Magazine October 1, 2018, Issue

Democracy or Republic?

(Smartboy / Getty Images)
The U.S. is the latter, and partly the former

‘The United States is a republic, not a democracy.” This is one of those oft-repeated expressions that one hears in civil discourse whose meaning nevertheless remains somewhat fuzzy.

After all, the word “republic”deriving from the Latin phrase res publica, or “the people’s concern”suggests a measure of popular involvement in government. And the authors of the Constitution were radically republican, at least for their age, believing that the only legitimate form of government was one in which public authority derived entirely from the people.

These ideas surely have some overlap with the notion of democracy, which is

Jay Cost is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for Faith and Freedom at Grove City College.

In This Issue

Articles

In Defense of the Constitutional Order

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Letters

Letters

Kevin D. Williamson responds to a reader's thoughts on his article, “More Important than Motorcycles.”
The Week

The Week

This just in: Cory Booker says he took an extra packet of sugar at the diner this morning -- and he’d do it again!

Most Popular

If You Like Your Police, You Can Keep Your Police

The most amusing thing about the Obama v. the Squad kerfuffle is that there is not actually an inch of substantive daylight between the supposed combatants. Former President Obama does not disagree with the sentiments or objectives of Ilhan Omar et al. He disagrees with their tactic of pursuing it through a ... Read More

If You Like Your Police, You Can Keep Your Police

The most amusing thing about the Obama v. the Squad kerfuffle is that there is not actually an inch of substantive daylight between the supposed combatants. Former President Obama does not disagree with the sentiments or objectives of Ilhan Omar et al. He disagrees with their tactic of pursuing it through a ... Read More
Film & TV

Wonder Drug Cures All Problems

I’ve just discovered a film that has changed my life. Give it a chance, and it’ll change yours, too. The film is Another Round, by the sly Dane Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration), and it heralds the discovery of a miraculous substance by four friends, all of them high-school teachers in Denmark, on the ... Read More
Film & TV

Wonder Drug Cures All Problems

I’ve just discovered a film that has changed my life. Give it a chance, and it’ll change yours, too. The film is Another Round, by the sly Dane Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration), and it heralds the discovery of a miraculous substance by four friends, all of them high-school teachers in Denmark, on the ... Read More

Watching Les Watchmen

The best science fiction — and some of the most terrifying science fiction — has a short literary shelf life, because it does not stay fiction for long. In the much-admired HBO series Watchmen, which is set not in a dystopian future but in a reimagined present, the police have begun wearing masks in order to ... Read More

Watching Les Watchmen

The best science fiction — and some of the most terrifying science fiction — has a short literary shelf life, because it does not stay fiction for long. In the much-admired HBO series Watchmen, which is set not in a dystopian future but in a reimagined present, the police have begun wearing masks in order to ... Read More