Chris Ware's "Last Days"cover for The New Yorker

The Center says, “Sure, America’s a democracy. Whatever. Everything’s great just the way it is.”

The Right says, “America’s not a democracy, and it shouldn’t be, either. Democracy is bad.”

The Left says, “America’s not a democracy, but it should be. Democracy is good.”


And Europeans say, “What are those three Right-wingers arguing about?” :wink:


Nobody in the image is using a yoga ball or squat or much lean, so that’s just enough depression I guess. [Considers sending for a $8 print to feel rage.]


This is why getting to define your own terms leads to bad debate. A one-line definition of “a” republic does not begin to cover what structures (and strictures) the term may apply to. Balance of powers, bicameral legislature – all the things that define the structure of the federal government, are elements of “the” republic under discussion. And they mold the constraint we put on democracy. Our republic is a framework: our democracy is a process. Neither one is a table.

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I don’t see how I’m defining my own terms here. You are the one straying away from the internationally agreed-upon definition of a republic towards a US-only definition that encompasses much more than the word implies.

A republic is the opposite of a monarchy. That’s it. That’s the definition. Not my definition, the definition of the word.


At the risk of butting in, it may be the case that you are talking past each other at bit. Our (US) notion of a “republic” is a little slippery to pin down exactly, but it is fairly well understood to be necessarily intertwined with democracy, or at the very least democratic processes.

But at the end of the day, we are a constitutional republic with levels of democratic processes combined with checks on the will of the majority.


My bad. All this time I thought we were talking about the US-specific notion of a republic. If we’re not, then what’s the point?

When you say that your citation is the definition, you perfectly illustrate how getting to define terms reduces debate to semantics.

The notion that ‘Republican’ has any real-life relation to ‘republic’ or that ‘Democratic’ has one to ‘democracy’ is a flawed idea. Can we agree on that?

Abso-fucking-lutely. That was my original point way back: that people who insist “we’re not a democracy, we’re a republic” think that there is a correlation between the Republican party and the concept of the republic (and vice versa with the Democrats) when clearly there isn’t.


Too bad the GOP has become the American Nazi Party. Repubs are thus now national socialists. SOCIALISTS! OMFG! Tell Hannity!

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