Is The United States A ‘Constitutional Republic’ or A Democracy?

by Shelt Garner

It’s becoming MAGA Republican orthodoxy to dress up their autocratic desires — and to own the libs — by being very adamant that the United States isn’t a democracy, but rather a “Constitutional Republic.” That Republicans quibble over nomenclature like this is a tell — they have very unpopular policies (such as there are) and rather than change them to win elections in a liberal democracy, they would rather destroy America’s democratic birthright.

There’s a lot to unpack here.

One of the signs to me, at least, that the United States is probably going to slip into autocracy is my Traditionalist relatives, who should know better, parrot this MAGA talking point. What they’re really saying is not so much that they believe that the United States is a Constitutional Republic, but rather they don’t believe in traditional liberal democracy anymore.

They hate it when people vote because they know that the more people vote, the less they win and the more pressure they feel to maybe, I don’t know, change with the times? What they want is to be able to play the more obscure, undemocratic elements of the Constitutional to ensure that they, at a minimum, establish an “illiberal democracy” like there exists in Hungary, in the United States.

And my Traditionalist relatives are all-in on this canard. They talk about how democracy is “mob rule” and how Alexander de Tocqueville warned about the dangers of democracy. (Which, I think is a disingenuous or even downright wrong interpretation of what he wrote about the United States.) And, what’s more they even say shit like the Founding Fathers didn’t want democracy and you’re not doubting their wisdom, are you?

This is all bullshit. The reason is, while, yes, we are a Constitutional Republic also, at least until recently, a very stable Western democracy. There were democratic norms and, in general, the general movement of American pollical life was towards more democracy and a broader definition of who could vote. So being a Constitutional Republic is not mutually exclusive with being a democracy.

All of this, of course, is a cover for how desperate white angry Christian (men) are to establish a white, autocratic Christian ethno state in the United States for various reasons. They are afraid of the browning of America, the rise of economically liberated women and a growing secularity in the country. They point to things like the “woke cancel culture mob” because that is lot easier to sell on a political basis than, “I want to take your democratic birth right.”

The rise of Republicans believing that the United States is a Constitutional Republic is a clear sign that we’ve lost Traditionalists and, as such, we are careening towards an autocratic state the moment — any — Republican becomes POTUS. That’s all she wrote. If someone like DeSantis becomes president, then we’re going to have A Very American Autocracy and we’re going to wake up in 20 years and wonder why he’s still POTUS.

Millions of wealthy liberals will leave the country to the point that the “liberal brain drain” will replace “scary brown people at the border” as a boogie man for the American MAGA Right. On paper, all things considered, that seems to be a foregone conclusion.

And yet, there is a wildcard — Trump.

Trump is such a fucking malignant chaos agent that he could, personally, start a civil war in a variety of ways between now and, say, spring 2025. I’m not saying he will, but there is definitely a greater-than-zero-sum chance that it will happen.

Anyway, I just don’t think we’re prepared for how bumpy the next few years will be. MAGA Republicans have all the political momentum — despite their snowflake bellyaching — and either they get what they want, which is an illiberal democracy, or we have a civil war of some sort.

Figure out what you believe in the real world and what you’re willing to suffer for. Or just leave the country, if you can.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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