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Constitution Day, Are We Keeping the Republic?


On this day in 1787, the constitutional convention adopted the Constitution.  At 4400 words [without the amendments], the US Constitution is the shortest constitution in the world AND it is the longest surviving constitution in the world with the longest surviving republic in the world.

The first three words of the Constitution, “We the People,” tower over the others, and this was no accident or rhetorical flourish.  After the convention adopted the Constitution, Elizabeth Powell approached delegate Benjamin Franklin, and their now famous conversation went:

“Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”

“A republic, if you can keep it.” 

[It is disputed whether Franklin said “a republic Madam.”  If you are not familiar with Elizabeth Powell, she is worth learning more about.]

While not perfect, America and her Constitution were a quantum leap in human freedom and self government.  Throughout human history, the usual order was 1. the god or gods; 2. the king, emperor, dictator, government etc.; 3. the people.   America was the exception with 1. God; 2. “We the People”; 3. the government.  This exception and the freedom to pursue happiness as we each define it made America exceptional.

The Constitution is the underlying agreement that protects our freedom and ability to govern ourselves as a free people.  If we want to preserve freedom and self government, we must protect that underlying agreement, and that is more important than victory on the political issue(s) of the day.  That is why the oaths of office for elected officials and the military promise they will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.



Today, America, the Constitution and the principles that made America exceptional are under assault like never before as the Left seeks to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”  Books and major articles are written on aspects of this cultural, religious, political, historical, educational and legal assault, which I will not try to duplicate here.  The Constitution primarily limits government, and the Left and the party that wants to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” don’t like that.

Part of the assault on America, the Constitution and the principles that made America exceptional is to attack the founders as “racist, slave owing white males” and on the grounds those 18th century men did not understand the problems and issues of today. 

However, given they produced the longest surviving Constitution and republic in the world, perhaps they understood government, history and human nature.  For examples, who would disagree with the following:

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground”? Thomas Jefferson

“In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” John Adams

Our founders and early leaders understood the GREATEST THREATS TO OUR REPUBLIC AND FREEDOM would come from within.  For examples:

“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” John Adams

If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” Abraham Lincoln

In addition, to Franklin, Jefferson and Lincoln, we should recall Ronald Reagan’s words:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”


We should CELEBRATE CONSTITUTION DAY and give thanks to the founders who created the #Constitution and our Republic, and give thanks to all of the Americans who preserved, protected and defended the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic over the last 230 years.

In addition, I pose TWO QUESTIONS on this CONSTITUTION DAY, one collective and one individual:

1. Are “We the People” keeping the Republic, the Constitution and our freedom?

2. What am “I” am doing to keep the Republic, the Constitution and our freedom?

As always, “The most important political office is that of the private citizen.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis

If “We the People” [including “me, myself and I”] do not fulfill the obligations of our most important political office, liberty will continue to yield, government will continue to gain ground, and we may be the generation that allows the extinction of our freedom.

#Constitution #ConstitutionDay #Freedom, #Liberty #Republic #KeepTheRepublic


Gregory W. Brittain, Attorney at Law
Redlands Tea Party Patriots Cabinet Member
Unite IE Board Member
707 Brookside Avenue, Redlands, CA 92373
909-335-7335; Fax: 909-335-7337; Cell: 909-327-8813| | |