Outside Independence Hall when
the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended,
Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin,
"Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"
With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded,
"A republic, if you can keep it."
Benjamin Franklin
(1706-1790) US Founding Father
as recorded by Constitution signer James McHenry in a diary entry.
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Reader comments about this quote:
I believe we are currently losing our Republic, partly because our legislators have been allowed to write unconstitutional laws ... slowly rotting our freedoms.
 -- Joel, Rochester, MI
I remember Helen Gahagan Douglas, pretending to quote Franklin, say that Franklin had responded, "A democracy madam if you can keep it." (Conspirators have a license to deceive.) "You can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs." -- Khruschev Translation: "you can't conquer the world without killing some people." "The American people are now more hypnotized than were the German's under Hitler." -- Tom Silver, Stage hypnotist and hypnotherapist. After a dramatic demonstration of the power of suggestion (on the Lew Gordon TV show) Kreskin looked into the TV camera and said, "Watch your politicians!"
 -- James E. Lockwood, C.Ht, San Jose, CA
Justice Black, of the U.S. Supreme Court, (and former KKK member) said, "When I came on the Supreme Court I never dreamed that we would be making laws."
 -- James E. Lockwood, C. Ht, San Jose, CA
The Republic has been lost and replaced with a democratic communist dulocracy. Democratic - voting does take place. Communist: compare government behavior to the "10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto." Dulocracy: The public servants definitly domineer around here. Think of a traffic stop or an IRS audit. See the Black’s Law Dictionary 6th Edition definition.
 -- Roger Barker, Sunnyvale, CA
i dont know what to think
 -- kyle, basin
Let's keep it, folks. It is the job of the People to defend our republic, not Congress or the President -- we have to protect ourselves from them with Constitutional checks and balances -- and when they exceed their power, we must lay charges against them, for it is Treason.
 -- E Archer, NYC
"America was founded by men who understood that the threat of domestic tyranny is as great as any threat from abroad. If we want to be worthy of their legacy, we must resist the rush toward ever-increasing state control of our society. Otherwise, our own government will become a greater threat to our freedoms than any foreign terrorist." - Ron Paul, Texas Straight Talk, May 31, 2004
 -- Daniel, santa clara
What Ron Paul should have said was "resist state control by corporatocracy. Another word for fascism. That's the government now.
 -- Dick, Fort Worth
These patriots had vision far beyond what we have today.
 -- Dan Shellist, Houston
I think the Republic is lost, we have to fight to regain our freedom. The sovereign lovers of liberty must once again mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor to re-establish the promised Republic(s) (see Article IV Section 4 Constitution)
 -- Mike, Norwalk
Politicians bought the American people off with the money that was taxed away from them. Everyone is now corrupt, and a corrupt people cannot be free. The republic has been lost for a long, long time. It was bought for a few pieces of silver (30 perhaps).
 -- Ken, Allyn, WA
republic is only lost when you give up. I doubt the founding fathers would be proud of such talk of defeat.
 -- Daniel, santa clara, ca
The republic is lost when it ceases to function as a republic because of neglect. The founding fathers may have been disappointed, but certainly not surprised.
 -- Anonymous
 -- alison 
This quote has inspired me to write to my Congressman and Senators. I wrote: CREATE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT DEBT FREE AND INTEREST FREE CURRENCY. David Snieckus www.davidsnieckus.com
 -- David Snieckus, Newton, MA
Ah, and therein the problem lies. "....if you can keep it." And we are not keeping it. So glad this has prompted positive action for some. Please continue. Fair Taxation is a beginning. No more outsourcing jobs. No universal health care. NO MORE SOCIALISM - or we lose our invaluable Republic and liberties. And we gain tyranny.
 -- Nancy, Marion, OH
Franklin's admonishment is as true today as it was in his time. Be optimistic. 200 years later, we're still here and still concerned.
 -- Fred, Cincinnati
Keeping the republic begins with "keeping" our personal lives according to the principles of self-government under God. I give you another great quote by a founding father: "We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." John Adams
 -- Stephen Johnson, Addison, TX
FREEDOM-- A gift from God , that nurtures mans right to life , liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Conception of a child is also a gift from god neither should ever be aborted ,thrown away, nor taken from you by other men. Both must be defended as GOD has a plan and purpose over and above men of the world for both. STAND WITH GOD , amen. . .
I believe in the first two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence being the truth of Franklins word's. He new of mans flawed nature warning us by Saying "if you can keep it"
 -- Frederick Manzke, NYC, NY
I think all who posted on this board are right on the mark. What can you do? Join your State Tea Party today!
 -- Merylee, South Florida
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN
Joel from Rochester, stop believing and start knowing what you say is the truth because it is.
 -- Anon
kyle, basin, because you're posting here you must have questions you're seeking answers to so just keep seeking with a questioning mind and you will eventually know what to think. Don't decide one way or the other based on confusion which is caused by lack of knowledge. Take the time to teach yourself and don't rely on teachers on either side.
 -- Anon
Excellent link Logan and I recommend it to anyone who is seeking answers. Nothing but the individual possesses rights.
 -- Anon
The government of the day seeks to remain in power and expand its control at the point of a gun. That is the underlying truth, that you will comply as the ultimate threat is one of violence. This is why we must NEVER let ourselves be disarmed. The Obama regime is going after guns and ammuntion and your right to bear with a quiet zeal that is previously unseen in America. There's a reason for that.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary
J Carlton is right, and remember that these liberal gun grabbers never quit. Like cockroaches, they work better in the dark. When the light of truth is turned on, they scurry away but they do not die. There is a reason they want to outlaw guns and they are not stupid. They have an agenda. Obama, Reed, Pelosi, and the gang are surely the most dangerous bunch that have ever been in power in Washington.
 -- jim k, austin
Franklin understood the tenuous nature of what he and the other founders had accomplished, and he knew exactly what he was saying to Mrs. Powell. As Thomas Jefferson would later write,"We have the greatest opportunity the world has ever seen, as long as we remain honest -- which will be as long as we can keep the attention of our people alive. If they once become inattentive to public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, judges and governors would all become wolves" (http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Thomas.Jefferson.Quote.B372).
 -- A.WOODS, Gloucester
J Carlton have you any evidence about Obama going after guns and ammunition. Those of you who prefer a republic to a democracy must be very happy with what is going on in Iran.
 -- Waffler, Smith
Waffler, normally I would ignore you and your communist mind set. But you have offered me an opportunity to showcase the communist agenda. I am at work at the moment but will come back to this later this evening. Check this link again tomorrow. I will "bury" you in evidence. Have a nice day. :)
 -- J Carlton, Calgary
Gun policy As a state legislator in Illinois, Obama supported banning the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic firearms, increasing state restrictions on the purchase and possession of firearms and requiring manufacturers to provide child-safety locks with firearms.[263] In 1996, during Obama's run for the Illinois State Senate, he was surveyed by a Chicago nonprofit, Independent Voters of Illinois about criminal justice and other issues. Obama's questionnaire showed that he supported a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns. Subsequently, Obama denied that his writing was on the document and said that he never favored a ban on the sale and possession of handguns.[264][265][266] In 1999, he urged prohibiting the operation of any gun store within five miles of a school or park, which according to gun-rights advocates would eliminate gun stores from most of the inhabited portion of the United States.[267] He sponsored a bill in 2000 limiting handgun purchases to one per month. As state senator, he voted against a 2004 measure that allowed self-defense as an affirmative defense for those charged with violating local laws making it otherwise unlawful for such persons to possess firearms.[268] He also voted against allowing persons who had obtained domestic violence protective orders to carry handguns for their protection.[267] From 1994 through 2002, Obama was a board member of the Joyce Foundation, which amongst other non-gun related activities provides funds for gun control organizations in the United States.[269][270] While in the U.S. Senate, Obama has supported several gun control measures, including restricting the purchase of firearms at gun shows and the reauthorization of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.[271] Obama voted against legislation protecting firearm manufacturers from certain liability suits, which gun-rights advocates say are designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.[272] Obama did vote in favor of the 2006 Vitter Amendment to prohibit the confiscation of lawful firearms during an emergency or major disaster, which passed 84-16.[273] During a February 15, 2008 press conference, Obama stated, "I think there is an individual right to bear arms, but it's subject to commonsense regulation."[274] Obama has also stated his opposition to allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms[275] and supports a national law outlawing the practice,[276][277] saying on Chicago Public Radio in 2004 "I continue to support a ban on concealed carry laws".[278] Obama initially voiced support of Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban. Following the Supreme Court decision that the ban was unconstitutional, he revised his position in support of the decision overturning the law, saying, "Today's decision reinforces that if we act responsibly, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe."[279] He also said, in response to the ruling, "I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms... The Supreme Court has now endorsed that view."[280] After being elected as President, Obama announced that he favors measures that respect Second Amendment rights, while at the same time keeping guns away from children and criminals. He further stated that he supports banning private transfers of firearms at gun shows (referred to as "closing the gun show loophole"), "making guns in this country childproof", and permanently reinstating the expired Assault Weapons Ban.[281]....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_positions_of_Barack_Obama
 -- J Carlton, Calgary
The second amendment aint about duck hunting...
 -- J Carlton
Obama speaks on Gun Control...
 -- J Carlton
Obama's 10 point plan to "change" the second amendment...
 -- J Carlton
Rasmussen poll, Americans Fear Obama's Gun Control:.....
 -- J Carlton
Obama spinning outright lies:..... Brad O'Leary Bio Email Article.... By Brad O'Leary Friday, May 15, 2009 U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has stated that the Obama administration would like to resurrect the Clinton ban on semi-automatic firearms, as well as other gun control laws. One of the reasons for bringing back these unpopular laws, according to Holder, is that Mexican drug cartels are becoming increasingly violent and warring with Mexican government troops. Holder says that some of the guns being used by the Mexican drug mafia are being obtained illegally from the United States. Mexico is a country with a reputation for political corruption and a healthy disregard for the individual rights of its citizens. Still, Holder and the Obama administration think that limiting the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens is a cure for drug violence in Mexico. However, according to a recent poll conducted by The O'Leary Report and Zogby International, a vast majority of the American voting public disagrees. The poll, which was conducted March 20-23 and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 1.5 percentage points, asked 4,523 likely voters: "Mexican officials, gun control groups and officials at the Department of Homeland Security claim drug cartels are crossing the U.S. border in order to obtain guns illicitly. Others say that the Mexican drug cartels are equipped with military hardware including grenades, anti-tank missiles and mortars -- all weapons that are not available to the American public. Which of the following do you think is the main source for Mexican drug cartel arms?" Sixty-five percent of voters say that the international black market is the main source for Mexican drug cartel arms, while only 13.5 percent think these arms are coming from U.S. gun stores (3.5 percent think the arms are coming from somewhere else and 18 percent are not sure). Among voters aged 18-29 years old, one of President Obama's strongest groups of supporters, 73 percent say international black market, and just six percent say U.S. gun stores (two percent say somewhere else and 19 percent are not sure). A strong majority of self-described Independent voters (65 percent) also say that the international black market is main source of arms for Mexican drug cartels, and only 12 percent say U.S. gun stores (four percent say somewhere else and 19 percent are not sure).
 -- J Carlton
http://wwwtmrcom.blogspot.com/2008/10/nra-cites-obamas-gun-control-record.html ...
"Barack Obama has proposed or supported anti-gun policies so radical and so far beyond the fringe that few politicians have dared to even mention them publicly." ...According to the magazine, Obama has: Supported banning hundreds of rifles and shotguns commonly used for hunting and sport shooting; Voted to allow 'reckless' lawsuits designed to put the firearms industry out of business; Voted to allow the prosecution of citizens who use a firearm for self-defense in the home; Supported increasing taxes on firearms and ammunition by 500 percent; Voted to ban virtually all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting; Became a member of the board of directors of the radically anti-gun Joyce Foundation; Said in 1996 that he supported a complete handgun ban in a questionnaire from the Independent Voters of Illinois; Proposed a ban on gun stores within five miles of any school or park; Stated his support for gun owner licensing and firearm registration; Voted for one-gun-a-month handgun purchase limits; Voted against confirming pro-Second Amendment justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.
 -- J Carlton
Obama Gun Control - Lightning Assault on Freedom and Gun Owners. Obama and Cohorts Didn't Waste Any Time Restricting Americans' Freedoms... http://hunting.about.com/od/guns/a/obamaguncontrol.htm
 -- J Carlton
I can literally do this all day Waffler. But that you should ask about something so blatantly obvious tells me just how absolutely ill informed you truly are. And an earlier assertion that you and all other communists need to be ignored if not expelled from these United States becomes all too obvious....I'll leave you with these thoughts... "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."...... "And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions."~ Samuel Adams....
 -- J Carlton, Calgary
Ok, one more... http://current.com/items/90307446_fear-note-from-a-cop-scott-wagner-is-a-police-academy-commander.htm ...Note From A Cop... The fear on the street is palpable. Ever since the election of Barack Obama as President of these United States in November 2008, coupled with the election of a democrat party majority in both the U.S. House and Senate, concern for the United States and personal safety has ignited like a fire in dry grass. Sales of guns - black guns, rifles, shotguns and handguns (particularly 9mm) everywhere, have gone through the roof. AR15s have literally flown off of dealer shelves, and only now in the spring of 2009, have I seen the display samples of ARs begin to reappear on the wall of my favorite shooting emporium after the initial post election rush. Manufacturers of ARs are still working to catch up and some of the major suppliers are as much as 150,000 guns behind. Not only that, ammo is in the shortest supply I have ever seen in the 43 years of my shooting life. Have you recently tried to get 5.56mm, 9mm or even 380 ammo? Supplies of 5.56mm and 9mm ammo are in short supply due to the black gun buying craze; .380ACP because of the rise in people getting concealed carry permits and the resurgence of interest in convenient 380 handguns like the fine Ruger LCP. In fact, in doing a review of the Ruger LCP, my gun store only had a small supply of ONE .380 round on hand, the Winchesters 95-grain SXT, which they had just gotten in. Unfortunately, I had to do a 30-round review of that pistol. There was none other to be found. The 5.56mm was the first caliber to noticeably be in short supply. This was first due to the war effort, the headlong adoption of 5.56mm rifles by law enforcement agencies ever since the great LAPD bank robbery and shootout, the general shooting public interest in and acceptance of the AR15 weapons system along with a realization that yes, the AR does have sporting purpose, and of course now, this new fear that is on the street. Sales of ARs also went up following 9/11. What is odd about this new fear is that it is not coming from the average citizen gun owner out there, but it is coming from what to me is an almost shocking source: street cops. Street cops and SWAT cops that I know from various agencies - rural, suburban and metro - in my area are scared. Cops that before November 2008 never gave much thought (that I knew of anyway) to politics or more importantly to gun rights. For the most part, these are the guys that didn't generally have any interest in shooting or gun ownership beyond keeping track of where their duty gun is, and a few of them didn't even do that so well. The guys I am talking about now are some of the same guys who used to not even carry off duty on a regular basis - but not anymore. They don't scare easily, defenders of the Constitution of this State and the United States (as our oath of office reads), have been buying ARs, survival gear, and all the ammo they can lay their hands on. All of them (or I should say "us") have been discussing and have been acquiring guns to provide a layered perimeter defense. We want something in .308 (or in my case a superb M1 Garand in .30-06) for covering the outer perimeters, 5.56mm weapons for mid-range use (for some with more limited funds, the AK-47 and 7.62■39 cartridge will suffice), and for the close up stuff shotguns and handguns (love my Benelli M4 Tactical and Beretta 92 9mm). What are we suddenly so afraid of? Well in our discussions it seems to boil down to four areas. First, fear of federal government intrusion into our lives. Every time I look at or listen to the news, there is something new and intrusive coming out of the Obama administration and this Congress. New tax schemes, government-run Canadian-style healthcare, a volunteer citizen defense force (whatever that is, what happened to the National Guard?) equipped with funding similar to our military, forced voluntary "service" after retirement, a lack of a southern border with hordes of illegal and criminal aliens pouring over our border, the swine flu scare as well as government forced closing of thousands of privately held Chrysler and GM dealerships, which will be the final nail in the coffin for these companies and the list goes on and on. But these items in the news are just the tip of the iceberg. We can't see the full impact of these actions yet, but we don't know what was added into the thousand of pages of stimulus package bills in the dead of night yet. I predict however that when the plans contained in the stimulus packages go into effect, a lot of us are going to be surprised if not shocked by what has suddenly and sweepingly changed. What also scares us is the second, well-founded fear that there is an assault weapons ban looming, one that would make the Clinton Ban appear like a look of disdain in comparison. I remember well the 1990s and the Clinton years: the rise of militia groups, the "black helicopter" rumors and paranoia, all of which was motivated by the Brady Law and the Assault Weapon's ban. What if a new ban comes requiring registration or confiscation and turn-in of banned weapons as what happened in Australia? I watched cops and citizens alike purchase these guns at $900 dollars and more, with custom or tricked out guns easily running into the $2,000 range. Then add on all the accessories, red dots, lights, slings and anything else you can name and you may have up to $3,000 wrapped up in your rig. I saw the looks in their eyes. These purchasers weren't spending this kind of money just to turn in the guns for no compensation when a government tells them to. I foresee much civil disobedience coming down the road. Americans are citizens, and not subjects like the British, Canadians or Australians. They just don't always obey the law blindly and not one officer or citizen that I spoke to said anything like "I hope I get to keep this gun for awhile before they are banned; They are fun to shoot, so I would hate to give it up." It isn't going to happen, so the cop on the street and the soldier on the base needs to think now what he will do if the orders come down. I think you all get what I am saying here. Which leads me to the third fear, that there is a revolution coming, yes, a revolution on the scale of the original American Revolution. You can hear this topic discussed on many of the talk radio shows by even the big name hosts. The possibility of an armed revolution against the U.S. government is being discussed, albeit very gingerly and fleetingly and as something to be avoided, which it is. I never heard this mentioned in the 90s. One of my quietest, low profile officer friends brought it up the other day. He said that at some point in the near future, he felt there is going to be an armed revolt if things keep going the way they are. Something has got to give. I was shocked. Yes, I had heard this from some of my more radical cop friends in the past, but to hear it from a guy like this was unprecedented. Now, these guys are not saying this will happen to foment revolution, preach sedition or to even participate. They just want to be ready if it happens, to at least defend their families, because number four on the fear list is general societal chaos. Cops fear for their parents, wives, children or grandchildren more now than ever before. Most cops are encouraging their spouses and loved ones to get concealed carry permits. Not only that, but some of these same cops are buying gun mounts for their personal cars so they can carry an AR in the family ride at the ready all the time. They are also strapping on heavier forms of off-duty hardware. I have other friends that are issued ARs or subguns for tactical team use, who always have their gear with them and are planning on just commandeering these weapons for personal use in defending hearth and home.... Final Notes.... This is pretty heady and maybe even dangerous stuff. Know fully that I am not advocating anything here. I am reflecting to you what I see and hear going on around me, and maybe saying things that haven't been said in the open, until now. It is something to think about.... /*Written By; Scott Wagner is a Police Academy Commander and Professor at Columbus State Community College in Columbus Ohio, and Commander of the 727 Counter Terror Training Unit. A 29 year law enforcement veteran, and current Deputy Sheriff, he is the Precision Marksman for the Union County Sheriff's Office SRT Team.*/
 -- J Carlton
To much stuff J really to much stuff. As Shakespear said I thinketh thou protesteth to much. When Clinton passed assault weapons control Reagan and Bush one said "Why yes that is just common sense and Reagan added, hell we already have that in Californina" While they called it common sense they had no balls to do anything about it when they could." Where has all the common sense gone and where have all the brave politicians gone men like Clinton." An Ernest Hemingway son said the other day, "My dad hunted and played with guns becasue it made him feel more like a man." The son further went on to say "I think my Dad was really insecure about his manhood, that is why he plays with guns." I have but don't play with them to much. Anyway as you well know all the guns, at least those in the hands of men under age 45, are ultimately under the command and control of Obama as Commander In Chief. All men under 45 are part of the militia, either the organized or unorganized militia. Now presumably if the old folk with guns attack the government we could have a generational war of the young under The President against us old timers. Now the young could become traitors to The Constitution, but God forbid such thoughts. As a knowledable friend told me if a criminally minded person is close enough for you to use a handgun he is already to close, better off with a shotgun.
 -- Waffler, Smith
Point taken Waffler. I do not want to see another American civil war. But I think if the central government keeps pushing its agenda of disarmament we will have one.
 -- J Carlton
Thanks, Carlton, for all the info, but it is not relevant to the quote. We will archive this and find another place for it. It reminds me that we need to launch a discussion forum for topics such as gun control. Cheers, Eric.
 -- Editor, Liberty Quotes
J Carlton, your patriotism is admirable.
 -- Anon
Eric, I do apologize and I did hesitate to do this here. I was "challenged" on my assertion that we have a White House that is trying to disarm us. (Historically that can lead to nothing good.) And it was too compelling a challenge to resist. I would not be offended if you removed the posts. Happy 4th of July to all.
 -- J Carlton
Thanks Anon, I try. :)
 -- J Carlton
Perhaps the "if you can keep it" has come -- the United States today can more logically be considered a 'military-industrial-congressional complex' rather than a 'republic' as warned by President Eisenhower in his farewell address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY (He apparently dropped the term 'congressional' from his earlier versions of this warning.)
 -- Jim, Stone Mountain, GA
Yeah. And he also said: "God helps those who help themselves". Arguments are weapons that destroy political enemies when well-spread. The argument the democrats have "help the poor" will only be destroyed when the people can be convinced that "helping themselves" will feel better.
 -- Elisabeth, Astoria, NY
Well done J Carlton, and thank you. You seem very well informed regarding the gun control debates in the US. Are you from the Calgary in Alberta? If so, your presentation is all the more impressive. ___ Waffler, you might consider citing the passages quoted in your posts, or at least improving your accuracy, e.g., "As Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, 'The lady doth protest too much, methinks'." I don't mean MLA format or the like, but "An Ernest Hemingway son said the other day, "My dad hunted and played with guns becasue (sic) it made him feel more like a man," doesn't do much to support your argument. I'm curious about this and the son's other statement. Searches with Dogpile, Exalead, and, as a last resort, Google returned no results for these statements, even when the spelling errors were corrected. ___ In light of your previous references to your academic background I would suggest that this is one way you might improve your credibility.
 -- A.WOODS, Gloucester
A.Woods - Yes I live in beautiful Alberta near the Rockies. I have the stars and stripes and the Declaration on my office wall. Drives my Canadian wife nuts, but she knows who I am. :) I'm active in the Libertarian Party of Canada and do my best to espouse the virtues of liberty and responsibility when asked by Canadians and Americans alike. While there are many aspects of today's government(s) that are dangerous to our well being...there will be no further debate if we are to be disarmed. That's why I start with gun control laws. Thanks, and Be Well.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary
I have a Question! What can we do to keep our republic healthy for the century to come?
 -- Janette, Denver
I'll give Ben one star. He probably never thought that America would come to the situation it now finds itself in. He should have looked at the lessons of the past. The prime motivating factor in all of human history has been the lust for power. He who has that power rules. The average citizen has no choice but to follow the ruler's wishes. The average citizen can rebel, but after the dust settles, the lust for power still exists. And eventually the powerful prevail once again. Power today resides in the hands of those who control the wealth. It has nothing to do with political parties, really. The late George Wallace spoke the truth when he stated "there's not a dimes worth of difference between the Democrats and Republicans". Political parties, however, are very good at convincing the people that they have same say in their governments. Which of course suits the real powers in this country: the super-wealthy. The frightening fact is that, apart from revolution, which is what Ben's generation did, there is no other way to change this system of power. But the joke on the human race is that, even if you overthrow this system, and take power to yourself and to your fellow revolutionaries, and you then become the power, you also begin to lust for more power. And then one day you realize that you have become like the thing you most despised. And the next generations suffer because you didn't learn one important fact. And that fact is that you did not learn the lessons of the past. That is the prime lesson of history: mankind does not learn from the mistakes of the past, and is therefore condemned to repeat them. Over and over, so long as the world shall exist. If you could change human nature, you could solve all the world's problems. But the sad fact is that you can't change human nature. You can control your own nature, but you can't actually change it. Most don't even bother to try.
 -- Gary, Asheville, NC
I agree with all the comments shown except for the parts about hatred and name calling. I like our constitution, especially the Bill of Rights. I don't have a gun, but I think we need them to protect ourselves against the strong centralized government that the Founding Fathers feared. But, we have already lost those freedoms. Every one of them have been abridged. It began almost immediately, was shown evident with the put down of the Whiskey Rebellion and was closed and sealed with the Patriot Act. Cartman had it right. All of our Founding Fathers, except maybe John Adams, said one thing and did another. Jefferson changed and became a wolf. Franklin turned his back on France who sent the troops and the money that won our Revolution for us, etc., etc. If you read our history, you will read the words spoken and written like freedom, truth, justice, honor. But, by their deeds ye shall know them. This nation was formed by lying, cheating, stealing, enslaving, and killing. Sad but true. There is no escaping a totalitarian government in the US or anyplace else because it can be done easily now with computers tracking all of us. We have lost our American Empire before most US citizens knew we even had one. History shows us the continous patterns, but few Americans are interested in learning from the past. The US is on its way down. There is no escaping it. The sine curve is just faster now because of technology. The only future for one Superpower is that everyone else in the world will unite to defeat it. I knew totalitarian government would come to the United States. I just didn't know I would live to see it.
 -- Lorna Abbott, Chillicothe, Ohio
It is astounding we know of (and are warned of) these things, but continue to think the "other guy" will take care of it.
 -- Beth Brown, Davisburg, MI
As a 30 year Navy veteran, my thoughts: "The enemy is not the taliban or alqueda in Iraq or Afghanistan, it is the liberal politician in our own backyard known as D.C. the District of Corruption".
We are losing our republic - terrorists will not take down America - it will be taken down from inside our own government. We must go back to our founding documents and founding father's writings and secure liberty and freedom once more! One fact is that career politicians are destroying the type of limited government the founders put in place. The republic is a very fragile thing. Read your Declaration of Independence - Read your Constitution!
 -- Matt, Amherst, OH
The Revolution is under attack from those who would place us back in Tyranny. They are counter-revolutionary in Nature and will bring back the same Yokes, that were used to bind Us, under the King.
 -- Marauder, Spring TX
Waffler, as a point of fact & under Authority of the Constitution, The Militia Officers are to be appointed by the governor's of Their respective States, & also under the control of the Governor. What has become the National Guard was orinally the state militia elements untill WW2. Several States still have Official State Militia's. Texas is one of them and I am proud to say I served 5 years with the Organization and left after I finished Hurricane Katrina duty, operating evacuation shelters. Furthermore, the age of the Federal Militia's is 50 years of age, not 45, though I feel it should be as long as you can fight or defend.
 -- Marauder, Spring TX
i am from calgary alberta and i would like to find a group of people that are doing something about taking back freedom from the commie governments
 -- rory, calgary alberta
I have just come upon this website while looking up Franklin's quote. I am now in my 50's and I'll admit that I have gone through the entire gambit of feelings towards our government during my lifetime. Slowly I have been drawn into the abyss of negativity that people my age and older, get drawn into so often. I have even considered leaving the US in favor of other countries because of it. Many other people have and I can understand very well why. Our republic has seen glory and embarrassment, defeats and triumphs, misery and happiness, oppression and privilege. We have been attacked and also been the aggressor, and depending upon your perspective, we have been either right or wrong in both instances. And to some degree, we have been both. But one thing has remained a constant through out it all: Our people are resilient and unite when required. We are intelligent and it's that intelligence that moves us to act when the pendulum swings too far in one direction or another. I believe that the pendulum has swung too far. I also believe there is a simple answer to that problem. I believe that the root to most of this turmoil and frustration we are feeling is embodied in our congress. I also believe that the press has hardened us to the intricacies and subtleties of politics. Now I don't care if you're Republican or Democrat, Chinese, English, white collar or blue collar, Black, white, orange, green or something in between, we all feel, to a greater or lesser extent, that congress has failed us, the people. It appears that what is really happening, from our perspective as a people, is that we have gridlock, indecision and partisan politics ruling and there is no leadership willing to step forward to contain it and turn the mess into something productive and constructive. Let's face it: If you're a politician, you have an agenda. Believe it or not, we are standing at the forefront of a historic event. Our people are resilient and unite when required. We are intelligent and it's that intelligence that moves us to act when the pendulum swings too far... We need to unite yet again, in the name of our republic, IF when can keep it. Our congress is taking our republic from us (republicans and democrats) and that's what is really disturbing to all of us. We see it happening before our very eyes, yet our politicians fail to see the tress for the forest. Each and every one of them are polarized on their agenda to the extent that it is creating problems for the people, and that's where we need to draw the line. Right now we don't need more gridlock, we need leadership to come to the front and find common ground. We need leadership to step up and sacrifice agendas for the good of all. We need someone to build on the consensus once it's found. We desperately need congress to do what they are supposed to do: find area's of agreement and begin to compromise for the good of the people. Instead, we find ourselves watching endless bickering and seeing animosity thick enough to cut with a knife. If they don't begin to act their age, then we will, for I believe our people are resilient and unite when required. We are intelligent, when our representatives aren't and it's that intelligence that moves us to act when the pendulum swings too far. The pendulum has swung too far. In November, we can unite and do something about it. We can send a clear, concise message to our representatives: If you fail to make the system work, you will be replaced. Nothing like a little job instability to provide motivation. Now I also propose some common ground to all of you: weather we like, dislike or are indifferent about our health care bill, WE have it. But our representative s DON'T. For those of you that don't know it, congress has their own health care, the best there is to offer, and it's free to THEM, but it costs US. WE, the people, pay for them to have separate and distinct care. Seems that our health care isn't good enough for them. I wonder what they would think about it if they were being administered the same care under the same bill? I don't see anything in the constitution that says "all men were created equal EXCEPT those in congress when it comes to health care". That appears to be a conflict of interest to me, one that needs to be corrected. How can congress tell us what's best for us, but then separate themselves and their families from what's best? We need to unite and make this a central issue in the November election. I normally don't support being a "single issue voter". but we need to break things down to the most basic common denominator here. We, the people, need to elect representatives that agree to support the elimination of their health care and sign a contract pledging to bring the issue in front of congress in the January session and eliminate their favorable health care. I truly don't know if I am in support of the health care bill or not. But, if my representative has the same one, I'll know if they REALLY support it or not. Can we agree on this?
 -- Mel, Spokane, WA
"Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms." - Aristotle. I wonder if old Ben had this at the back of his mind when he said that? It would seem we are following that path....
 -- John Q., Arizona
Your Republic was gone the minute we started using these fake federal reserve notes. It's not our national currency.
 -- Phili1, Eatonville, Fl
Lorna Abbott "Franklin turned his back on France". What wasn't done for France, that should have been? Thomas Jefferson was the person more intimate and responsible for relations with France, as minister plenipotentiary and later Sec. of State, subsequent to Franklin leaving France in 1786.
 -- Scott, NY
We the People's education of history is key.
 -- Scott, NY
Mel - "We need someone to build on the consensus once it's found". I believe national consensus can only be reach in a very limited number of areas. Hence, the need for a very limited federal gov't. I believe the very reason for Congresses poor showing in public opinion polls, is due to this. Areas where national consensus cannot be reach, should be left to the states, and to the people. This was the belief in 1787, and should be now.
 -- Scott, NY
We started losing our Republic when, what I consider, the traitorous Alexander Hamilton sold us down the river in 1791 by conning Congress into chartering a National Banking System financed and run by his compatriots, the International Bankers (Rothschilds, et al). However, it was in 1871, when the unconstitutional 41st Congress finally swept aside the Republic to the dust heap of memory and replaced it with a corporation called THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Why did Congress do this? Because our country went into bankruptcy and this was part of the reorganization plan. The principles of this corporation were the International Bankers and they were and still are the ones holding the notes on the debts of our country. What they also did was rewrite the Constitution in their own image. On March 30th of 2010, we dusted off the Republic that lay dormant in the dust heap of history and reinhabited it. It is called "The Republic for the united States" and is the same Republic we had before 1871. For more concise details on these historic events, go to: www.RepublicForArizona.org and watch the video on the home page. This video will show you how we lost our Republic, how we reclaimed the Republic, how you can be part of it, and how you can live a life of being a freeman on the land instead of being a slave to the CORPORATION. For a history of the International Banking Systems and how they have destroyed sovereign nations throughout history, go to: www.GlobalDeceptions.com . You will need to start with the first blog post for a chronoligical insight into the evolution of International Banking Systems.
 -- Gus, Flagstaff, Arizona
I prefer his quote: "We must all hang together or we shall certainly hang separately." This quote represents how the middle class is fighting among themselves as the privileged sit back and collect their rewards.
 -- amma, portland
We were most certainly meant to be a republic because unfortunately democracy is a republic gone awry. Our congress has sold us down the river. Jefferson would be sick over this. When a Federal Government can't function to handle a check book they should be limited in their reach on us.
 -- Katlynn, Missouri
A Republic ? If Obamacare is legal as a tax, WHAT TAX ? Income tax is the authority to take money from the individual as a capitation or direct tax. The extraction of money is a completely different topic than spending money (forcing a bankrupt theocracy on a once free people). Obamacare is done to the individual - having nothing to do with the tax extracted. Excise, sales and all other taxes describe the taking of money, not what the government demands it helots, serfs, and otherwise slaves to do. A Republic ? Not for a long time.
 -- Mike, Norwalk
I believe we can keep it, but to do so we have to clean out Congress the White House and the majority of state and local governments.
 -- Ken, Spokane
If the American people knew what we have done to them they would chase us down the street and hang us from the nearest lamp post. --George H.W. Bush People who believe in Communism are useful idiots. --Lenin We were always told that we would eventually be able to dump slave labor goods in the United States and around the world so as to destroy the economy of the United States. --Kenneth Goff, Former Communist party member. The surest way to conquer a nation is to debauch it's currency. --Lenin
 -- James E. Lockwood, C.Ht, San Jose, CA
The Republic can be saved. Start at the top and work to the bottom. Clean house.
 -- American, America
"When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." - Benjamin Franklin

And so they have
 -- Anonymous, Fairfax, VA
A surgeon in 1751, his friend Dr. Thomas Bond, convinced Ben Franklin to champion a progressive cause: the building of a public hospital. Through his hard work and political ingenuity, Franklin brought the skeptical legislature to the table, bargaining his way to use public money to build what would become Pennsylvania Hospital.
"Franklin proposed an institution that would provide --'free of charge'--the finest health care to everybody, 'whether inhabitants of the province or strangers,' even to the 'poor diseased foreigners"' (referring to the immigrants of German stock that the colonials tended to disparage and discriminate). Countering the Assembly's insistence that the hospital be built only with private donations, Franklin said:
"That won't work, it will never be enough, good health care costs a lot of money, remembering 'the distant parts of this province' in which 'assistance cannot be procured, but at an expense that neither [the sick-poor] nor their townships can afford.'

And besides, Franklin wrote,
"the good [that] particular men may do separately, in relieving the sick, is small, compared with what they may do collectively.'"
 -- UnaffiliatedIndie, Denver, CO
The quote is more am admonition than a definememt; i.e., ' ...See if you can keep it Madam.'

Well, are we??? I believe it's time for Jefferson's reference to the Tree of Liberty.

 -- Angeline Boyd, Lexington, MI
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