I just have to get this off my chest: every time some right-wing nut starts getting all apoplectic about how the US is “not a democracy” with the implication that there must be some evil liberal agenda in calling it one, I want to slap them. Here’s the deal: when most people say that we’re a democracy they’re distinguishing it from systems such as monarchy where the people have no say in who governs – not making a technical distinction between systems in which people do have such a say. If they were to make such pedantic distinctions, they might well point out that a representative democracy (what we definitely have) is not the same as a republic (what the wingnuts always claim we have). Both are systems in which a limited number of people can vote on legislation, but in a representative democracy those people are elected and vote to represent those who elected them whereas in a true republic they are designated (e.g. by virtue of heredity, land ownership, etc.) and vote to represent only themselves. Anybody who points out that we’re not a democracy (by which they mean direct democracy) but fails to recognize that we’re not a republic either is just being an inconsistent jerk.