Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Mon, Oct. 14

We are a republic, not a democracy

A new, best-selling book chronicles Revolutionary patriot and second president John Adams. In a letter to John Taylor in 1814 he wrote, "Remember, democracy never lasts long, it soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. "

In a democracy, half of the people plus one can overrule the rest; a fanatical majority can deprive individuals of their right to life and property. A republic protects the rights and property of each individual; neither the majority nor any minority group with political power can confiscate it.

Because of liberals, the major media and public schools, a majority of current and future citizens have no concept of our godly heritage and why our founders created a republic, not a democracy which politicians, bureaucrats and educrats promote today. They promote "citizen of the world" philosophy rather than the principles of Constitutional republican government.

The founders abided by Plato's warning that unrestricted democracy must result in dictatorship. Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution says, "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government." That does not mean a government controlled by the Republican Party any more than the Democratic Party. Like the Democrats, Republicans often ignore the Constitution.

Throughout history, great minds criticized democracies. Jurist Edmund Burke, 1790: "In a democracy the majority of the citizens are capable of exercising cruel oppressions upon the minority."

James Fenimore Cooper: "The tendency of democracy is to mediocrity. It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law, the form in which masses exhibit their tyranny." Journalist Gerald Barry, 1899: "Democracy is where you say what you like and do what you are told." George Bernard Shaw: "Democracy substitutes selection by the incompetent for appointment by the corrupt."

Mohandas Gandhi: "Western democracy is merely a cloak to hide tendencies of imperialism." Who can disagree with H.L. Mencken: "Democracy is a form of religion, the worship of jackals by jackasses."

Our citizens and the administrative, legislative and judicial branches of government must comprehend the difference between a democracy and a republic. Nations like the Peoples Republic of China falsely label themselves as a republic. We must return our government and nation to the republican principles designed by the founding fathers.

In 1787 we did not have political parties or party candidates. It is unfortunate that political parties ever formed. The parties and their candidates ignore and bypass their own platforms to win elections at any cost.

Citizens should vote for candidates based on their honesty and political philosophy, not on what party they belong to. Beware when one politician endorses another. God save our Republic!

(Thom Strawn was a political activist for 30 years, and is now a Prescott TV and radio talk show host Write to him at

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