Is This Really Democracy?


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Since the average American does not have the time to be deeply involved in their parties politics, and have little or no say in who the party elects as their delegate, and only gets to vote on the representative candidates chosen by the political parties, is this really democracy?


Here is a recent letter from Chris K. and our response.
In response to the above segment on your home page, it is not really a democracy, our system is technically a Republic form of government that appears like a democracy.....

Chris K.

Chris,

Thank You for your response. My guess is that you must be involved in politics or you are a student, am I right? It seems as though you are playing a word game, much as politicians do. Yes, the United States is a Republic and more technically correct a Democratic Republic.

Lets clear a few things up. Weíll start with definitions using Websterís Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language 1989 edition, itís what I have handy.

Democracy:
1. 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.
2. A state having such a form of government.
3. A state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
4. Political or social equality; democratic spirit.
5. The common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to political power.

Democratic:
1.pertaining to or of the nature of democracy or a democracy.
2. Pertaining to or characterized by the principal of political or social equity for all.
3. Advocating or upholding democracy.
4. (cap) Govt. a. of, pertaining to , or characteristic of the Democratic party. b. of, pertaining to, or belonging to the Democratic-Republican party.

Republic:
1. A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of the citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.
2. Any body of persons viewed as a commonwealth.
3. A state, esp. a democratic state, in which the head of the government is an elected or nominated president and not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.
4. Ö I would continue but the rest of the definitions are not relevant.

Let's look at the original statement that I made.

"Since the average American does not have the time to be deeply involved in their parties politics, and have little or no say in who the party elects as their delegate, and only gets to vote on the representative candidates chosen by the political parties, is this really democracy?"

Note the last four words: is this really democracy? It does not say is this really A democracy.

The point is, how much say do we have in who are political leaders are? Unless we are part of the political machinery in this country (which is a dirty topic that we can get into later if youíd like), we donít choose our candidates. We get to choose on political candidates or products paraded in front of us by the existing political parties. I still raise the question, is this democracy?

It certainly is not in the purist sense. It reminds me of what Henry Ford said in reference to his early automobiles. This is not a direct quote, only the gist of the statement. ĎYou can have a car any color you want, as long as itís blackí. In terms of our political process, and how much choice we actually have we could probably alter Henry Fordís statement and say: You can choose any candidate you want as long as they are red or blue.

The whole concept of this Web site is to make you think. Did you think about how much choice you have when it comes to political candidates? Do you think that Bob Dole was a wise choice for the Republican party. Do you think he represented the views of the majority of registered Republicans? When you answer that last question, donít answer it like a politician, donít choose a few views that can give you the answer