This letter is by Lynn James Edmunds, of Wallingford.
Having been educated in the ’50s and ’60s, I grew up believing North America was founded as a constitutional republic. Yet somewhere between then and now I found myself wondering why almost everyone else thinks we are “a democracy.”
For many years I paid little or no attention to the different understanding most people have about our form of governance. However, in recent years it began to bother me when people continually expressed concern for “our democracy.” We seemed to enjoy far less of the protections our republic was intended to provide us, and we have far less to say about how we are being governed.
I have tried hard to understand the apparent identity conflict between the two forms of government, never considering for a moment — until recently — that we might actually be operating as both a democracy and a republic. If so, why would that be the case? And who would be served by such an arrangement? The answers may lie in the difference between common law and equity or contract law.
If you are a student of history struggling with this conundrum as I am, perhaps a trip down this rabbit hole will be the moment when things start to make a little more sense. Enjoy the video!
Lynn James Edmunds