Is America a Democracy or a Republic? Someone once asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of a government we had. His reply, “a Republic, if you can keep it.” Franklin later said, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”
In spite of clear historical evidence that America was founded as a republic, many politicians and a huge segment of the population often refers to our government as a democracy. In recent years, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both referred to our government as a “democracy.” The word “democracy” is used to describe both a “type” and a “form” of government. As a “type” of government, it means that generally free elections are held periodically, which America has. But, as a “form” of government, it means rule by the majority, which America does not have. By definition a republic is: “A commonwealth; a state in which the exercise of the sovereign power is lodged in representatives elected by the people.”
Why do the words “republic” and “democracy” matter today? For many years, the movement referred to as “Progressivism” has subtly used the word “democracy” in an effort to convert our republic system of government that “preserves unalienable and individual rights” to an increasingly socialist system that replaces those individual`s rights with government distributed entitlements.
Make no mistake about it, there are elected officials in both parties who ascribe to the progressive agenda. According to a recent “Reason- Rupe” survey, 53% of Americans under 30 view socialism favorably, compared to less than a third of Americans over 30. A large majority of those surveyed said they would vote for a socialist presidential candidate. Christians should be opposed to socialism because at its very core it “suggests that both the downfall and salvation of humanity is rooted in the production and distribution of material wealth.” As Christians we believe that our downfall is sin and our salvation comes from God alone, received by faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10). Study any socialist country and you will find more government and less God. You will find more atheists and less believers, and government that for the most part rewards laziness. We as Christians must not let that happen. Pray, fast, and vote!
“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil” (Joel 2:12-13).