Dana Cole


To the editor:

Semantics, semantics, semantics! I don’t know about you, but I am growing weary of the bickering, mostly by two individuals, over calling our system of government a democracy instead of a republic.

In truth it is more correctly defined as a democratic republic. That is, the founding fathers wanted a democracy but knew it would be impractical for every citizen to vote on every single bill to be considered (possibly even to introduce the bills). So they established a democratic republic with elected representatives to do that job.

I have heard several prominent Republican politicians refer to our system as a democracy – many use it as shorthand similar to calling ourselves “Americans” even though Canadians and Mexicans are also Americans. The terms “democracy” and “republic” are often misused in the official titles of countries that are neither. The two most prominent examples are the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and the People’s Republic of China.

Most or all of the countries with democracy or republic in their names don’t come anywhere close to being either one of those.