Day: December 1, 2015

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

When asked, following the Constitutional Convention, what kind of government had been created, Benjamin Franklin made a now famous reply.  “A republic, if you can keep it.” Those words have been on my mind a great deal in recent weeks.  I wonder why? Could it be the calls from those who want us to seal the borders, shut off all immigration into the U.S., and deport 11 million individuals?  Could it be presidential candidates saying – when a decision is made that recognizes that we are a secular nation and not based on religious law – that we have “criminalized Christianity?” Could it be the calls to register Muslims and to reopen the internment camps of WWII?  When I hear these speeches, I’m reminded of the late great Molly Ivins’ quip about Patrick Buchanan’s famously combative “culture wars” speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention:  It probably sounded better in the original German. But that’s not why I sat down to write. I’ve read three books over the past couple of months that all bring …