Tuesday, March 26, 2013 | 2:01 a.m.
Regarding Tom Jones’ letter, “Our republic is being threatened,” I must disagree with at least a part. Contrary to what the letter said, our country is a democracy. It didn’t start out that way, but that’s where we are.
Yes, the Founding Fathers did create a republican form of government in 1787. Over the past 200-plus years, however, we have slowly changed from a republican form of government to a constitutional democratic republic. This has come about because we have extended the right to vote and hold public office to more Americans, allowing them to become equal partners in the greatest experiment in self-government ever tried.
In 1787, only a small percentage of the population could vote or hold public office. Women could not vote, slaves could not vote, Native Americans could not vote, noncitizens could not vote, and people who did not own land could not vote.
When the founders were writing the Constitution, “democracy” was not a popular word and not one that our founders readily used. It conjured up an image of mob rule, anarchy and rebellion.
It appears to me that many people are very fearful of the changing demographics in this country, and they have forgotten that we have always been a “melting pot” with a constant influx of immigrants from other countries. Most of those immigrants, sooner or later, have assimilated into our society and a huge majority of them have made contributions that helped make this country the greatest nation on Earth.