Friday, September 04, 2009

"A Republic, if you can keep It"

Benjamin Franklin, shortly after the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, was asked by a Mrs. Powel, "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin was quick to reply, "A republic, if you can keep it." Well, if you haven't received the memo before now, we have not "kept it." The US has wandered from the powerful and sound document that unleashed human freedom and kept government at bay.

Recently, on the Price of Business show, I interviewed Renee Herath, who is one of the millions of people who have simply become tired of seeing her government grow out of control. She has gotten involved with the local Tea Parties (both Katy and Houston, Texas) and in Glenn Beck's 9-12 Project and was on my program to discuss some up coming events that may be of interest to my audience. I innocently asked "what got you inspired to be involved in these organizations?" She listed many things, but when we got to the question of the type of government taught in schools today (democracy) versus the one the Founders intended for us (republic), both of us lit up. Very few these days even care about the subject and it has long left the curriculum of government run schools. Those schools have concluded that our country is a democracy, regardless of what our Constitution or the Founders have stated.

So that leads to the question, "does it matter?" This, in turn, makes you ask "what is a republican form of government?" Let me begin by stating that these names have nothing to do with partisan politics, but political freedom. Republic is actually a small "r" and Article IV of the Constitution defines and guarantees this form of government by the federal government for the states. At section four it states "the United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence. " This form of government is characterized by the idea of rule by law (the constitution). Although such a government can have democratic institutions, a republic is designed to check all tyrants, be it a federal government out of control or a mob with a destructive agenda. The constitution was designed to protect minorities, not just majorities. If the majority wants to oppress a minority, people still feel oppressed. Under a republic, the government limits itself to a "referee" and not a parental role.

The Founding Fathers believed in checks and balances. It should not surprise us that there were no state departments of education for the first 50 years of our republic. They believed that things like what government can and cannot do are too important to be taught by the government. It would be considered a conflict of interst. We have a generation that largely can't identify the differences between a republic and a democracy, because the vast majority of those people were taught by individuals with a political agenda. We have lost our schools and, as a result, the minds of most Americans. This battle isn't merely about advocating economic freedom, but restoring personal freedom found in the Constitution.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. His articles often appear in Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, USA Today, and other national media. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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