Is the US a democracy or a republic?
Some people think a ‘democracy’ and a ‘republic’ are somehow different, and that calling the US a democracy is wrong.
One person I know who makes that claim cites:
"The American Ideal of 1776: The Twelve Basic American Principles" by Hamilton Abert Long
This claimed position (based on a political argument, not on a lexicographic analysis) seems to be making the right wing rounds in justifying the obstructionism by Republicans in the US Senate of the will of the majority as expressed in the 2006 and 2008 elections.
"We aren’t a democracy and it is wrong to say 'majority rules'” is the argument justifying the current anti-government, anti-democracy right wing politics.
Are the two terms necessarily identical? Not necessarily.
Is the US both a democracy and a republic?
Yes it is. At least if you use dictionaries and the work of lexicographers,
“A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
“A form of government whose head of state is not a monarch; ‘the head of state in a republic is usually a president’"
“A republic is a form of government in which the citizens choose their leaders and the people (or at least a part of its people) have an impact on its government. The word "republic" is derived from the Latin phrase res publica, which can be translated as ‘a public affair’".
“ /r??p?bl?k/ Show Spelled[ri-puhb-lik]
“1. a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of 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 in which the head of government is not a monarch or other hereditary head of state.”
“Main Entry: re·pub·lic
“Etymology: French république, from Middle French republique, from Latin respublica, from res thing, wealth + publica, feminine of publicus public — more at real, public
“1 a (1) : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government
“b (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government”
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Definitions of democracy:
“The political orientation of those who favor government by the people or by their elected representatives
“* a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
“* majority rule: the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group”
“–noun, plural -cies.
“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.
“Definition of DEMOCRACY
“1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections”
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“Synonyms: democratic system, democratic state, democratic organization, representative form of government, republic, parliamentary government”
“Main Entry: democracy
“... republic....” [from a very long, very widely spread list],
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“Synonyms: state, nation, democracy”
“Synonyms, Thesaurus & Antonyms of 'republic'
“1. (noun) democracy, republic, commonwealth
“a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
“Synonyms: nation, republic, majority rule, country, state, body politic, res publica, commonwealth, land, democracy
“2. (noun) republic
“a form of government whose head of state is not a monarch
“Synonyms: democracy, commonwealth”