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CNN: Calling U.S. a “Republic” Is “an Attack on Democracy”

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Back to School DuncecapBy Selwyn Duke

“You’re entitled to your own opinions,” late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) once famously said — “but not your own facts.” This, apparently, would be news to the Cable News Network (CNN).

That is, after interviewing Trump supporters on Sunday, a CNN reporter claimed their observation that the United States is a “republic” is “an attack on democracy.”

This isn’t the first time CNN — an unreliable news source that had to pay a huge settlement some years back to a Catholic school student it defamed with false “racism” claims — has attacked our republican form of government. Last year, for example, the network ran a chyron stating, “SCHOLARS WARN OUTDATED CONSTITUTION HAS PUT DEMOCRACY AT RISK.”

This might be true, too, in a sense. For Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution does guarantee states a “republican” form of government, not a “democratic” one. But now, whether it’s the “Big Lie” technique or just ignorance, CNN has taken the deception a step further. As The Daily Caller tells us, reporting on the Sunday segment:

Multiple Trump supporters told CNN reporter Donie O’Sullivan that the U.S. was not a “democracy” in man-on-the-street interviews during the segment, instead describing it as a republic. O’Sullivan attempted to disprove their description in an interview with historian Anne Applebaum.

“America is a democracy. It was founded as a democracy,” Applebaum claimed after O’Sullivan asked her if the U.S. was a democracy.

“I’ve heard a lot of conspiracy theories. I hear a lot of things out on the road, but to hear Americans, people who would describe themselves as patriots, say that America is not a democracy, that stopped me in my tracks,” O’Sullivan told Applebaum.

In reality, Ireland-raised O’Sullivan should have been stopped in his tracks by Applebaum. For she should have learned in school about the legendary answer Ben Franklin gave an inquisitive woman at the Constitutional Convention’s conclusion in 1787. After the lady asked the Founder what type of government he and his colleagues had created, he famously replied, “A republic — if you can keep it.”

She also should have stopped him in his tracks because, in grade school, we Americans routinely recited the Pledge of Allegiance and stated, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands.”

Or does Applebaum really, somehow, remember having said “to the democracy for which it stands”? If so, Joe Biden isn’t the only one who needs a cognitive test.

Applebaum went even further, though, blaming the 45th president for the “America is a republic” position. “You are hearing people say America is not a democracy because there are people around Trump who want them to be saying that, who’ve been planting that narrative,” she averred.

In reality, though, the “narrative” predates Trump by nigh on two centuries. For the Founding Fathers were more than skeptical of “democracy” — in fact, they warned against it.

“Democracy never lasts long,” observed John Adams, our second president, in 1814. “It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy Yet, that did not commit suicide.”

Alexander Hamilton warned that “if we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy.”

The “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison, was even more definitive. He stated that “democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

Applebaum is sure stuck on it, though. “If they can convince people that we don’t have a democracy,” she also said, “then it’s okay that Trump is attacking democracy, because it doesn’t really matter.”

Yet couldn’t we just as easily say, “If they can convince people that we don’t have a republic, then it’s okay that the Left is attacking republicanism, because it doesn’t really matter”?

More ironic still, Applebaum also contends that “[h]onestly, the word ‘democracy’ and the word ‘republic’ have often been used interchangeably. There isn’t a meaningful difference between them.”

Alright, but if this is true, and since we are technically a republic — that’s a matter of fact, not opinion — why not just agree to call our country a republic and move on?

Applebaum is partially correct, in that “democracy” has, along with a more specific meaning, taken on a more general one pertaining to any kind of representative government. Yet, again, there must be a reason why the Left fights so zealously for “democracy’s” usage.

The reason, a common theory holds, is that the Left knows our constitutionally mandated republican institutions — such as the Electoral College and our Senate — are an impediment to central-government power. Put differently and to quote Hamilton again, if you want to “shoot into a monarchy,” or pseudo-elite oligarchy, wouldn’t you want to “incline” toward “democracy” as a transitional phase?

This said, there’s what I suspect is another reason for the “democracy” obsession.


Years ago I read about a mid-20th-century actress who, when explaining why she was supporting Republicans said (I’m paraphrasing), “Well, I figure that we’re living in a republic, so it makes sense to vote Republican.”

Do not underestimate the power of branding. Why do you think corporations spend countless millions on it? Why do you think Trump branded his 2016 Democratic opponent “Crooked Hillary” (which was highly effective)? Branding can breed success.

There’s no question whatsoever that certain leftists desire us labeled a “democracy” because they want their vehicle for attaining power, the Democratic Party, to share the brand of our nation’s governmental system.

After all, if Americans realized we were a republic, Republican would all of a sudden start sounding a whole lot better to them, don’t you think?

For those interested (the masochists among us?) the Sunday CNN segment is below.

                     This article was originally published at The New American.” target=”_blank”Selwyn Duke is a writer, columnist and public speaker whose work has been published widely online and in print, on both the local and national levels. He has been featured on the Rush Limbaugh Show and has been a featured guest more than 50 times on the award-winning Michael Savage Show. His work has appeared in Pat Buchanan’s magazine The American Conservative, at and he writes regularly for The New American


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    • silentbard

      By now, everyone should have heard about that very famous quote from Benjamin Franklin. As they finished writing our Constitution and they were leaving the building, a woman standing by asked, “What kind of government are we going to have, Mr. Franklin?” He responded, “A republic, madam, if you can keep it.” Those who say that the USA is a democracy are either ignorant, dishonest, or both.

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