I’m a big fan of the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein, but he really slipped up here:
The important point to remember is that the United States was never intended to be a pure democracy, but a representative republic.
As the late political theorist Robert Dahl argued, “democracy” and “republic” are best used as synonyms. It’s true that Madison and other 18th century writers didn’t use them that way, but for us to emulate their language is just asking for trouble. The main difference, as Dahl said, is simply that one word is from the Romans and the other from the Greeks. Saying that the U.S. is supposed to be a republic and not a democracy is sort of like saying that we prefer to eat beef, not cows.