We Have a Republic, If We Can Keep It

     It was September, 1787, that the founding fathers completed the Constitutional Convention, and as Benjamin Franklin left the meeting he was asked what form of government had been crafted. Franklin responded with his famous, and often quoted, reply: a Republic … if you can keep it. Most historians agree Franklin had two things in mind with that famous answer. The first concern was whether or not these United States would stay united if their new nation was attacked by outside forces. This remained a concern until the War of 1812 when the coalition of states held together, and the United States did fight as one nation …and won.  The second concern was the fact that in this Republic of ours we-the-people could vote ourselves government largess at the expense of other citizens. The Constitution was founded on the will of the people. It embraced limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. And its success depended on Judeo-Christian moral standards. America would hold firm if these things held firm. It seems to me Franklin’s answer, “A Republic, if you can keep it”, speaks directly to you and me right now. Now is the time to be vigilant against the temptation to vote ourselves special benefits, so long as some other citizen has to pay for them. Here at the local level, you and I saw the boldness of a socialist takeover when we opened our census letter. It said, in no uncertain terms, fill out this form SO YOU CAN GET YOUR FAIR SHARE of the money coming out of Washington. Franklin’s challenge is clear: either we go to work to keep this Republic that has been handed us, or we become the generation that failed to keep it.


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