Familia Americana: “A republic, if you can keep it.” – Benjamin Franklin
Signer of the Constitution, James McHenry, noted in his diary that after Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention, he was asked by Mrs. Elizabeth Powel of Philadelphia: “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” To which Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Such wisdom and truth spoken in those seven words! And a prudent reminder of what’s at stake on November 8th, general election day.
We the People get to choose our next set of representatives for federal, state, and local posts. To remain a sovereign nation and a free people, it is necessary to rule ourselves through our republican model of government. We must get this election right!
Our current elected class enjoys a certain amount of freedom, sense of entitlement and prestige that is oftentimes above reproach. Many custodians of our Constitution have done a terrible job of safeguarding the Supreme Law of the Land, and instead, benefit from advantages most Americans will never have. We the People have lost sight of what it means to be a republic.
It is difficult for the average American who has no interest in politics to see past the façade of what is presented to us. When we do pay attention, it is because our way of life is no longer comfortable and our American privilege is being squeezed.
We are among the 360M+ Americans who declare having First World problems without really knowing what it is to go without; there is a difference between government crises (a.k.a. man-made) that bring misery to the people and true misfortunes that are beyond man’s control.
Our First World problems are trivial, yet the elected will have you believe otherwise; that the hardships we face are a result of some unjust system that is designed to work against us. Not so. Americans have opportunities in the United States not available in most of the world. We are spoiled by comforts and conveniences that our governors want us to focus on, so we are not aware of the bigger picture – on their governance over the people.
For example, Americans are easily annoyed by frivolities such as having a slow (or no) Wi-Fi connection or being hungry but not for food that is in the fridge. We take for granted buying clothes online without knowing if they fit, affording a cell phone/car/home because our economic model is still based on a free-market system, and incurring personal debt because our banking system and currency are still stable – though debatable. To go without these would be devastating to the average American who has only experienced First World indulgences; and we are to remain focused on these problems.
In doing so, we overlook the loss of personal freedoms and of an ever-growing police State that suppresses the people by mandating what they put in their bodies, hiring 87k IRS agents to pursue citizens so government coffers remain full, and labeling any dissenters “the enemy”.
Outside of our American bubble, however, going without is a different reality. It means getting creative in order to secure the most basic necessities for your family. It means relinquishing freedoms in exchange for provisions and security that – by design – only the government can extend.
Our Latin American neighbors just south of our non-existent border can teach us what going without really means. In the past four years, the region has seen a rise in leftist, populist governments that have further destabilized the region, destroyed their economies, given rise to crime and greater insecurity, and resulted in expanded government powers. All are consequences of a failed ideology that seeks to centralize power and decision-making, and place it under the thumb of a political ruling class that pretends to answer to the constituents while effectively cultivating a master-servant relationship.
That is socialism: the pretense of centralized (communistic) economies of scale owned by the people but controlled by authoritarians with dominion over production and prices, and who enjoy near-limitless influence over the citizenry with little accountability. The people’s misfortunes simply compound and the circle of dependency is reinforced as government becomes the bearer of solutions.
In 2018, democratic socialist Andrés Manuel López Obrador was elected president of Mexico. Obrador went on to nationalize the lithium industry and introduce more social reforms (welfare programs) to the country’s existing measures. Dependency is key.
In 2019, a coalition of socialists from both the Kirchnerist and Peronist parties in Argentina, saw the successful election of their candidates: President Alberto Fernandez (a Peronist) and Vice-President and former First Lady Cristina Kirchner. Argentina struggles with an ever-growing welfare state and with containing government corruption.
In 2020, Bolivians elected Luis Arce for president, returning to power his coalition, Movement Toward Socialism. I bet you can tell which direction they lean?
In 2021, Pedro Castillo from Peru and Gabriel Boric from Chile both won their presidential elections. These populists promised to bring social change and social justice to their citizens. In the same year, Honduras elected a member of the left-wing Liberty and Refoundation party, Xiomara Castro, as president. All three have increased their social programs (welfare state) and exercised state control over the “bad guys” – industries that rely on a free-market system and a healthy economy in order to thrive.
In June of 2022, Colombia elected their first leftist president, Gustavo Petro, who promised to advance capitalism in the country while reigning-in corruption, championing the vulnerable, and (of course) protecting the environment. In two short months, Petro has initiated a shake down of the military forces and national police, and begun a transfer into a new Ministry of Peace, Security, and Coexistence while allowing illegal armed organizations to go unchecked. Sound familiar?
Brazil’s presidential elections are scheduled for October 2022. If presidential candidate and former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva wins, it will mean that at least ten countries in Latin America will be governed by left-wing socialists (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela).
What does this mean for the United States? It means America is in trouble.
It behooves Americans to awaken to the reality we are facing: the desire to destroy our republican model of government in favor of a despotic and short-lived democratic model that is always driven by the corrupt ambitions of their leaders. Refuse to be distracted!
It is Americans who must vote in American elections and protect what the Framers secured for us – a constitutional republic. American exceptionalism was beautifully-declared by John Jay, the first chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, when he said: “The Americans are the first people who Heaven has favored with an opportunity of deliberating upon, and choosing the forms of government under which they should live.”
A republic, if we can keep it.