We “pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands ...” in some schools, at public meetings, etc. Yet, many believe we are a democracy. Why?

Conjecture: It’s because there are two major political parties: Democrat and Republican. Thus, “politics”/emotion prevails/displaces “reason”: Shall not delve into the two political parties or their respective advocacies/agendas; and here spell democracy with a small "d," and republic with a small "r."

What’s the difference between a democracy and a republic?

A democracy involves direct participation by its citizens, (e.g., a “town hall” situation), while a republic has indirect participation, (e.g., representation), through elected officials, who serve/represent their electorate.

In 1787, after the founders drafted the U.S. Constitution, Benjamin Franklin emerged from Independence Hall in Philadelphia. A Mrs. Powell reputedly asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?”

Franklin responded: “A republic, madam — if you can keep it.”

There’s considerable concern/discussion these days, whether we can “keep it.”

Edmund Morgan wrote “The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89,” which popularized and chronologized our republic; i.e., academically affirms ours is a republic.

Accordingly, candidates filed for nonpartisan local positions on city councils, school boards, port commissions, fire districts, cemetery districts, etc., and all are republic in form.

President Warren Harding called us a “representative democracy,” and many today believe the U.S. is a democracy, though not.

The U.S. is legally, literally, and technically a republic; nationally, state-wise, and locally; and has been since its founding.

Roger E. Pederson

Mount Vernon

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