Letter writer needs a history lesson
To the editor:
Re: “US is a republic, not a democracy,” by Gerald F. Chase, letters, Jan. 20:
Apparently Gerald F. Chase finds it necessary to distinguish a democratic form of government from a republican form of government. Perhaps a brief history lesson will help him get it straight.
The history books tell us that democracy started in the ancient city states of Greece, particularly Athens, in which the local government would gather it citizens together to vote on important matters of state. This was the essence of democracy.
Over time this form of government was adopted throughout the world but with modifications. Because of growing populations gathering citizens together wasn’t practical so governments adopted a form of representative democracy in with individuals were elected to represent the masses. Chase prefers the word republicanism.
Without going into detail, democracy is more than voting. It includes institutions and traditions such as checks and balance and other measure to assure transparency and avoid abuses of the system.
It appears that Chase despises the Democratic Party, so the word democratic disturbs him. He much prefers the word republic in honor of his beloved Republican Party.
Therefore, the distinction between democracy and republicanism in the modern world is one of practicality rather than one of substance.