“A republic, madam, if you can keep it.”
So said the ever-quotable Benjamin Franklin upon emerging from the Constitutional Convention debates in 1787. Franklin’s now-famous statement to an inquisitive Philadelphian causes us today to pause and reflect. Have we kept the republic that Franklin and his contemporaries bequeathed us?
A recent poll answers this query with an emphatic “No!”. According to a Gallup survey, 71% of Americans believe that the Founders would be disappointed in the United States today. This comes on the heels of another Gallup survey showing that Congress’s approval rating has hit its lowest mark ever at 10%. President Obama doesn’t fare much better, garnering only 36% approval.
Are Americans beginning to realize that the government they have bears no resemblance to the one designed by the framers of the Constitution? If the 71% are correct in saying that the Founders would be embarrassed by America today, the next logical question we should ask is “Why?”.
Could it be because we’ve completely abandoned the structure of government that they fought the British for and then jealously guarded while debating the Constitution? Maybe we can find the answer in what some founders said about how American liberty would be preserved.Details