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Breaking news, CNN: We are a republic, not a democracy
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Breaking news, CNN: We are a republic, not a democracy

These ‘experts’ on cable news who claim we are a democracy rather than a republic don't know what a republic really is.

CNN had some major breaking news this week. Apparently, we’re not a republic. President Biden is billing his re-election campaign as a fight to preserve democracy,” host Anderson Cooper told his audience. “If you ask some Trump supporters, the former president is not a threat to democracy, because the United States is not a democracy.”

Correspondent Donnie O’Sullivan roamed among Trump supporters at a recent rally, asking them about their perceived threats to democracy. “Obviously, there's a lot of criticisms of Trump — that he is bad for democracy, that he's bad for American democracy,” O’Sullivan told one couple, who quickly cut the reporter off. “We are a republic. We are not a democracy. We’re not a democracy. We’re a republic,” they told him.

You need understand that democracy is a very important part of our republic, but democracy alone is not what we are. We are a democratic republic.

O’Sullivan, who is Irish, couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing. “I’ve heard a lot of conspiracy theories,” he told Cooper later in the segment. “I hear a lot of things out on the road. But to hear Americans, people who describe themselves as patriots, say that America is not a democracy — that stopped me in my tracks.”

Anne Applebaum, a historian and writer for the Atlantic who often frets about the grave threats to democracy here and abroad, assured O’Sullivan and Cooper that this republic talking point is just more misinformation. “You were hearing people say America is not a democracy because there are people around Trump who want them to be saying that, who have planted that narrative,” she said.

Let me set the record straight: We are a republic. That’s why in the Pledge of Allegiance we say, “and to the republic” for which our flag stands.

Here’s the problem: People — and not just the likes of Cooper, O’Sullivan, and Applebaum — don’t understand the difference between a democracy and a republic. We are a democracy on Election Day. The democratic principle is “one man, one vote,” and we use that principle to elect people to their positions democratically. But we’re not voting on every single law. We’re voting for a representative, who represents you in the republic.

In a republic, it’s generally understood that people can't be expected to understand and vote on every single issue. A republic also understands that a pure democracy is bad. A “democracy-only” country will fail every time because all you need is a crisis to influence people to vote the way you want them to. You would just need to whip enough people into a frenzy, schedule a vote, and they'll vote based on the passion of the moment. It will get you dangerous laws like the Patriot Act. When something bad happens, people will react, and they won’t always react wisely.

A purely democratic system exploits people's momentary reactions. A republic slows the process down and gives reason a chance.

Can you imagine the people in this country voting on every single issue when they don't even know the difference between a republic and a democracy? When you have media that is going to so-called experts and telling us that we're not a republic?

America’s Founders spent a lot of time trying to find the best system, and they ruled out democracy because democracies alone always fail. Instead, they took the democratic principle of “one man, one vote” to select representatives. That's why we are a representative republic.

We need to explain this to people. You need to understand that democracy is a very important part of our republic, but democracy alone is not what we are. We are a democratic republic. We vote for the people to represent us.

The Founders were careful to take human nature into account. Human nature is naturally swayed by feelings and emotion. That’s why the Constitution is written to restrain the government so those in power can't make every decision for you by exploiting the masses’ emotions — like they’re trying to.

In the system our Founders intended, we elect the representatives who answer to us. This is why they're the ones who hold the power of the purse and the only ones who can initiate pending. But these people who claim they're for democracy are just spending it in any way.

Why are our representatives up for election every two years? Because we need to be able to tell them, "No! That isn’t what we want!" Our elections are how we hold our representatives accountable. That's why every spending bill needs to start with Congress — because Congress answers to us.

But what happened to Congress? Why isn't Congress doing anything? CNN’s "experts" would say it's because of gridlock between Republicans and the Democrats, but that isn’t why. It's because no one in Washington wants it to work that way. They don’t want Congress to answer to you. They want to be the ones pulling the strings.

They do this through executive orders, which are part of the American republic, but they were never meant to replace acts of the legislature. Joe Biden uses his executive orders to usurp the responsibility of Congress.

We were never meant to be ruled by faceless, unelected bureaucrats. The EPA, the ATF, the Fed — we never elected any of those people. It's OK if they are hired to make the system work, but instead, they’re making the rules, which have now become laws. Only Congress can make laws, but they don’t do that anymore.

That's why we must restore the republic. Democracy is happening unhinged from the republic because the “republic” part of our democratic republic is broken.

These "experts" on CNN who claim America is a democracy rather than a republic don't know what a republic really is. If we can't explain what a republic is, how do you think our kids are going to explain it? How do you think we can possibly defend the United States of America? If we don't know what our rights are, if we don't know why they were established, how can we hope to secure them and pass them on to the next generation?

The buck stops with us. We must restore the republic.

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Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck


Glenn Beck is the host of “The Glenn Beck Program” and co-founder of Blaze Media.
@glennbeck →