A Representative Republic Beats Pure Democracy

email Email

The UK’s Brexit vote should remind Americans of the advantages of a representative republic over a pure democracy. The close vote to leave the European Union has already damaged the life savings and pension plans of millions who didn’t vote for it—while a switch of just 2 percent of the electorate would have changed the fateful outcome.

In a representative system, legislators take into account not only the will of majorities, but the passion of minorities who care most and (often) know most about an issue. For instance, though polling shows overall majorities favor fire-arm restrictions, the gun-owning minority can exert enough influence to protect the Second Amendment. Majorities might favor confiscatory tax rates on the super-wealthy, but economists and corporate planners convince legislators that such policies would stunt growth and cost jobs.

By-passing representative institutions and putting crucial questions to a direct vote of the people where even slim majorities prevail can produce dubious—and potentially dangerous—outcomes.

email Email

Comments (19)

Leave a comment
  1. Nani  •  Jun 28, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Regarding gun controlling majorities; I question that. While many live in cities, the vast majority live in rural areas where guns are a necessity. The problem is that it is in the cities there are those who can push propaganda and they will have you believe that gun ownership is favored by the minority.

    Most people DO get that guns are the equalizer and the difference between being a dead victim and a responsible survivor.

  2. Jim Bird  •  Jun 29, 2016 at 10:48 am


  3. Bill  •  Jun 29, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    I'd much prefer an elected autocracy with an independent judiciary and no mandatory arbitration agreements(Americans wouldn't you like to be able to sue your bank?).
    American "republicanism" is a gulf Arab owned petrodollar scam
    Here's former MS GOV Haley Barbers Gulf ARab influence peddling scam

  4. Jim Bird  •  Jun 30, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Michael's Mythes –
    1) America is a representative republic – Obama down-graded the dollar for the first time in U.S. history devastating the EU economy. I was in London the day it was official and left one day before the cradle-to-grave Brits on welfare started rioting in terrorist neighborhoods. One year later I'm in Italy when John Roberts destroyed our healthcare system – Euros are asking we Americanos "….. how can the U.S. be that stupid!" We hear horror story after horror story about Euro healthcare.
    Michael's worried about the UK taking a hit in their pension plans but tells his listeners to be happy warriors "you're better off than your grandparents." America's life savings, pension plans, income, jobs took at least a 20% hit AND it is getting worse even though unemployment is zero now according to Obama. Welfare roles and poverty has doubled under Obama and Killary has promised to "double down" on the Presidents' atrocities. Michael says "President Obama loves America and is doing his very best to do what he thinks is good for America." That stunning statement is beyond my comprehension and cannot be measured on any scale of which I am aware.
    2) Yesterday, Michael states that American manufacturing is higher today than 10 years ago. That may be true compared to 10 years ago but not 15 or 20 years ago. Michael signed a book for me once "The Four Big Lies About American Business." Unfortunately Michael did not do his research on the Manufacturing Lie, that being, the government figures indicate manufacturing is ever-increasing but automation is replacing human labor. Here's my first hand experience with this myth. I rep'ed (one of many distributors worldwide) a fairly large corporation, a high tech manufacturer of industrial products. They had 47 manufacturing plants within 25 miles of Cleveland, Ohio and of course, these plants had several thousand vendors supplying them with specialty machined parts and all the other services all businesses rely on.
    These plants were extremely highly automated. In the early 2000's they moved 99% of their manufacturing to China and kept ONE 200,000 square foot building to ASSEMBLE parts in that are shipped-in daily. This represents a minimum of 20,000 high paid jobs lost and the ripple down effect to the communities they were in were devastating to their pension plans too. HERE'S THE KICKER: According to government stats, they still MANUFACTURE MORE TODAY THAN THEY DID 15 YEARS AGO – WHY? Because of automation? No, they have more employees today – 99% in China. THOSE DAILY PRODUCT SHIPMENTS FROM CHINA ARE ASSEMBLED IN ONE BUILDING IN CLEVELAND, MUCH OF WHICH IS AUTOMATED, BECAUSE THE AIRPLANES LAND IN FREE-TRADE ZONES A COUPLE OF MILES FROM THE PLANT. The government counts this as manufacturing – talk about a LIE! This plant re-ships all around the world from Cleveland.
    By 2005, 2-man machine shops (customers of mine) are filling green shipping containers and moving to China. They do the same manufacturing in China at less than 10% the overall cost, ships to their wives (the "assembly plant" in their garage) via a Free Trade Zone (Ontario, CA Airport) in Los Angeles and Orange County and as they say, "business is booming."
    I will never call Michael a liar, he's too nice of a person. I think his ends-justifies-the-means approach to his listeners, Machivellian if you will, constantly putting lipstick on the proverbial pig, so we will behave nicely with the thugs across the aisle, is disingenuous at best. I notice that Bill Benett has a daily 10-minute segment during Michael's show now espousing the benefits of conservatism, republicanism and capitalism. Do you think the GOP could've done something like this over the past 8 years. Nah, we would look bad, we are really scared of looking bad and we reallyhave no one who knows how to articulate conservative and constitutional principles.

    • Phil Ellis  •  Jul 6, 2016 at 12:45 am

      I too sell into industrial California and I hate to see the empty manufacturing centers.

  5. Jim Bird  •  Jul 1, 2016 at 11:42 am

    All of the disgusting old guy, establishment GOP cowards earned their exposed status on the trash heap of history as the cause for the destruction of the Republic. The new guys and gals in the Party of Lincoln, put there by a desperate electorate in 3 consecutive election cycles, will stand as shining Beacons of Light against Socialism and all it's hideous deadly manifestations.

  6. JG  •  Jul 1, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Markets are already recovering. The Brexit vote was not a financial vote but one for liberty from an unelected tyranny. Referenda are the safety valve against revolution when the elected representatives and political elite don't listen. "By-passing representative institutions and putting crucial questions to a direct vote of the people where even slim majorities prevail can produce dubious—and potentially dangerous—outcomes." I guess that means we need to get rid of the direct election of the President and Senate.

    • Jim Bird  •  Jul 5, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      Dateline: Washinton DC, Killary exonerated by FBI of all crimes against humanity.

      The next time that I commit crimes, my defense will be: I DID NOT INTEND to kill thousands of people by having my server read by terrorist nations for 6 years. And I DID NOT INTEND to rack up over 30,000 felonies either, even though I knew it was against the law, by having my server read. And I DID NOT INTEND to not help those Benghasi folks who I refused to help for 13 hours. After all, the Election was only a month away.
      Michael, James Comey is above reproach. Did someone stick a gun to his head?

      • Dan  •  Jul 6, 2016 at 1:05 pm

        Jim, calm down buddy. There is no evidence that her server was accessed by anyone other than her. She most certainly did not rack up 30,000 felonies. There was also a multi-year investigation that found her not guilty of anything in the handling of Benghazi. At least you could spell Benghazi correctly in your incoherent rant, eh?

  7. Gregd01  •  Jul 1, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Regarding gun rights, Meet The Press had a segment just last weekend showing a poll taken recently and juxtaposed it against the same poll given many years ago. It seems gun control is even less favorable now than it was then with the great fear being more along the lines of government going too far instead of not far enough.

  8. Barbara Wilson  •  Jul 2, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Scotland voted to leave the UK recently, but the vote failed, by a small margin. Scotland will vote to leave again and again, until they are successful. Note: The Scottish vote was a pretty hefty percentage of the "Remain" vote. Nearly all of England voted OUT, except London, which has a huge foreign population. Those who love and want to be a part of the UK voted overwhelmingly in favor of Brexit.

    The young people are upset because they like to live and work unrestricted throughout Europe. They may not be able to work wherever they want, but surely that is a small price to pay to get away from the unelected tyranny of Brussels. Young people will still be able to travel around Europe as they always have.

    Is what has happened in the past eight years in this country an example of a "better" system? Obama runs roughshod over the Constitution, with no one to stop him because they don't dare. The government picks and chooses the laws it wants to uphold, sanctuary cities, for example. Politicians such as The Clintons are a law unto themselves.

    I have listened to you for years Michael, but this is one time when I could not disagree with you more.

  9. Journey For Truth  •  Jul 2, 2016 at 8:51 am

    That's why you need to educate the public when you ask them to vote. Papers need to report the issues, government need to have press releases and make statements. People need to be educated and read to make critical decisions.

  10. Kenneth Nichols  •  Jul 2, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Stunning. I don't even know what to say. Mr. Medved has left the concept of self-governance in his past, and returns to his Leftist, "we know what's best for you" origins. |

    I suspected it during the McCain campaign, scented it during the Romney rout. KTTH will receive a missive from me that they should up their weight load capacity; they're carrying RINOs. 😉

    Mike is a good man, and I disagree with him.

  11. Clay Kemper  •  Jul 3, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Radio programs, however, are a direct democracy. High listenership, (I.e. high vote count) translate to high revenues and success on-the-air.

    Mexit (Medved Exit) would look like a mass departure and possible cessation of broadcasting. No proxy voting.

    Yes, representative government is better, but it only works when there are effective representatives, including the President.

    Obama, in his alternate universe, gives himself an A-. Our members of Congress continually overrate themselves. So, they eventually retire or get voted out. The other option, the people leaving, or Credit, is undesirable, potentially harmful, but a last resort drastic action, that may prove effective.

  12. Michael Nible  •  Jul 5, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Democracy is great when the vote can be manipulated by those that love the U S Chamber of Commerce. When big money and marketing fails, what have we left? The damn stupid Americans, the same ones we fight our wars with and peddle our lies about Wall Street to. Yes, mixing AAA with CCC and junk paper got many on Wall Street rich and gee whiz no prosecutions. Isn't America wonderful….when the PR works. No do not vote third party it is a wasted vote, join the Republican Party and change from within! hypocrite! Well I feel a little better.

    • Nani  •  Jul 5, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Michael, yeah, you better believe America IS wonderful. I have a Brit colleague who joked about us leaving the mother country and I told him the Fourth REALLY is something to celebrate because for all her faults, there isn't any place on earth that's better. Sorry, but on 9/11, I finally got that. Before then I was just a working person who didn't care who ran what or who made which promises. My life revolved around church, family, work and play. My life was good. 9/11 taught me that all that can be taken away in a blink of an eye by people I don't know and who don't care what I think.

      In the days that followed, I was awfully glad we had a kick butt military and heroic cops, firemen, EM people. Most of all, I was GRATEFUL to be an American.

      So yeah, this IS the most wonderful country in the world and I'll stand up and tell anyone who says differently.

  13. Jim Bird  •  Jul 7, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    She scrubbed 30, 000 of her emails and "scrambled" another 34,000, from which investigators could save about a hundred felonies. Comey's findings, we find out today, DID NOT EVEN INCLUDE the FBI investigating her purgory crimes. Comey chose only "gross negligence" crimes, also felonies, in his investigation. This is like investigating stealing candy bars from a grocery store when the crimes are for serial Homocides. Comey was bought-off or threatened by the Clintinistas (just another one of hundreds) and, in his initial statement and today, Comey stated these are high crimes but doesn't think they are worth pursuing. Comey should be fired or arrested for picking and choosing what evidence to investigate which is clearly a crime too since he ignored the committee's instructions. By the way, tell Mr. Sorous, Hi for me; does he pay higher than minimum wage these days?

    • Jim Bird  •  Jul 7, 2016 at 3:22 pm

      By the way, having your private server read for four years by terrorists, has a negative effect, mainly death, to thousands of good guys on the battlefields in the Middle East.
      Coptic Christians, a 2000 year old civilization, have been undergoing a genocide by the misdeeds of Killary and Obama's "blunders of policy" or could one call it crimes against humanity or obviously "crimes unworthy of pursuing" because they it would be too hard to prosecute. You or I would get 50 life sentences or possibly a capital punishment for doing one-trillionth what she has done and will continue to do.

      • Jim Bird  •  Jul 8, 2016 at 12:19 am

        One last thing Daniel, why are 100% of the Benghazi records sealed for 50 years if she is so crystal clean?

Tell Us What You Think

All fields required. The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. By using this website you agree to accept our Terms of Use.


Listen Commercial FREE  |  On-Demand
Login Join
Advertise with us Advertisement

Follow Michael

The Michael Medved Show - Mobile App

Download from App Store Get it on Google play
Listen to the show on your amazon echo devices
Michael Medved's History Store Also available on TuneIn