For your liberty!
James Eyer
Candidate for U.S. Congress District 9

FAQ: The United States is a Republic

In the words of Ben Franklin "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch."

In the extreme, examples of pure democracy include Nazi Germany and governments which have allowed or that do allow slavery.

That is why the United States government was given the form of a democratic republic. In a republic an elected representative's primary focus is to protect the rights and liberty of all citizens.

A key role for representatives in a democratic republic is to protect the rights of minorities when the majority seeks to take rights or liberty away from minorities.

Consider these words from the CATO Institute:

James Madisonís famous Federalist No. 10 makes clear that the Founders fashioned a republic, not a pure democracy. To be sure, they knew that the consent of the governed was the ultimate basis of government, but the Founders denied that such consent could be reduced to simple majority or plurality rule. In fact, nothing could be more alien to the spirit of American constitutionalism than equating democracy will the direct, unrefined will of the people.

Recall the ways our constitution puts limits on any unchecked power, including the arbitrary will of the people. Power at the national level is divided among the three branches, each reflecting a different constituency. Power is divided yet again between the national government and the states. Madison noted that these twofold divisions -- the separation of powers and federalism -- provided a "double security" for the rights of the people.

What about the democratic principle of one person, one vote? Isnít that principle essential to our form of government? The Foundersí handiwork says otherwise. Neither the Senate, nor the Supreme Court, nor the president is elected on the basis of one person, one vote. Thatís why a state like Montana, with [about a million] residents, gets the same number of Senators as California, with [nearly 35] million people. Consistency would require that if we abolish the Electoral College, we rid ourselves of the Senate as well.

rev 02/19/06