Saturday, May 12, 2007

On the Power of Capitalization

democrat - an advocate of a democratic form of government

Democrat - a member of the Democratic Party

republican - an advocate of a republican form of government

Republican - a member of the Republican Party

It is interesting to see these terms defined. After all, Democrats are not always democrats, and Republicans are not always republicans. For instance, Democrats are democrats in that they believe in the inherent equality of all people, but they are not democrats in that they think, for instance, that the Supreme Court should have the power to act contrary to the will of the public. At the same time, however, Republicans often complain that government is too distant (which republicanism seems to endorse), wishing that the will of the majority should become law (which is not inherently un-republican, but it certainly seems more pro-democratic). So, we often see Republicans arguing for democracy and Democrats arguing for republicanism (or perhaps elitism would be more accurate).

I wonder how many Republicans even know what it means to be a republican and how many Democrats know what it means to be a democrat.

Me? I think I'm an elitist Democrat. Or something along those lines. I tend not to trust the will of "the many."

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