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"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the democracy for which it stands." Oops! Of course the correct word is the "republic" for which it stands.

So why do most people think we are a democracy? About 100 years ago, during the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, a campaign to popularize the idea that we are a democracy was begun, and it has been continuous.

However, that wasn't what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they declared our nation to be a republic. The Constitution proclaimed that, "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government."

So, what is the difference, and why does it matter? Basically, a republic is based on the rule of law, and a democracy is based on the rule of the majority, which can easily become mob rule. This can happen if those who rely on government for their daily bread are greater in number than the "makers" who provide revenue to support the "takers," and it can lead to that nation's demise.

You have a way to prevent this from happening. Remember this the next time you vote.

Kevin Huska, Oregon

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