Responding To The “We Are A Republic, Not A Democracy” Meme

There is a very pervasive strain in anti-democratic writing that attempts to Orwell away the term “democracy” from small-d democrats to muzzle us. Here’s an example of this kind of writing, followed by my reply.

… [O]ur for[e]fathers set this up as a Constitutional Republic, because having a law (Constitution) to follow, and Individual rights of each person was very important to them. The more we call this and people believe it[‘]s a democracy, the sooner [our] Individual rights can be stripped.

My reply:

When you insinuate that small-d democrats are against the Bill of Rights and are against the idea that some laws (constitution) should be harder to change than others (statutes), you are trying to Orwell our language away from us, an intellectual crime and a case of immoral propaganda. A dictatorship is less democratic than a democratic republic, and perhaps a democratic republic is less democratic than a direct democracy. That’s a scale of how close to equal the level of political power is for one citizen as compared to another citizen. That’s about power to change the statutes and the constitution. None of those points on the scale necessarily involves overturning the Bill of Rights, nor do they necessarily imply just one level of laws (all equally easy to change), nor do they imply leaving behind the principle of the rule of law. So when you bring up another scale, of whether there are protected rights vs. tyranny of the majority, and you say that democracy means that scale, you attempt to distort the discussion and prevent us from being heard about the scale of oligarchy vs. equality of political power, within an adherence to a rule of law, and including more than one level of how hard the laws are to change.

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