There’s a reason why the American founders created a republic, and not a democracy. Republics are the best form of government for protecting the individual from the tyranny of the majority. And there most certainly is a tyranny of the majority that always manifests in democratic style systems.
Here’s how it works: in democratic or republican systems, there is a kind of majority rule. In democracies, the 51% rules over the 49% and has total control. The 51% can do whatever it wants, because in democracies there are not structures in place to protect individual rights.
If 51% vote to steal your bike, you are without a bike. If 51% vote to kill you, you are out of a life. It does not matter if it is right or not, what the majority says is what happens.
A republic is different though, and it operates for the protection of the individual against the majority when they get out of control. It is very important to protect the rights of the individual in a political system, for that is how governments are limited in their power and scope.
Democracies provide arbitrary power to governments, giving them prerogative to do anything as long as “it’s what the people want.” In a free society, this is unacceptable.
Republican governments operate by electing officers who represent the interests of the people, and who are supposed to have more knowledge about politics than the average person. These people are effectively trustees of the citizenry.
In republican governments, the polity is governed by a written constitution that safeguards certain rights against tyrannical majorities. There are separations of power, courts, and layers of government to ensure that knee-jerk reactions do not become law.
This is the fundamental difference between a republic and a democracy: a republic protects you from arbitrary power, a democracy is nothing but arbitrary power.
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