Way back in the days of the ancients, in the late 1960s/early 1970s, there was a radio program called Life Line that was broadcast daily on many stations in the U.S. The commentator was someone named Melvin Munn. Printed copies of these short Life Line "Freedom Talks" were also available. The fine print at the end of each "Freedom Talk" stated: LIFE LINE MATERIAL MAY BE REPRODUCED WITH OR WITHOUT CREDIT. The price was noted as 3 for 25¢, or a one-year subscription (a weekly mailing of 7 commentaries) for only $5.00. The staff of 101Bananas.com recently discovered a stash of old "Freedom Talks" in the back of a closet beneath a stack of very old Playboy magazines and decided to transcribe several of them for the web. Reading them today you can't help but be amazed they have only become more relevant over the past 50 years than they were when first broadcast.

Life Line Freedom Talk

A Daily Radio Commentary By
Life Line
Dallas, Texas 75206
August 19, 1970



       The United States of America is a republic. It is not a democracy. We cannot be a democracy unless we rewrite or abandon the Constitution or illegally function as a democracy by ignoring the Constitution.
       This entire Freedom Talk is devoted to defining a republic and a democracy. The difference is amazingly clear.
       Many of the greatest and the truest Americans alive today use the word democracy in defining our system as one that is subject to the will of the people. They are correct. But that is only a part of the definition of the word democracy, and there is real danger to a free nation when its people stop there.
       In our past we have had war slogans like make the world safe for democracy, as well as the war to end all wars. President Woodrow Wilson was a brilliant scholar and carefully drew the distinction between a republic form of government, which is the United States, and a democratic form of administrations.
       Harm is done when responsible, loyal, and completely trustworthy leaders and educators keep referring to the United States as a democracy. They unwittingly give undeserved dignity to any who would install totalitarian control through the device of a complete democracy—which can quickly become mob rule, followed by a dictatorship. As a result of an increasingly large number of anti-republic men and women in high places, the so-called official definitions of the words republic and democracy have been drastically altered, so much so that modern definitions make them appear quite similar.
       I chose a 1966 edition of Webster’s New World Dictionary of the English Language to illustrate this point. In that publication, democracy is defined: Government by the people, either directly or through elected representatives; rule by the ruled. Republic is defined as a state or nation in which the supreme power rests in all the citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives elected, directly or indirectly, by them and responsible to them.
       A casual reading of those two definitions would immediately raise the question, What is the difference? They both say that government or supreme power lies with the total population. They both say that this power of the people is exercised by representatives who are elected directly or indirectly. Democracy is defined as rule by the ruled, and republic says representatives are elected by them and responsible to them.
       This similarity clearly points up the manner in which prominent educators, philosophers, geopoliticians, and lexicographers have prostituted the definitions of these two words for the purpose of making them appear almost interchangeable.
       The word democracy does not appear anywhere in the Constitution or in any of the significant documents upon which this government was originally based. To the contrary, organizers of the United States of America very carefully and pointedly stressed that this was to be a Republic.
       Outside Philadelphia’s Constitution Hall someone in the crowd asked Benjamin Franklin: Sir, what has been done? What will we have? Franklin replied, We have given you a Republic, if you can keep it.
       In today’s raucous and often irresponsible atmosphere, enemies of the Republic are numerous and of widely variant kinds. Every clearly identified power play that involves immoral, if not illegal, mob tactics demanding that laws and rules be changed under their minority pressure constitutes a portion of our enemies of the Republic. The revolutionary who would shoot his way into power and control is the most obvious enemy of the Republic. The educator who calls for the power of the people in its physical and material sense to replace the will of the people in its political and philosophical sense is a type of enemy of the Republic.
       The avowed revolutionary who wants a communist system—or something to the left of communism, or a fascist system, or any form of totalitarian control—is clearly an enemy of the Republic. Many who are caught up in what they deem to be worthy causes would fiercely challenge you, me, or anyone else were we to confront them with the charge that their actions and methods are destructive of the Republic and, therefore, that they are, in the political, philosophical, and moral sense, enemies of the Republic.
       But if you are trying to alter the Republic into something it was never intended to be, then you have to be identified as one who is opposed to—and therefore a form of enemy of—the Republic.
       This distortion of what our laws, our Constitution, our history, and our organizers said we were, and said we should continue to be, has crept into almost every facet of our society. Organized religion is captivated by the concept of a government that will satisfy every whim, desire, and spur-of-the-moment goofball scheme individuals and small groups can dream up. The political arena is increasingly populated by people who cater to the whims of some of our wildest people. Education is way out in front, in many of its parts, in teaching young Americans that they have a right to demand and even force government to do anything the current, most vocal minority can conceive.
       Some civilians in charge of the overall military effort of this country have joined the raucous parade and have all but turned our citizen fighting forces into debating societies and arenas for dissent. Since 1928, military documents and manuals have gradually altered their official definitions of democracy and republic until they, like the dictionary, are so similar there is hardly any difference.
       In the dictionary definition of the words democracy and republic, which I gave earlier, there is one very clear difference between those two definitions. Democracy allows for government by the people, directly. A republic allows for government by the people, indirectly, through representatives which the public elects. That gap is closed a little, however, since the definition for democracy says there is a choice and the people may either govern themselves directly or through elected representatives. A republic does not allow for mob rule.
       Now let us turn to the precise language of Training Manual #2000-25, War Department, Washington, November 30, 1928—Citizenship. It reads further:

Prepared under direction of the Chief of Staff. This Manual supersedes Manual of Citizenship Training. The use of the publication The Constitution of the United States by Harry Atwood is by permission and courtesy of the author. The source of other references is shown in the bibliography.

TM 2000-25
Sections 118-121

Democracy: A government of the masses.
Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of direct expression.
Results in mobocracy.
Attitude toward property is communistic—negating property rights.
Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences.
Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.

Republic: Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them.
Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure.
Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences.
A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass.
Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy.
Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress.
Is the 'standard form' of government throughout the world.

A Republic is a form of government under a constitution which provides for the election of (1) an executive and (2) a legislative body, who, working together in a representative capacity, have all the power of appointment, all power of legislation, all power to raise revenue and appropriate expenditures, and are required to create (3) a judiciary to pass upon the justice and legality of their governmental acts and to recognize (4) certain inherent individual rights.
Take away any one or more of these four elements and you are drifting into autocracy. Add one or more to those four elements and you are drifting into democracy. (Atwood)

Autocracy declares the divine right of kings; its authority cannot be questioned; its powers are arbitrarily or unjustly administered.
Democracy is the 'direct' rule of the people and has been repeatedly tried without success.
Our constitutional fathers, familiar with the strength and weakness of both autocracy and democracy, with fixed principles definitely in mind, defined a representative republican form of government. They "made a very marked distinction between a republic and a democracy—and said repeatedly and emphatically that they had founded a republic." (Atwood)

       While we were still thirteen colonies, Professor Alexander Fraser Tytler pointed out why democracies fail. He wrote: A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship.
       The clear difference between a democracy and a republic is that at worst a republic form of government might degenerate until the representatives of the people are collectively so corrupt, so greedy, and so power driven that they might try to enrich themselves and increase their power at the expense of the governed. But the people would still have the full authority to vote them out of office for somebody better.
       On the other hand, the worst that can happen in a democracy is that government degenerates until rule is by the strongest, cruelest, and most brutal mob of the moment—with countless other mobs eternally contesting them for dictatorial power.
       I rest my case.

       In an orderly but firm fashion let us put an end to the drive for democracy. Long live the Republic of the United States of America.