American today have been persuaded that our national government system is a democracy and not a republic. Everytime we turn on the news, all of these media, pundits, legislators, senators, or even president of the United states, they always say in our democracy and we are just naturally accepting this. However, in this essay I’m going to say that US isn’t a true democracy. It is a constitutional republic.
When we talk about democracy, we have to know what exactly democracy is. Democracy basically means the rule of people. It first started as a direct democracy in Greek cities (ancient Athens) where people came to together to express their concerns and opinions in front of the rulers of the city and directly voted for new laws. But sadly, ancient Greeks realize that not all the people had equal right to vote, slave, children, women and people who did not have a land were excluded. This is what we called a flawed democracy today.When we look at our modern example, think about the presidential election, citizens don’t even vote for the president. In the year 2000, Al Gore lost the US election but actually got more votes than George W. Bush.
The country’s population votes does not decide the election. Then as you know, citizens who are over 18 years old can vote for elected officials and those officials are going to represent their best interests for the populations. However, this is not a direct democracy. A direct democracy should be allow citizen to vote directly on every law, ordinance and appointment.Then why US is not a true democracy? Because according to our founding father James Madison a truly democracy simply doesn’t work and there is no reason for a the government to implement it. The problem of democracy is that what we saw in ancient Greek, small groups are oppressed and leads to “tyranny of majority”.
Today most democracies are indirect or representative which means you can’t vote for a new law but you can elect someone to represent your interests. This is also call constitutional republic. Constitutional republic allow the whole process run more smoothly and allows disproportionate representation and protection to those minority groups. Therefore, this makes the US a constitutional republic, and not a true democracy.