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Utah To Teach USA is a Republic, Not a Democracy

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the only-two-of-three-wives-agree dept.

Government 1277

0ryan0 writes "Utah lawmakers passed a bill today to force public school teachers to teach that the USA is a republic, not a democracy, because a 'Democracy' would have 'Democrat' in it." The good news must be that all issues of unemployment, finance and social service must be resolved in Utah for their legislature to spend time on this. It must be a utopia!

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These are people who still believe Joseph Smith (-1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429272)

Do you expect a real education in a state where almost everyone believes the state was founded by fucking angels visiting con men pedophiles in caves?

And before all you Christians have a good laugh at these backwards Mormons, keep in mind that *you* dipshits believe that a first-century illiterate peasant was the "Son of God" (as evidenced somehow by the fact that a backwoods Roman prefect was able to crucify this "god"). So don't laugh too hard.

Re:These are people who still believe Joseph Smith (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429320)

Amen, brotha!

Re:These are people who still believe Joseph Smith (3, Insightful)

RailGunner (554645) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429544)

Wow, the WHARGARBL is strong in this thread....

Never mind the actual fact that the form of Government here in the United States is a Representative Republic.

Heaven forbid teachers we required to teach things that are factually correct...

I mean, what next? Are we going to force teachers to teach that 2+2=4? What of little Johnny's self esteem? Shouldn't we validate his feelings that 2 + 2 = Cookie?

This is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.

Re:These are people who still believe Joseph Smith (0)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429388)

You could at least mention the Muslims - they'll feel left out.

I can't wait to see the changes that come from this new level of awareness of the nature of the political system in the US. Oh wait...

Perhaps next we'll have officially-sanctioned teachings that points-out that the US has been at war every year since its inception (apart from thirteen years scattered around non-contiguously) ?

Re:These are people who still believe Joseph Smith (5, Insightful)

fifedrum (611338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429422)

Hate much?

there's no evidence he was illiterate, and there's no evidence from the story that the recommendations are because the word democrat is offensive. The article makes no mention of the reason behind it, other than perhaps ACCURACY.

Re:These are people who still believe Joseph Smith (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429578)

Jesus READ FROM THE SCROLLS as recorded in several New Testament passages. Where you find evidence that he was illiterate?

Re:These are people who still believe Joseph Smith (-1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429662)

So says your religious text (the same one that calls him a god). The actual non-religious history says that 1st century carpenters from Galilee were an almost exclusively illiterate and uneducated crowd. But maybe his god powers gave him the innate ability to read and write. I'm sure he could fly and had x-ray vision as well.

w00t! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429596)

child of frist ps0t

Technically... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429282)

Technically they're right. We are not a democracy, we are a republic. Their reasons for doing this may be wrong, but I agree with the overall outcome.

P.S. Registered Democrat speaking here.

Re:Technically... (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429454)

No, they're not right. We are a representative democracy or a democratic republic. As in we have a representative government, but we vote for the representatives. A nation as large as the US does not function with direct democracy. There's just way too many issues for everybody to vote on everything the way that they do in some smaller countries.

Re:Technically... (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429564)

>>>We are a representative democracy

No.
A Democracy is run by a simple 51% majority.. i.e. no laws but simple 51-49 votes by the legislature..... which means there are no laws to protect your individual rights. (If you're still not understanding, see Ancient Athens and how the Demos killed Socrates, because he exercised free speech, and they didn't like his opinion, so the majority voted to kill him.)

>>>or a democratic republic

Correct.
.

Re:Technically... (-1, Troll)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429582)

A Democracy is run by a simple 51% majority.. i.e. no laws but simple 51-49 votes by the legislature..... which means there are no laws to protect your individual rights. (If you're still not understanding, see Ancient Athens and how the Demos killed Socrates, because he exercised free speech, and they didn't like his opinion, so the majority voted to kill him.)

Hey Commode64 -

stop talking and stop demoing how mind-frakingly stupid you are. You know nothing

Re:Technically... (4, Insightful)

wilgibson (933961) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429574)

The U.S.A. is a Federal Republic.

Re:Technically... (4, Interesting)

nharmon (97591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429630)

No, we are not a representative democracy. In a representative democracy majority rules all at all times. We do not have that by virtue of our constitution, making us a constitutional republic.

No... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429506)

We are a Representative Democracy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representative_democracy

Democracy = People vote on what to do
Representative = We vote to put people in Congress to vote for us

Re:No... (2)

nharmon (97591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429570)

Since you cite Wikipedia, then you share my confidence in its reliability for things like Slashdot debates. Therefore you should concede the point by looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States [wikipedia.org] and seeing that the United States is a Constitutional Republic, not a "Representative Democracy".

Re:Technically... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429638)

And names have nothing to do with it, anyway.

Sir Richard Wharton: Its full name is "The Peoples' Democratic Republic of East Yemen."

Sir Humphrey: Ah, I see, so it's a communist dictatorship.

From Yes, Minister episode A Victory for Democracy.

Re:Technically... (2, Insightful)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429652)

Are they also going to teach about those other great republics .. the People's Republic of China (PRC), Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the German Democratic Republic (DDR), and the Islamic Republic?

Or are they only going to teach kids that USA==republic, and forget the inconvenient republics?

Obviously (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429286)

I've been saying the same thing for a long time... Just look at the electorate system, etc... Obviously not a democracy in any useful meaning of the word.

editorialize much? (5, Informative)

X_Bones (93097) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429308)

because a "Democracy" would have "Democrat" in it.

This is completely unsupported by the linked article. Either include the proper links to back up your statements, or stop editorializing in your submissions.

Re:editorialize much? (2)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429470)

Welcome to the new Slashdot. Sadly I think Encyclopedia Dramatica is more right about "us" every day.

(And don't let my high UID fool anybody, I only registered for the 10th anniversary parties, but I was reading from year one.)

As a Utah resident. . . (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429520)

I was suprised to find that you are right about TFA.

Then. . .

But on Monday, Senate floor sponsor Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Eagle Mountain, said in some states children are being indoctrinated in socialism via some curriculum.

“This is happening at least in some places in our country, so I believe this is all the more important in this state, so that we can protect our children from such curriculum,” Madsen said.

Ah, yes. That's the stuff.

Re:editorialize much? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429538)

because a "Democracy" would have "Democrat" in it.

This is completely unsupported by the linked article. Either include the proper links to back up your statements, or stop editorializing in your submissions.

Bull, of course it does.

Re:editorialize much? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429656)

Your reply doesn't even parse correctly as a response to his statement.

Re:editorialize much? (1)

fifedrum (611338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429586)

this sort of flame baiting the subby engages in just annoys the shit out of me. Utah might be a tight-ass place to live, what with all the clean cut, non offending Mormons about, and I would never consider living without beer, but I can think of a whole pile of worse places to live. Like New York City, or maybe anywhere where the lovely other religious majorities slaughter non believers, like most of the rest of the planet.

Hell, the only complaint I can come up with against the LDS people is the whole subjugation of women thing, but that's hardly unique to them, and the vast majority of the time, the women can get away. It's not like the Mormon Mafia will track them down and honour-kill them.

Re:editorialize much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429590)

Well the actual purpose of it is to "protect our children" from "being indoctrinated in socialism via some curriculum" so it might not be THAT far off.

Re:editorialize much? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429658)

++1

Slashdot - news for nerds (peppered with biased asshole commentary)

More Accurate? (1, Insightful)

sjpadbury (169729) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429312)

We're going to ignore the fact that this is more accurate, as a democracy is where everyone makes every decision, which is impractical on any large scale, while a republic is where we elect people to make decisions for us.

Re:More Accurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429428)

For a bit more precision, I've heard it as a Constitutional Republic.

Re:More Accurate? (2)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429464)

School children even recite it every day. "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands..."

Re:More Accurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429500)

Yeah and thats working out real well, NOT!

Re:More Accurate? (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429510)

It's not more accurate. We're a representative democracy otherwise known as a democratic republic. A republic does not suggest that you're voting on representation. It's equally valid to have a system like they did in Rome where the oldest citizens are automatically representing the people. Consequently, the term representative democracy is the term to use or democratic republic.

Re:More Accurate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429512)

Right, which would be true if we went with a required 100% quorum. Oh, and if we didn't have the Internet. Hmmmm, perhaps it is time to revisit being a real Democracy vs having liars and crooks represent us.

Re:More Accurate? (5, Informative)

chrb (1083577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429514)

a democracy is where everyone makes every decision

Wrong. What you're thinking of is direct democracy [wikipedia.org] . Contrast that with, say, representative democracy [wikipedia.org] .

Why start being correct now? (5, Funny)

EricWright (16803) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429318)

I mean, the USA IS a republic... a (supposedly) democratically elected republic, but a republic nonetheless. Maybe we should leave the terms democratic and republic alone and rename the political parties. How about lazy jackasses and fat ugly elephants instead?

Re:Why start being correct now? (2)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429350)

Whigs and Tories.

Re:Why start being correct now? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429526)

That's true. The hard part is defining what a republic means. It more or less means not a monarchy or dictatorship. I think democracy became the shorthand for the US government, especially in the past where everything else was either a monarchy, dictatorship, or theocracy.

If we look at definitions of republic they usually describe a democracy. Regardless, like most modern governments, the US is a mixed government. You have:

Monarchy element: President/Executive branch
Aristocratic element: Senate
Democratic element: House
Judicial/Elders element: SCOTUS

Obviously, all these branches except SCOTUS are directly voted in by the people. This is also a feature a lot of republics don't have. Instead people vote in the lower houses and the rest get appointed by the higher levels.

That's because it IS a Republic (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429326)

Even the founders said so...
"AT THE CLOSE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution was bringing into existence. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

http://www.fff.org/freedom/1101b.asp

"Utopia" comment reminds me of "Raising Arizona" (1)

carusoj (1020935) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429328)

"I saw an old couple being visited by their children, and all their grandchildren too. The old couple weren't screwed up. And neither were their kids or their grandkids. And I don't know. You tell me. This whole dream, was it wishful thinking? Was I just fleeing reality like I know I'm liable to do? But me and Ed, we can be good too. And it seemed real. It seemed like us and it seemed like, well, our home. If not Arizona, then a land not too far away. Where all parents are strong and wise and capable and all children are happy and beloved. I don't know. Maybe it was Utah. "

Not a Republic? (1)

Mage66 (732291) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429334)

Since the U.S. is indeed a Representative Republic and not a Democracy (which the founders despised), why is this an issue. I thought schools were supposed to teach facts?

Re:Not a Republic? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429404)

Only in Canada. Come on over, we've got (good) beer and educated (and slimmer) women.

Re:Not a Republic? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429534)

Since the U.S. is indeed a Representative Republic and not a Democracy (which the founders despised), why is this an issue.

I thought schools were supposed to teach facts?

You fail political science forever.

"Democracy" is not, despite what James Madison alleged, synonymous with "one-person-one-vote-simple-majority-mob-rule." In fact, it is almost impossible to have a functioning republic without democracy. A republic without democracy is typically a front for a dictator who claims he's acting in the people's interest.

Fighting about the meaning of "Democracy" and "Republicanism" is like fighting over "Linux" vs "GNU/Linux."

Oh, wait. Nevermind.

Re:Not a Republic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429642)

Well, "Republic" is from the Latin "Res Publica", which, roughly translated, is "The Public Thing".

So, we could do that... or we could just agree as we have for hundreds of years that a Republic is one in which the power is vested in representatives, who may or may not be voted upon by constituents.

Re:Not a Republic? (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429610)

Which is why you'll never find anybody teaching that we're a representative republic. We're a representative democracy, we have elected officials that vote for us, which is typically what they mean by representative democracy rather that being a republic. It's also why a lot of people refer to the US as a democracy because we are a type of democracy, even if not always directly. And despite what the founding fathers thought, the constitution ended up forming a representative democracy, which to be fair to them didn't really exist at the time. Representative democracy [wikipedia.org]

"There are bigger issues to tackle" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429336)

That is the most frequently abused red herring.

People can work on more than one issue at a time; in fact, it's the only way things ever get finished.

Re:"There are bigger issues to tackle" (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429636)

They can, but when it's some sort of bullshit like this which the legislature shouldn't be doing at all, the resources should be spent elsewhere. Just because you can do more than one thing at a time, doesn't mean that wasting time on stupid things like this isn't harmful.

Republic (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429338)

Yes, and for centuries the Jedi defended the Republic. That was before the dark times.

Well, they are right. (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429342)

The reasons behind it may be corrupt, but the United States is actually a republic, not a democracy.

"Congratulations gentlemen, you have a republic, if you can keep it"
      -Benjamin Franklin,

at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787

Re:Well, they are right. (1)

mikeken (907710) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429524)

How are the reasons behind it corrupt?

Re:Well, they are right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429612)

The reasons behind it may be corrupt, but the United States is actually a republic, not a democracy.

"Congratulations gentlemen, you have a republic, if you can keep it"

      -Benjamin Franklin,

at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787

A republic is a nation with a chief of state who is not a monarch.

A democracy is a nation in which citizens exert control over decisions, either directly or through representatives.

We are definitely a republic. We are definitely a democracy. A democracy is a subset of a republic.

Wasn't long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429640)

And it wasn't long before they lost it. That is, unless you actually believe that the exponential growth of the US government -- both in terms of revenue and power over the people -- was something the common man campaigned for rather than career politicians who make their fortunes in the business of government.

Democracy is... (4, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429348)

... 3 wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner.

There is nothing inherently good about a democracy, nor anything inherently bad about even a dictatorship. The moral judgment comes from the actual actions of the members of government in either system. The US is absolutely a constitutional republic with representative democracy - an attempt to avoid the common problems of both mob rule and dictatorships.

Re:Democracy is... (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429616)

Democracy is a horrible form of government, but its the best we have. :)

Wrong, and wrong. (1)

masterz (143854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429352)

1) They're right, we are a republic.
2) At no point does the article say anything about not liking the word "Democrat."

Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429354)

So many stupid Americans running around talking about American Democracy, even these so called college educated professionals in the news media. How can you expect anyone to take you seriously when you either A) Are so stupid you don't know your country is actually a Republic or B) Are so evil that you will sit on TV in front of millions of people and outright LIE. Learn it people, and the next time you want to connect America with Democracy remember this is a REPUBLIC!

How did this greenlight? (1)

T5 (308759) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429358)

Has /. become so political as to stoop to this level? This isn't Digg. This isn't $POLITICALBLOGSITE.

Right answer--wrong reason (1)

Remloc (1165839) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429370)

We are not a Democracy. We are a Representative Republic. The vote of someone in Montana (less populous state) counts more than mine in Texas, since Electoral College votes are allotted per x citizens, plus 2 more per state, no matter it's population

This was not about accuracy. (1)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429372)

From the article:

"But on Monday, Senate floor sponsor Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Eagle Mountain, said in some states children are being indoctrinated in socialism via some curriculum.

“This is happening at least in some places in our country, so I believe this is all the more important in this state, so that we can protect our children from such curriculum,” Madsen said."

We are NOT a democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429380)

We are a Representitive Republic. See Articles I and II of the Constitution. Didn't anyone take a civics or government course in high school?

Representative Republic (3, Insightful)

queen of everything (695105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429382)

We are a representative republic which means that we elect representatives to make decisions on our behalf. A true democracy would have the populous vote on every decision the government makes which is far beyond manageable. I don't think Utah is doing this because of the word "democrat" or the word "republican" but instead to teach our children a better understanding of how our government is truly configured. Take the partisanship out of it and it's an accurate and important detail.

Re:Representative Republic (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429624)

no... if you read the comments by the primary sponsor in the article, you'll see that he's "protecting" the children from "socialism".... it's 100% about politics, not about truly educating children.

Communities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429384)

Next we can ban gated communities because they are filled with communism.

So, this is news because it's true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429386)

The USA is a Republic, not a Democracy. The people of the USA have democratic rights, but the people of the USA do not directly vote for who is in power. Rather, they vote for someone who they hope will vote the way they want him to (The Electorate). I'm not even American (but I do live in America's hat) and I knew this.

What's next, schools not bothering to teach that Canada is (just barely) a Monarchy?

I have to agree, though, if the reason that Utah is doing this is due to some sort of democrat hate, the reason is stupid. Fortunately, the consequences of the faulty reasoning are actually good, this time.

Someone has to say it... (1)

TheRedDuke (1734262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429396)

This is neither news for nerds nor anything that matters.

At 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429400)

Teaching facts in America, it's news.

Excuse my ignorance... (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429402)

Please excuse my ignorance, I'm from the EU, but I thought the US was a republic? At least that is what Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook claim.

Also, what does this have to do with "unemployment, finance and social service?" Are state government unable to pass any law when those things are outside a certain threshold?

Re:Excuse my ignorance... (1)

memnock (466995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429560)

I might be missing a sarcastic point here, but I'm assuming your inquiry was sincere. The OP was trying to make the point that state government has screwed up priorities by worrying about the political ramifications of curriculum instead of more worthwhile issues.

fake 'weather', sky spirals causing tunnel vision? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429410)

yet another topic for the hearings? sounds insane? mostly mental eye gas?

And here I thought we were.. (1)

TechJones (781168) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429414)

Hmm and all this time I thought we actually were a Republic.. The pledge of allegiance even says so (note the to the republic part): "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Seems like a Valid Argument (1)

Nailer235 (1822054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429418)

The words 'democracy' and 'democrat' and nearly identical. On the other hand, only 1/2 of the words in "Constitutional Republic" are nearly-identical to a political party. 1/2 1. Argument settled.

Mod story "-1: Missed oportunity for pun-age" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429420)

The good news must be that all issues of unemployment, finance and social service must be resolved in Utah for their legislature to spend time on this. It must be a Utahpia!

The issue at hand (3, Insightful)

dogknat (1546787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429424)

Any time somone in the world feels slighted even when its made up. That person in is by human nature determined to lash out and do whatever is necessary to destroy the validity of the argument at hand. The fact of the matter is the United States is a republic all of our founding documents say so. God sakes can you imagine what a pain being a true democracy would be imagine if everyone had to vote on every law.... we would have the shortest set of law books on the planet because no one would agree on anything except no taxes and free government services.

Re:The issue at hand (2)

mikeken (907710) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429620)

Idk, I think their would be a lot of laws passed; However, they would be constantly changing. Mob rule would be fun to watch, as long as it wasn't my country.

Excuse me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429426)

I was looking for Slashdot, but seem to have wandered into the Huffington Post.

Utah is correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429430)

You should read some recent SCOTUS ruling on mixing up definitions, e.g. 'person', and 'personal' before conflating 'democrat' and 'democracy' in a misguided attempt to conjure conservative bogeymen.

Utah is right. The United States of America is a republic ("the republic for which it stands" - remember your pledge?). Our founders were well aware of the distinct and important differences between a republic and direct democracy, and they chose republic. Nice to see an educational institution concerned with, you know, accuracy.

Sumary just a *teeny* bit biassed (5, Informative)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429432)

From TFA:

HB220 would require schools to teach students that the U.S. is a compound constitutional republic and about other forms of government such as pure democracy, monarchy and oligarchy along with political philosophies and economic systems such as socialism, individualism and free-market capitalism.

Is it just me, or does that sound a just a little bit more defensible than the spin in the summary?

Democracy? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429458)

The comment 'because a "Democracy" would have "Democrat" in it.' is not supported by the article.

Also, the legislators are correct: The U.S. is a representative democracy at best, only touching on true democracy during the rare referendum. The issue, as reported by the article, is that educators think that as they're already teaching the differences between different forms of government, that the law would merely make it harder to do their jobs. ...I don't suppose the entire article here can be down-modded?

in a galaxy far, far away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429460)

is it just me? Just put "random" country names instead of galactic republic, trade federation, naboo, etc. ;)

                              Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of
                              trade routes to outlaying star systems is in dispute. Hoping
                              to resolve the matter with a blockade of deadly battleships,
                              the greedy Trade Federation has stopped all shipping to the
                              small planet of Naboo.

                              While the congress of the Republic endlessly debates this
                              alarming chain of events, the Supreme Chancellor has secretly
                              dispatched two Jedi Knights, the guardians of peace and
                              justice in the galaxy, to settle the conflict.....

May I correct your English? (1, Offtopic)

MaX_3nTrOpY (629785) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429462)

As English is not my native language, may I correct you English? :-)
It must be an utopia!

The rule of the people is a public matter (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429466)

The rule of the people is a public matter

You read their minds? (1)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429474)

Because nowhere in the article does it say anything about "Democrat". "HB220 would require schools to teach students that the U.S. is a compound constitutional republic and about other forms of government such as pure democracy, monarchy and oligarchy along with political philosophies and economic systems such as socialism, individualism and free-market capitalism. The Senate passed the bill with no dissenting votes Monday. " So 7 democratic senators from the state agreed. This says a lot more about 0ryan than Utah!

a little education.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429476)

a Republic is different than a Democracy. In a Republic, The People elect a few people to vote on bills. In a Democracy, The People vote directly.

Or perhaps because, I don't know, IT'S TRUE! (1)

Daimaou (97573) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429480)

It couldn't be that Utah chose to teach that the U.S. is a republic because it IS. No, it has to be because the word "democracy" looks like the word "democrat." Those wacky conservatives! Always teaching truth for the wrong reasons!

But the United states is a Republic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429484)

The founding fathers together with every major political philosopher at the time (18th century) were all very careful to distinguish between a democracy and the preferred form of a government which was a republic. A democracy is a form of government wherein laws and policy are wholly legitimized by popular consent; however the problem with this is that, when no limits are placed on the majority, a tyranny of the majority would result. A republic is like a democracy, but were the power of the people is limited by a Constitution, bill of rights and a system of representative government. You can take a look at the federalist papers which was a treaties written in part by James Madison in an attempt to argue for the current American system of government. In sort, you do not actually live in a democracy in the proper sense of the word

In related news that matters, very much... (3, Informative)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429496)

.. and just as important, and relevant to Slashdot readers, if not more so..

The governor signed a bill to limit access to government records [sltrib.com] ...

Now, I really don't give a shit what happens in Utah, but we should demand that all their representatives are removed from all national committees in Congress. His name is unmentionable..

And to the republic for which it stands (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429502)

I've been calling the USA a republic since I was about 5 years old. It *is* a line in the Pledge of Allegiance, you know...

Completely off topic (2)

MonsterTrimble (1205334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429504)

The good news must be that all issues of unemployment, finance and social service must be resolved in Utah for their legislature to spend time on this. It must be a utopia!

I searched for the 'like' button when I read that. I haven't had enough coffee yet.

YRO (1)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429508)

Firstly, the US is a republic, so what's the issue? Secondly, why the fuck is this in YRO, as this decision affects us online in absolutely no way whatsoever? Doesn't Slashdot have a politics tag?

Hmm... (1)

SethThresher (1958152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429516)

Let's see, how does it go again?

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of American, and to the... ah yes, Republic for which it stands...

Oh, I've long argued that... (2)

epp_b (944299) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429518)

...the US is not a democracy.

This would cut into standardized test time... (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429536)

But maybe we could consider going out on a limb here and teaching the kiddies about systems of government rather than telling them to memorize the correct label(Which, unless you are cynical enough to say "Plutocratic empire with democratic republican ceremonial elements", is "Republic).

Hey Kids! Athens was a "Democracy". Rome, pre empire, was a "Republic"; both looked absolutely fuck-all like our government. How can this be? Let's talk about the differences between a "Republic" and a "Democracy" and what sorts of variations are possible within the broad heading of each... We may have to skip cramming names and dates for a week; but I think you'll learn something...

And hey, while we are at it, let's remember to mention that(depending on which historians you talk to), there have been at least five reasonably distinct periods during which different political parties, with different names(in some cases quite confusing, since they are the same as today's; but mean different things) vied for control... Raise your hands everyone who knows that the Democrats used to be the southern conservative party, and the Republicans the northern liberals? And that there was a "Democractic-Republican" party, (arguably the one whose name actually corresponded most closely with our governmental form), that hasn't existed in almost 200 years?

What a troll (-1, Offtopic)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429540)

The good news must be that all issues of unemployment, finance and social service must be resolved in Utah for their legislature to spend time on this. It must be a utopia!

Yeah, and Obama wants to put $50B into high speed trains when:

1) He not only didn't get Bush's spending under control, but increased it.
2) He knows damn well that the American public has no broad interest in high speed trains (thus it would be Amtrak 2.0, at best).

This diversion at least doesn't add insult to injury by costing a ton of money Utah doesn't have and should take a committee in the legislature all of about half an hour to push out the appropriate language for a general vote.

A Republic, For Whom Does It Stand? (2)

vajrabum (688509) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429554)

The definition of republic from Wikipedia is: A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, retain supreme control over the government.[1][2] The term is generally also understood to describe a government where most decisions are made with reference to established laws, rather than the discretion of a head of state, and therefore monarchy is today generally considered to be incompatible with being a republic. I think that people who say this are interested in changing from universal suffrage to "some significant portion of them". The same sort of people who spout this sort of stuff will often be heard to say that things were better when only those who owned land could vote. That is the presupposition hidden in this meme--disenfranchisement. Since we're quickly moving to a society where the minorities are a majority and where only the bankers and a few rich (white) people own land, this is simply advocating a new form of apartheid through the back door. For those of you who find liberal or Democrat a dirty word, be aware that college students can guess party affiliation from a head shot 80% of the time. That means that liberal and conservative reflect basic personality traits, and it takes all kinds.

Gotta hand it to the neo-cons (0)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429594)

they sure did a number on both the words "democrat" and "liberal" when dubya 'won' his elections. Most effective demonetization of any idea or word since... ummm... scare tactics... scare tactics... lets see... I'm thinking Anslinger and his war on marijuana, is the first thing that comes to mind. Does anyone have anything more recent? I mean, that's the 1930's we're talking about... give or take a few years I believe.

The US is a republic & a representative democr (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429606)

The US is a republic. It is not a full democracy, though it does espouse many democratic principles. At best, it is a representative democracy, which history tells us was the intention of the framers.

Most of the founding fathers did not trust pure democracy (i.e., rule by the direct vote of the people), because they knew that public opinion could be fickle. While elected officials were instituted to represent their constituents, they were also considered a check/balance on the ebb and flow of public opinion: elected officials are duty bound to protect the Constitution and the Republic ahead of their duty to enact the will of the people. Where those two duties are in conflict, elected officials should act in a manner that aligns with their first duty.

The electoral college system is another example of how the founders intended a reasoned people to be able to intervene apart from the direct vote. Sadly, the electoral college is now a bastardization of its original intent, with separate groups of partisan electors selected to serve depending on which candidate wins, rather than an independent body that was intended to ratify--or void--the popular vote. There have been times in history when electors have voted for candidates other than those that won the popular vote, and I believe the founders intended that to be part of the game.

Read some of the comments in TFA (2)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429608)

I'd say that maybe clarifying the difference between a pure democracy and a republic for students isn't such a bad idea, although I do suspect that there's more to this behind the scenes than TFA states outright.

As a geek (1, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429634)

I am pleased they are going to actually educate children using correct language. Words HAVE MEANINGS or at least they should.

Seriously? Could the summary be any more biased? (0)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35429646)

No where, NO WHERE in the article does it say anything about the law being passed because of the word 'Democrat'.

When the fuck did CmdrTaco and Slashdot turn into a FUD spreading cess pool? And WHY did it? Why not just allow any random post to go straight to the front page since no one is bothering to verify anything about whats submitted?

Time to spend my browsing time elsewhere, I suspect I'm not the first and I'm certain I won't be the last to ditch slashdot and leave it to the angsty teenagers to warp statements into sensationalizing lies.

Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35429648)

Now, if they could only figure out how magnets work.

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