Yes, A Republic Can Be A Democracy

“A republic is a democracy…” — Malcolm Nance



Original sketch by Michael Gilmore, used by permission — Copyright © Michael Gilmore 2021

The most frequent response online when people argue over whether the United States is a democracy goes like this: the U.S. is a republic, not a democracy.

This is a Jedi mind trick. Or a drunk trick. Or just plain drunk and dishonest.

The U.S. is a republic. And, of course, a republic can be democratic (or even a democracy).

It is not an either-or; it can be both and should be both. If the U.S. has plans to survive, what survives will likely become both, joined arm and arm, fused as one.

Those parts of the country which do not want democratic rule of some sort will reside in a dreadful place, I bet. Think North Korea, with some demagogue of some sort in charge of a country that is a cultural wasteland.

Yet, the U.S. is not a full democracy yet (it is more democratic in local and state elections though). I am on board with that and I am willing to keep working on this. The reason why it is has not reached that goal is its own fault.

I can agree it is a nation seeking to become a perfect union (at least by word). But, African Americans didn’t even have the right to vote until 1965 and those rights, in many states, are under attack. African Americans didn’t even have basic rights until the 1960s.

Muslims and other individuals from certain countries were banned from becoming citizens for much of the nation’s history. Women didn’t have full voting rights until 1919 and remained unequal in so many ways. We know now that they don’t even legally control their own bodies in some states.

But we press on. We must.

Like right now, register to vote (check your registration status HERE (, and prepare to vote in November for the state, local, and national candidates who stand up for democracy and democratic principles.

And, if anyone ever tells you that the U.S. is not a democracy because it is a republic, check them on that. The person might be an authoritarian or a fascist.

Even the Austrian economic school, the Mises Institute says this is about the assertion that a republic is not (or cannot be) a democracy:




barrister for the damned. born in a city made of chocolate