The US is a democratic republic. All a republic is is a government without a monarch. Technically speaking the USSR was a Republic, even if it obviously wasn’t a democracy. We are a Republic with Democratically-elected leaders.
The United States of America according to the constitution of the United States of America is a republic, and not a democracy: there is no word democracy in the US constitution, read for yourself.
What is a republic? In political theory the republic [lat. rex publica or the commonwealth] entails the harmonic combination and balancing of three political elements, discovered by Plato – people, aristocracy and king (in contrast with modern democracy where the role of the people is nominally increased, but de facto limited), which is achieved through republican principles:
- the principle of federalism – organization of the state as a federal republic, that includes regions and districts as its parts;
- the principle of defined rights – all state rights are defined and enumerated in constitutions of the republic, regions and districts, and all rights that are not enumerated in the constitutions belong to citizens;
- the principle of electoral census – acquiring citizenship is not automatic, but subject to ethnic and religious qualifications, completion a one-year state military or civil service, passing a citizenship exam on state language, state-forming people history, government system of the state as citizenship conditions;
- the principle of checks and balances – while the primacy of the legislative branch is formally acknowledged (and president or governor does not hold a veto power in relation to the laws of legislature), the state powers are divided vertically and horizontally, so that different state bodies check, balance and control each other (in contrast with modern democracy, where equality of state powers is formally acknowledged, while de facto the role of executive branch is increased), the recall of every state official by simple majority of citizens, two-term limit for every state position to which a citizen can be elected or appointed, non-direct election of the president (elected by the electoral college in conformity with the people’s will expressed in a prior referendum on the candidates), non-direct election of the higher chamber of the legislature, senate (senators are elected by the lower-level assemblies);
- the principle of people’s representation - requiring the existence of two-chamber legislatures on republican, regional and district level, that represent the interests of citizens, direct submission of bills to legislatures on initiative of citizens, the supremacy of the legislative branch is formally acknowledged, specifically, president or governor does not hold a veto power in relation to the laws of legislature;
- the principle of permanently aligning interests - requiring the vote of a simple majority of legislators or citizens to elect executive officials, the vote of a qualified (2/3) majority of legislators to adopt laws, and the vote of a qualified (2/3) majority of citizens in a referendum in case of major state issues (something that the citizens of the U. S. and EU countries are currently denied);
- the principle of supremacy of people’s will – the will of a qualified (2/3) majority of citizens, expressed in the referendum, supersedes all other state legislation, any question proposed to be resolved in the referendum cannot be prevented to be resolved in the referendum;
- the principle of absolute of freedom of speech – the state bodies of the republic cannot impose any limitations on derivative-natural right to absolute freedom of speech that constitutes inalienable part of the dignity of man, neither sanction in any way written and spoken words of a man. Additionally, all state legislation contrary to the derivative -natural right to absolute freedom of speech is null and void and without legal force since the moment of adoption. In fact, the presence of any limitations of derivative-natural right to absolute freedom of speech or any sanctions in retaliation for using derivative-natural right to absolute freedom of speech in the legal system of the state always points out to desire of particular persons or small groups (elites) of the state vainly imagining themselves gods and falling below beasts to usurp state power, or the desire of the majority of citizens of the state vainly imagining themselves gods and falling below beasts to oppress, rob, and eventually eradicate prosperous but unpopular minorities, that as history demonstrates always leads to the destruction of the state and the destruction of the state-forming people;
- the principle of unity of judicial system – the creation of a unified system of common jurisdiction with all judges electable by majority vote or by lot or confirmed by majority vote, accessible to all citizens, voluntary jurisdiction of specialized courts in peacetime, autonomy of religious courts;
- the principle of absolute state sovereignty, supremacy in all cases of state legislation over foreign treaties and other legal norms of international law.
In modern conditions the republic is free and strong nation-state, which provides for fast economic development, respects the national and cultural traditions of the state-forming people and protects the political and economic rights of its citizens. The republic is based upon a proposition, that fundamental rights of the people are not and cannot be the result of some rational plan (“public agreement” in Rousseau’s terms), but are the result of a slow organic historical development by trials and errors, in terms of Edmund Burke. The republic rejects the haughty democratic doctrine of some “universal values”, further expressed in concepts of universal “human rights” and allegedly universal mechanism of “protection of human rights” – “modern democracy”. The “modern democracy” doctrine in turn serves to justify manipulations that global economic, social and ethnic elites undertake through mass media and the electoral process in order to stay in power in the developed countries and to meddle into the internal affairs of the developing countries to control and pillage their natural, financial and human resources for the benefit of the elites. In free and strong nation-state, the republic, every citizen can influence the political decision-making process or try to win elections, and no one asks him whether he is a democrat or not. Towards developing countries the republic establishes a common standard of judgment – the protection of fundamental rights (Life, Liberty, Property and the Pursuit of Happiness) of the people, who live there, and is looking whether the situation there is improving or not. If the situation is improving, as in Chile of General Pinochet, the republic protects such developing countries from the ventures of democratic thieves, who want to become rich at the expense of the population of developing countries under the guise of “protection of human rights” or “promotion of democracy”. In a republican view, the effective methods of protection of people’s rights are developed through slow organic development by trials and errors, while taking into account national and cultural traditions, and not created through some universal rational plan. While the fundamental people’s rights are absolute, the mechanism of their realization and protection depends on historically conditioned national and cultural peculiarities of each nation-state, and no state should impose its mechanism of protection (e.g. modern democracy) on the other state. As George Washington said: “Mind your own business, do not interfere into other people’s conflicts, the reasons of which you can never fully understand, lead by example of your behavior, not through force or fraud, develop business relationships with everyone who is ready to accept your friendship”. The important republican principles is also neutrality – renunciation of aggressive war; non-participation in international organizations, associations and unions, while at the same time being open to cooperation with all countries on strictly bi-lateral basis; supremacy of national legislation over international law.
I described republic in my article The republican cure or what is the republic available at https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/belcandidat/the-republican-cure-or-what-is-the-republic-t1429.html