And why the United States is not a democracy?
It is indeed.
You are correct...it's not where we are anymore. Primarily because people do not know the difference...or don't care...or want a democracy.
Can't argue with you about that.
The United States is a representative democracy, also known as a constitutional republic.
What we are not is a direct democracy. A direct democracy would require the people to vote on every piece of legislation. It sounds like absolute madness.
There is an element of democracy within our constitutional republic in that we democratically elect our representatives. What definitively makes our government a constitutional republic is that our representatives cannot lawfully enact statutes that are unconstitutional...in other words, against our inherent rights as Individuals.
But it's not. One reserves the right of the individual, while the other says a majority can take your rights.
Good point. And that's really one of the reasons we need to remember that the union was founded as a republic. While we still retain some semblance of a republic (1st Amendment), we have been creeping away from our Constitution since the very beginning. Sometimes in small increments and other times by leaps and bounds (PATRIOT Act). I think it is safe to say that most Americans today believe we are a democracy. That's not surprising given the way most politicians and talking heads use the word in relation to our government, as well as using the phrase "spreading democracy" when what they are really talking about is war.
Still, within any type of government, some rights are ceded or infringed upon. Which ones and how much are what ultimately define the type of government we have. Most people agree that within any functioning society today, some laws are necessary. Differences arise over what laws are needed. Generally speaking, both the left and right in the US want laws and regulations to restrict people. They just differ on what behaviors to restrict.
I'm reasonably certain that you and I wouldn't agree on much. But I think we might find some common ground on reforming our criminal justice system, and perhaps on repealing some of the unconstitutional laws that were passed following 9/11, and maybe even on not attacking other countries and pretending it's a benevolent action on our part. That would be one helluva start to restoring our republic. But first, people need to realize we were formed as a republic; secondly, we need to have discussions across political divides; and finally, we need to pressure our representatives to make changes.