (Socialist Democrat): Why can't we get common sense gun-violence laws passed, when over 90% of the people say they want it to happen?

    Me (Republic-government protected citizen): Because this isn't a democracy, and even if the entire nation disagrees with me, I still have rights.
    ANGLICO likes this.
    I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

  8. #7
    Ex Member Array ANGLICO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    I'm the guy next door that is polite, but does not tell you crap.
    Posts
    3,570
    All I know is the oath of office that I swore to, many times over. And I never un-swore it!

    I love this discussion! Excellent!

  9. #8
    Senior Moderator
    Array HotGuns's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    14,868
    I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the democracy for which it stands...

    Oh wait. It doesn't say that does it? It says and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands...

    In spite of what socialists, lots of democrats and lots of liberals think.



    Here's a gun question for you educated people out there...

    How many so called Democracies, allow private ownership of firearms today?
    ANGLICO and ccw9mm like this.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
    http://bobbailey1959.wordpress.com/

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    26,514
    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    How many so called Democracies, allow private ownership of firearms today?
    And how many so-called Republics allow much liberty at all? (All the "people's" republics around the world come to mind.)

    This was basically the point of the thread's question, that of wondering what mincing words truly means where the rubber meets the road.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array GlassWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Columbia, SC
    Posts
    1,747
    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    And how many so-called Republics allow much liberty at all? (All the "people's" republics around the world come to mind.)

    This was basically the point of the thread's question, that of wondering what mincing words truly means where the rubber meets the road.
    You mean like the PRC, for example? Please don't allow peoples' misuse of words to define those words in your mind. Words have specific meanings (as an English major, this sticks in my craw when I see it happen) and just because someone uses a word incorrectly, does not change the true definition of the word. Calling yourself a Republic does not automatically make it so. Your laws define the type of government under which, or with which you live. A leader can say he's for the people, but which people? All of them? I've never met a man who can speak for and represent every person within a country inclusively and explicitly.
    Hoganbeg likes this.
    I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    26,514
    Quote Originally Posted by GlassWolf View Post
    You mean like the PRC, for example? Please don't allow peoples' misuse of words to define those words in your mind. Words have specific meanings (as an English major, this sticks in my craw when I see it happen) and just because someone uses a word incorrectly, does not change the true definition of the word. Calling yourself a Republic does not automatically make it so.
    Exactly the point of the discussion and thread, actually.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  13. #12
    VIP Member
    Array OldVet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    S. Florida, north of the Miami mess, south of the Mouse trap
    Posts
    16,130
    This must have been one of those subjects I didn't do well in during my school days. I did drink heavily back then...
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array 19Kvet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    559
    A democracy is rule by the simple majority decision of all voters- everyone is expected/allowed to vote for every decision. There are no inherit limitations on the power of the mob.

    A republic is rule by the majority by representation. The voters delegate their authority to a proxy. A pure republic also has no limitations on the power it exercises but the mob's power is diminished by the diffusion of the power-base amongst many. In theory, the representation can diffuse the power of the mob to protect the minority but that isn't inherit in this system.

    A constitutional republic is rule by the majority's representatives within the limitations of a constitution. The mob's power is both diffused and limited.
    ccw9mm, zacii and GlassWolf like this.

  15. #14
    VIP Member
    Array Echo_Four's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Land of the mostly free
    Posts
    2,829
    The words matter because it shows the ideal we should be striving for. I'm the first to tell someone we're not a democracy. In action we're not really a republic but since that's our ideal and what we should be striving to achieve that's what I will continue to call our form of government.
    ccw9mm and Hoganbeg like this.
    "The only people I like besides my wife and children are Marines."
    - Lt. Col. Oliver North

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    1,447
    A further problem arises when the lawmakers can exempt themselves from any of the laws which bind the rest of us!
    GlassWolf and ccw9mm like this.

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

constitutional republic
,
constitutional republic vs democracy
,
democracy vs republic
,

distinctions of a republic

,
founding fathers republic vs democracy
,
republic definition vs democracy
,

republic vs democracy

,
us government system is a deocratic republic?
,
what is a constitutional republic
,
why are we a constitutional republic
Click on a term to search for related topics.