Do You Still Want a Democratic Republic?- Part I

This is my first post of 2022. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and is staying as healthy and safe as possible. These next three posts will address issues of vital importance to the United States, and indeed the world.What will be said in these essays will anger some of you, and thrill others. My main goal is to cause conversation and engagement on these important issues. Thanks.

Do You Still Want a Democratic Republic?

Part I

Government Reform


John M. Lane

                                  As 2022 begins, the United States is wholly paralyzed, polarized, and is rapidly becoming ungovernable. For democracy to survive and thrive, in the United States, changes must be made to the country’s governing structures The current structures were built for a different age and time. It is time for daring, radical, but nonetheless, common sense change and reform.

                                The changes that are proposed in this essay will be vigorously opposed by the money and power interests who currently control the governing apparatus of the United States. These interests intend to do whatever they have to do to keep their financial and governmental power. The people must unite to save the democracy. Let’s begin.



                                  Let’s do a comparison. The House of Representatives was created by the Constitution as the body of Congress that would be closest to the people. These are the current numbers:

United States-

435 House Districts

Current population of the US: 333 million

Average population of a House district: 747,184 (Approximately)

In 1900 it was 74,486, in 1990 it was 572,000

Now, lets compare these numbers to the United Kingdom, the world’s other great democracy

650 Constituencies

Current population of the United Kingdom: 66 million

Average population of a House of Commons (Parliament) Constituency:

England: 71,700

Scotland: 66,800

Wales: 55,700

Northern Ireland: 65,900

                                 The reader can decide in which country a representative can be closer to the needs, desires, and wishes of the people they say they represent. To clarify, as we proceed, the current number of representatives in the United States is 435. That number was established in 1912. It has obviously not been changed since then. Well, you say, does not the Internet make it easier for US Representatives to stay in touch with constituents? Up to a point, it probably does. However, the Internet cannot account for the fact that the districts are still too big, with too many people in them.

                      The founders understood that the size of the legislature must meet the needs of the people:

                             “In Federalist No. 55James Madison argued that the size of the House of Representatives has to balance the ability of the body to legislate with the need for legislators to have a relationship close enough to the people to understand their local circumstances, that such representatives’ social class be low enough to sympathize with the feelings of the mass of the people, and that their power be diluted enough to limit their abuse of the public trust and interests.

…first, that so small a number of representatives will be an unsafe depositary of the public interests; secondly, that they will not possess a proper knowledge of the local circumstances of their numerous constituents; thirdly, that they will be taken from that class of citizens which will sympathize least with the feelings of the mass of the people, and be most likely to aim at a permanent elevation of the few on the depression of the many;”..


                         It should be clear, that for at least twenty years, probably longer, that the Congress (both houses) has lost the ability to legislate in the interest of most of the American population. The current state of Congress in general, and the House of Representatives in particular, is not a safe “depositary of the public interests.” It is riddled with interests whose main goal is the accumulation and maintenance of money and power. Because of gerrymandering, members no longer must care about what a substantial portion of the people in their over-populated and far-flung districts believe in or want. Their reelection is guaranteed, and in the end, that is all that matters. This is not what the founders meant by representation.

                          What is to be done? You will be told that nothing needs to be done, the current system is working and that any changes would be too radical. The “American people” would never accept such changes. Well, there is one way to find out.

                          The United States is the third most populous country in the world. The size of its national legislature does not reflect that fact. To be a truly representative body, The House of Representatives, for the first time since 1912, needs to be expanded. The expansion should be to 870 seats, doubling the size of the House. Each state’s congressional delegation would be doubled. The average population of a district would fall to approximately 380,000 people, with many districts being much smaller than that. This expansion would end gerrymandering and allow the people to have true representation. The House Chamber of the US Capitol building could easily be remodeled to accommodate 870 representatives. That would not be an issue. Well, won’t there be total chaos? It would not be any more chaotic than a normal meeting of the British House of Commons. What about committee assignments. The number of representatives on committees would not change. What would change is that the newest members would have to wait, possibly two years, to gain experience. In other words, they would be “back benchers”, junior members of the caucus, which they in fact are.  

                         To further ensure true representation and democracy, the following steps must also be taken. Term limits for both the House and the Senate must be enacted. House members should be limited to six two-year terms (12 years). In the Senate, senators would be limited to three six-year terms (18 years). No one has the right, or should have, a lifetime appointment to Congress. That is not what the Founders intended.

                        The main issue stopping or limiting reform is money. Money has totally corrupted the American political system and is on the verge of destroying the Democratic republic and the American experiment. That is not hyperbole, that is the truth. Let’s get to the point:

For House and Senate campaigns (and presidential campaigns), no “donation” over $500.00 is permitted.

All political actions committees, whose purpose is to raise money and/or lobby, from any organization are illegal.

All candidates will have access to free television commercial time.

No candidate can raise money outside of their state. Congressional/Senate elections are local. 


The Supreme Court

Article III.

Section. 1.

The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office. 

                              The Supreme Court is long overdue for reform. Congress has the power to change of the size of the court and reform it. This has already happened in American History. The size of the court has been changed nine times:

Judiciary Act of 1789 – 6

Judiciary Act of 1801 – 5

Judiciary Act of 1802 – 6

Judiciary Act of 1807 – 7

Judiciary Act of 1837 – 9 

Judiciary Act of 1863 – 10

Judiciary Act of 1866 – 7

Judiciary Act of 1867 – 8

Judiciary Act of 1869 – 9

                             For the sake of the democratic republic, the size of the court must be changed a tenth time. The size of the court should be increased from nine to fifteen justices. Like Congress, the Court needs to be relevant to ordinary Americans. Right now, it is not. It is more conscious of political ideology than it is to the Constitution and precedent. It has moved away from its foundation: the Common Law. The following reforms must be made, realizing that some of these will require changes to the Constitution, here they are: Increase the size of the court to fifteen justices. Nominees must be at least forty-five years old and no older than sixty when nominated. The term of all new justices will twenty-five years. After twenty-five years of service, they must retire. These terms would not apply to current justices. The people are rapidly losing faith in the Court as a fair and just interpreter of the Constitution and the Law. These new requirements will also apply to all Federal judges and magistrates throughout the Federal court system. Action must be taken sooner rather than later.


The Electoral College

                              The Electoral College was put into the Constitution to give the smaller states more power and influence as to how the country was run. It also was put into the Constitution out of fear of “the mob”, who might put a “tyrant” into office. Alexander Hamilton wanted a system where “a small number of persons, selected by their fellow citizens…” would select the President. When Americans vote for President in November, they are not voting for their candidate of choice, they are voting for electors, who will then vote in December to select the new President. The United States does not have a national presidential election. It has fifty separate state elections for electors who will then select the President.

                           Efforts continue to reform or eliminate the Electoral College. All are likely to fail, especially any attempt to amend the Constitution. The overwhelming majority of the smaller states would oppose any effort to change the Electoral College. The Electoral College, combined with the fact each state has two senators in the United States Senate, gives the smaller states enormous, out-sized power, to control and block policy initiatives supported by most of the American people, as well as selecting who will be President.

                            It is small wonder that many experts and citizens consider the Electoral College, the Senate, and the Supreme Court the most anti-democratic republic/democracy institutions in the United States. The only thing that would change the Electoral College would be that its size would increase due to changes proposed earlier for increasing the size of the House of Representatives.

                           The continued existence of the Electoral College will ensure that future elections will have candidates who lost the nation-wide popular vote and still become President. In the American system the only thing that matters is who gets the most electoral votes. There are prominent groups in the country who have no problem with candidates becoming President after losing the popular vote. There are many reasons for low voter turnout in American elections, especially Presidential elections: having elections on Tuesdays in November, instead of Saturday (or declaring election day a national holiday) is a prime reason. Another is the knowledge, that because of the Electoral College, a Republican vote in California and a Democratic vote in Kentucky are equally meaningless. There are forces in the country determined to keep it that way.

Photo by Blue Arauz on

Hamilton – Excerpt from Federalist Paper 68:

It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief.


Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804.

Note: A portion of Article II, section 1 of the Constitution was superseded by the 12th amendment.

The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; — the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President. –]* The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States. *Superseded by section 3 of the 20th amendment.

The Right to Vote


Passed by Congress February 26, 1869. Ratified February 3, 1870. 

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude–

Section 2.

The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.


Passed by Congress March 23, 1971. Ratified July 1, 1971.

Note: Amendment 14, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

Section 1.

The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

The Voting Right Act:  Source-from the National Constitution Center

“In August 1965, President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. The act contained language similar to the 15th Amendment (1870). It also required that areas of the country that had a history of discrimination receive pre-clearance of any voting-procedure changes from the federal government. The act has been renewed several times by Congress since 1975.

However, the 2013 Supreme Court decision of Shelby County v. Holder eliminated a critical part of the act’s preclearance formula for regions, saying it didn’t relate to current conditions in areas where discrimination was once rampant. But the decision noted that Congress had the power to establish a substitute formula if needed.”

                                     In the American federal system, the States control their own election apparatus. The States can pass laws and rules, if they are constitutional, as who votes, how, and where. Up until the past five years, suffrage (voting) was expanding to give more American citizens equal access to the ballot. Across the nation, that effort has come to a screeching halt. More and more, we hear that voting is a “privilege” not a “right”. Consequently, states are passing new laws making registration more difficult and voting more cumbersome to protect against “voter fraud”. Apparently “ballot stuffing” and the use of “phony ballots” is “epidemic”. In addition, cutting back on the ways citizens can vote and eliminating polling locations are among the many new methods of restricting the ballot. Making it more difficult for college students to vote where they attend school is an ingenious method of restricting the under “25 years old” vote. All this is being done despite the overwhelming evidence that American elections are the safest and fairest in the world, managed by county and state professionals from both parties, who take their patriotic duties seriously, as their staffing and funding are continuously cut.

  • “Rampant Voter Fraud” – The Brennan Center’s seminal report on this issue, The Truth About Voter Fraud, found that most reported incidents of voter fraud are traceable to other sources, such as clerical errors or bad data matching practices. The report reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud and found incident rates between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent. Given this tiny incident rate for voter impersonation fraud, it is more likely, the report noted, that an American “will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.” 

                                    Legal action is currently underway to challenge these efforts through the courts. New Voting Rights efforts are before Congress; however, they are being blocked. (See earlier part of this essay to see why and how.) These efforts may or may not be successful…

…The question remains, how much do you still want a Democratic republic?


The National Archives

National Constitution Center

History Central. Com

Brennan Center for Justice


Next: in Part II, the world-wide rise of Authoritarianism

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