Posted May 25, '13 at 10:14am
The US is a democracy.
Democracies and republics are often misconstrued and misunderstood today, and we might blame the two large parties for that. A Republic is simply a form of government where people of office are elected, with offices of power not being inherited. If you have a country where all eligible citizens (typically constrained by just an age limit), can vote and have an equal say in their lives, then that country is a democracy.There are various overlaps between democracies and republics; furthermore a democracy might not be a republic, or a republic might not be a democracy.
The Italian Renaissance cities were republics for example, but not democracies since historically only a select few nobles would convene and elect the leader. Yet, we have Constitutional monarchies today, such as the UK which are democracies.
The US is both a constitutional republic ( A country where the top brass govern according to existing constitutional law that limits their power, which does include laws protecting minorities). and representative democracy ( A system where an elected group of people govern, versus direct democracy).
So in some senses, you are correct, but to miss out on the details is to do injustice to the system. For example, the minority is protected, but the terminology of a ''member of the minority'' here is mostly one to deal with race, religion, or culture, as protected by the Constitution. [Also, caveat here is that democracies don't always mean that the minorities lose out, they too can have their own set of rules to abide by]. The system however, doesn't allow minorities like extremist fringe parties to come into power, or groups with less support to easily ascend to the top unless such minorities have amassed enough support, whereupon it would be feckless to label it a minority. When it comes down to the crunch, the minority doesn't win most of the time, as demonstrated by the Electoral College or the popular vote when it comes to elections.
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