The Lima News recently published an opinion piece by Jonathan Bernstein of the Bloomberg News in which he claimed there is no difference between a democracy and a republic. Mr. Bernstein went so far as to call the claim “one of the age’s great crank ideas,” which is simply wrong.
Mr. Bernstein bases his opinion on the simple dictionary definitions of the words, which are similar. In truth, it is much more complicated than that. I suggest your readers visit the politically neutral web site Diffen for a comprehensive, point by point comparison of the two systems. The differences are important.
The U.S. Constitution, in Article IV, Section IV, guarantees to the states a Republican form of government. In practice, we govern ourselves as a democratic republic; to attempt direct democracy in a nation of over 300 million people would be highly impractical, and even dangerous to the rights of the individual.
Dillon W. Staas III, Lima