Our country’s Founding Fathers and history would be at odds with what our leaders have done to our Republic. What better to illustrate that than a remark attributed to Benjamin Franklin in response to a question posed to him at the close of the 1787 Constitutional Convention:
Q: Well, Doctor [Franklin], what have we got — a Republic or a Monarchy?
A: A Republic, if you can keep it.
We have not kept our Republic, because we have not adhered to one crucial precept of our Constitution. That would be the 10th Amendment:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Read that again, and try to find in our Constitution where our federal government is delegated the powers to administer vast domestic programs — housing, education, nutrition, public health, land — and run up the trillions in deficits to administer them.
Returning to our Founding Fathers, it is obvious what Ben Franklin meant by “a Republic, if you can keep it.” A Republic has two main characteristics: (1) the many are represented by a (purportedly) enlightened few, and (2) powers are divided between our federal government — for national defense, regulation of interstate commerce, etc.; and the States — for tending to local issues of law enforcement and strictly internal matters.
We have not kept faith with our Founders, and we have allowed our leaders from FDR up to today to buy our votes and support with unimaginable amounts of federal spending that has been both unwise and blatantly unconstitutional.
Our State leaders have likewise cushioned their spending plans with dependence on federal grants, gifts and programs and sold our local independence on the altar of food stamps and other .gov benefits to buy votes and power.
But the problem goes deeper than violation of constitutional precepts of our Republic. It goes to an astonishing perversion of the actual role of government. What we have perverted is the philosophy of our founding document, the Declaration of Independence. Many would do well to read that document, because they don’t teach its true meaning in school any more.
The part that covers what the actual purpose of government comes right near the beginning. People establish governments, the document wisely states, to secure our “unalienable rights [to] life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
We are all of us born with the right to live, be free, and pursue our life’s path to do what makes us happy. Government is there to protect us from those who would take those rights from us. The federal government protects us from outside threats; the states protects us from criminals.
On the other hand, we are not born with the right to be fed, clothed and housed by anyone other than our families, and in extreme cases, by charities and programs set up to help the truly destitute. Read the preamble to the Constitution and see how progressive thinking has twisted the meaning of “to promote the general welfare” to mean “to provide free money to those who don’t feel like working.”
A variation of what I stated in a previous post: “Hey D.C.! Ben Franklin called and he wants his republic back!”.
At *your* service,
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