For anyone who’s been living in America longer than five minutes, the Pledge of Allegiance should be considerably familiar. Many of us have recited this decree of dedication to our nation since the moment we set foot in our public schools. If you’ve ever been to any public function, you have seen our Flag raised and praised by countless individuals covering their hearts with their right hands, like the drastic Fred Sanford. However, like many aspects of life, we engage in this practice without any real thought as to what we are truly saying. It starts off: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America… And to the REPUBLIC for which it stands”… And we’ll stop right there.
For a seemingly infinite period of time, the majority of our population has fallen victim to the erroneous idea that we are citizens of a democracy. Is that true? No, sir. We are exactly what is verbalized in our Pledge: A REPUBLIC. Our founding fathers intended for our nation to be a Republic, where the government can protect and serve us, while we the People can protect ourselves from said government, should it get too big and bold. If you’ve been living under a rock (500 feet under it at that), then let me give you a quick illustration of just a small difference between a democracy and a republic.
Let’s try democracy first. Imagine being a waiter/waitress at a well-known restaurant. Most employers have some kind of employee handbook or set of standards. But for the sake of this comparison, we’re going to assume that your restaurant doesn’t have one. The executives in your company believe it’s time to switch up the company uniforms to attract more customers and increase revenue. Their proposal? Provocative clothing that would make you question whether you’re working at Magic City in Atlanta, rather than a restaurant. Here’s the thing: they decide to let all of you (the employees) be the deciding factor in the passage of this absurd dress code by casting a vote. Under a democratic system, the majority always rules. POINT BLANK. So while you may be rather sensible and conservative, the majority of your colleagues might lack self-respect and would love such a drastic (and disgusting) change. Out of the 40 employees there, 21 vote to approve this proposal. The law is that you must abide by this extravagant adjustment. Yes, the sex-crazed (probably liberal) majority mob has won by numerical default. Now you will have to serve folks food in clothing that would make a diner believe they’re being waited on by a group of Playboy Bunnies (or Chippendales for guys). Therefore, democracy allows for no individuality when it comes to the decision-making process. If you are not a part of the majority, then your visions and principles mean diddly. Or as the young folks would say nowadays: You’re S.O.L.
Let’s get to the republic, and a CONSTITUTIONAL Republic at that. Unlike its democratic counterpart, this form of government protects an individual’s sovereignty. Sovereignty essentially means independence, when speaking of government. Where am I going with this? In the aforementioned voting process, the majority voted based on their own selfish desires. There was no real legal or rational thought process that influenced their vote. So no matter how evil or wrong their belief was, the majority turned their belief into a law. Let’s tweak this a bit. Let’s say we’re in a restaurant chain. Now, the corporation asks the whole company to vote on said matter. However, individual employees aren’t allowed to vote on every issue. Each restaurant designates someone out of the group to be their delegate or representative. So now, all the “elected” individuals have to vote based on the best interests of their constituents/coworkers. Are you still with me? Awesome. With this larger corporation, there is a constitution/handbook in play. Therefore, although you aren’t voting yourself, your delegate must not only carry out your desires, but the policies of the company itself.
That’s how our government works here in the good old U.S.A… We have government to carry out the will of the People, but they still must adhere to a logical and solid set of laws and regulations. So the next time you salute our Flag, just remember that you’re saluting a Republic. And be grateful. You could be living in a nation where the majority would vote an entire society into oblivion. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. [Just kidding, kids. Smoking is bad.]