During President Donald J. Trump's impeachment trial, we'll hear a lot of talk about our rules for governing. One frequent claim is that our nation is a democracy. If we've become a democracy, it would represent a deep betrayal of our founders, who saw democracy as another form of tyranny. In fact, the word democracy appears nowhere in our nation's two most fundamental documents, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The founders laid the ground rules for a republic as written in the Constitution's Article IV, Section 4, which guarantees “to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government.”

Yes, that headline is real. In covering the effort by over 350 newspapers to collude against President Trump, Wednesday’s Hardball featured MSNBC host Chris Matthews alluding to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the segment promoting the anti-Trump collusion campaign started by The Boston Globe.

Even though Ed Schultz has been told by MSNBC to refrain from further "Psycho Talk" segments, no such restraint is evident on his radio show, one of the top rated for liberals in the country.

On Wednesday, for example, Schultz criticized former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for signing a bill into law in 2006 that includes an individual mandate for Bay State residents to buy health insurance, a provision also included in last year's health bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama.

Schultz played two clips of Romney, from 2009 and earlier this week on "Good Morning America," talking about the individual mandate, followed by Schultz's criticism (audio) --

It's no secret the traditional journalistic business model doesn't work in an era where advances in technology have increased flow and velocity of information. Those changes have rendered many forms of communication obsolete and made journalism a difficult way to make a living. 

This has concerned some on the left who are convinced the ways of the past are vital to a democratic nation, including John Nichols, co-founder of Free Press and the co-author of "The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again," with Robert McChesney. Both authors appeared at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 16 to make the case for some sort of government policy to help this flailing trade and pointed to history as an example of how the media effected change. The amount of government funding they settled on was $30 billion annually.

"At some fundamental level the one thing we have to get back to is this notion that if we want an America that is fully democratic, really does confront the question of bankrupt government and a government that has other priorities, we're going to have to remember how we did in the past," Nichols said. "The greatest bankruptcy in this country was the founding on the original sin of human bondage. That was a horrible event and for the first 70 years of the American experiment, the Congress did not debate slavery."

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