We remember the famous comment of Benjamin Franklin when he stated, “A Republic if you can keep it.” This is often times quoted but do Americans really understand what it means.
There are two types of governments; a government that is under the rule of people and a government that is under the rule of law. Our founders debated the type of government we would have, and they chose the type that is under rule of law, or a Republic. A Republic must have a constitution that defines the rules, which are called laws, whether that constitution is written or not. Our founders chose to take on the very difficult task of having a written constitution.
The founders rejected having a monarchy, an aristocracy, or a democracy. All three of these fall under the category of government under the rule of people, and all are a form of dictatorship. Dictators can be, and sometimes are benevolent, but often times are tyrannical. Benevolent dictatorships inevitably become tyrannical.
A monarchy is a dictatorship by one, an aristocracy is a dictatorship by a few, and a democracy is a dictatorship by the majority. Karl Marx specifically called for a dictatorship by the majority when he advocated for the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat.”
The rules and laws of the country, under a dictatorship, can and will be changed to fit the desires of the dictator by proclamation without any adherence to what might have been construed to be law in the past. The rules and laws of the country under a dictatorship are those that the dictator declares to be so at that moment. The rights of the people are never considered and under a democracy the rights of the minority are never considered.
A Republic is a nation that regards rule of law as its ultimate authority. This is why a Republic must have a constitution that is widely circulated, respected, and to which the country adheres. The rules or laws cannot be nullified or changed unless they go through a predetermined procedure that is a part of the constitution and understood and accepted.
Another distinguishing aspect of a Republic is that the minority has protected rights. These rights are stated and widely known. Our founders elected to have a written constitution and defined what rights the minority will always have. The founders went an additional step and stated in the Ninth Amendment, that the rights of the people, which includes the minority, are not limited to just the stated rights within the documents but extend to those rights not enumerated.
Our Republic has become a hated form of government by those who would advocate for a nation void of a constitution, void of rule of law, and one that would adhere to a dictatorship of the majority, or as Karl Marx said, “Dictatorship of the Proletariat.” We were told that our impeachment clause could mean anything the House of Representatives determines and not what our constitution and history states it to be. We have been told that the people of the United States should no longer be able to hold an election for president, or that a prior election is invalid, if the majority in the House of Representatives so declares. We are being told that the winner of the presidential election can only be a legitimate winner if they capture a majority of the total national vote.
All of these positions violate the very essence of a Republic. They all state that the majority has the right to pronounce any new rule or law regardless of what the written constitution states. They call for the rights of the minority to become totally subjected to the will of the majority. They call for our nation to be changed from a Republic adhering to rule of law and the protection of the rights of the minority to the tyranny of the majority, or dictatorship of the majority.
Benjamin Franklin stated, “A Republic if you can keep it.” In the United States today there is a segment of the population calling for our Republic to be abandoned for a democracy. This segment is stating that they wish to obliterate our constitution which obliterates rule of law, and they wish to terminate all the rights of the minority. Yes, what this segment is really stating is that they wish to bring about a nation ruled by a “Dictatorship of the Proletariat.”
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