A Republic If You Can Keep It

After the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

A democratic republic is sometimes described as an experiment. It runs counter to humanity’s inability to restrain ambitious and unscrupulous people from accumulating power and wealth. Greed is powerful–certainly more attractive than putting the good of society ahead of one’s own best interest.

Your country is at the point at which it needs to decide whether it wants to keep a republic.

May I offer this advice. Power tends to dissipate with death. Even hereditary monarchies are prone to being disrupted, whether by conquest, arranged marriages, or revolution. Wealth is often dissipated after only a few generations. On the other hand, doing something for the betterment of others lives on.

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