On June 21, 1788, in Philadelphia, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were leaving Independence Hall, after just agreeing to the general structure for the new United States of America. A crowd had gathered on the steps of the great hall anxious to hear the news. An old woman approached Benjamin Franklin and asked him, “well, Doctor, what do we have, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied, “a republic, if you can keep it.” Do many Americans even know what a Constitutional Republic is supposed to look like? And how to keep it if they do?
When looking at the United States of America, do we have anything that even resembles a Constitutional Republic anymore? We currently have a President who legislates by executive fiat. He has personally created the energy crisis which is strangling the middle and lower classes, and destroying our economy. His executive orders to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline and cancel drilling contracts on federal land have cut our domestic oil production dramatically, drove up gas prices, and is fueling hyperinflation. There was no legislation passed, no public debate. He simply did this with a swipe of his pen as if he were King George, himself.
The Biden administration has created the border crisis by intentionally ignoring or violating federal immigration laws. Our Southern Border is now wide open and has allowed over 2 million illegal immigrants to enter our country since Joe Biden took office. And now, we have record amounts of illegal drugs and fentanyl smuggled into this country through our Southern Border which has resulted in record numbers of overdose deaths. And this administration is doing nothing to stop it, almost as if they want it to happen.
The two years of the Covid pandemic proved what a facade our republic really is. Unelected bureaucrats locked down our entire country, shut down schools and churches, forced businesses to close, and people were arrested for merely living their lives and trying to support their families. Covid showed how much power, freedom and rights the government can seize from the people whenever they want. The government forced the citizens to wear masks that did not combat the virus, and forced them to get vaccinations they did not want or may not have even needed. Covid showed that under the guise of a crisis, the government can strip American citizens of their Constitutionally protected rights, and turn America into an authoritarian state.
Our intelligence agencies have become weaponized by the Biden administration. Parents who object to their children being taught left-wing Critical Race Theory and radical gender theory, are deemed domestic terrorists and put on an FBI watch list. These agencies are continually being used against the opposition party. Since taking office, at least 11 of Joe Biden’s political opponents have been arrested by the FBI, most at their homes with SWAT teams in pre-dawn raids, most were elderly men, and all for non-violent crimes. The statement has been clearly made, if you go against this administration, you will end up in handcuffs.
We no longer have a first amendment. Censorship is commonplace in our society. Social media which acts as the de facto town square, and is both protected and propped up by the federal government, is actively censoring the speech of one political party on their social media platforms. Ruthless dictators and known terrorists are allowed to have Twitter accounts, but our former President is permanently blocked. People are fired from their jobs and canceled from their lives if they happen to hold or espouse “unapproved” political beliefs. Cancel culture is a sign of the creeping authoritarianism that is taking over America.
Our politicians are beginning to act like other authoritarian regimes. Next week, WNBA star Brittney Griner who has been jailed in Russia since February for drug charges, will go on trial, facing up to 10 years in prison. United States officials are calling this a ‘sham trial.’ Congressman Colin Allred, D-Texas, issued a statement saying, "Brittney Griner has been wrongfully detained for four months, and Russia is now engaging in theater by subjecting her to a sham trial in an effort to create a false pretense that she is anything other than a political prisoner." A report from the State Department found that the outcomes of these trials in Russia "appeared predetermined" with only 0.34% of defendants being acquitted.
Is that any different than what has happened in our country with the Capital riot on January 6? Hundreds of the rioters were placed in solitary confinement for months, and some have sat in the DC jails for a year and a half without their cases being adjudicated. They all could now be considered “political prisoners”. And for the last two weeks, our country has been watching a show trial of Donald Trump, with no due process, no cross examination of witnesses, no right to confront his accusers, relying on hearsay testimony, and where the outcome appears to be “predetermined”. Nancy Pelosi, who is the head of this show trial, had repeatedly called the riot an “insurrection” well before the show trial began, and she has already impeached Donald Trump twice. Her mind, as well as the minds of all of the other participants in the show trial, is already made-up. Congresswoman Liz Cheney said that the House Select Committee could be giving the Justice Department "more than one" criminal referral without affording the accused due process. It is apparent that the outcome had already been decided from the start, like they do in totalitarian countries like Russia.
Do we really have a Constitutional Republic when election laws can be changed unconstitutionally by governors and judges, and not by state legislatures as is spelled out in our Constitution, and no one is allowed to question the legitimacy of a proven unconstitutional election? The one-sided partisan show trial of Donald Trump has also been used as an attempt to disprove the claim that the 2020 election was stolen which is exactly what politicians who stole the election would do, continually repeat the lie that the election wasn’t stolen until the lie sounds like the truth.
Supreme Court Justices have had their private homes inundated by far-left wing mobs, and are being threatened with their lives and bullied into changing their rulings on the court, and not much is being done to stop it. The Supreme Court Marshal had to send a letter to the Governors of Maryland and Virginia asking them to protect the justices from the protesters that are camped outside their homes and threatening them. Once again, the message is clear, rule the way the far-left mob wants you to rule or else.
And where do we end up through all this? A record low number of U.S. adults are "extremely proud to be American." In lieu of a 4th of July celebration, Arizona Democrats are promoting 'F--k the 4th' event in response to the Supreme Court abortion decision. Democrats on Twitter are attacking Independence Day calling to 'burn this country to the godd--- ground'. And there are young Americans who have pledged not to celebrate Independence Day "out of respect to indigenous people groups."
This is all done on purpose by the Democrats. The left wants to destroy this country. They believe that our country was founded on evil, and our wealth is a result of theft and exploitation. They want to destroy every institution that doesn’t give them what they want. They are calling to pack the Supreme Court to overturn decisions they don’t like. They want to add extra senators and do away with the filibuster in the Senate, so they can rig legislative process in their favor. They want to eliminate the electoral college so we will never have another fair election again. Everything they do is about unethically rigging the system for their political advantage.
Alexis de Tocqueville said, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” We are at that moment right now. We currently have over $30 trillion national debt, and nothing to show for it. Over the years, Congress has bribed Americans citizens to the tune of $30 trillion of their own money. We can blame the politicians for their outrageous spending, but every time a fiscal-conservative candidate steps into the arena, and runs on austerity and cutting spending, he gets defeated at the ballot box. At some point the weight of our debt will collapse our Republic. Is it being done out of greed? Is it happening out of irresponsibility? Or is it being done on purpose? The communists, the authoritarians who want to take over this country need America to collapse under the weight of its own debt.
Freedom and rights are the most important things, the most valuable things that we have. Money and wealth and possessions lose their value when we lose our freedoms and our rights. Are they taking our rights from us? Are they taking our freedoms from us? Or are we giving them away? Franklin understood how tenuous a republic is not only from the power-hungry politicians who will try to strip the rights of the citizens to empower themselves, but also from weak minded citizens who would be willing to trade away their freedom and rights for security or for a short-term result. And whether it is for money or power, we are allowing all the governing principles that have made our Constitutional Republic the greatest in the history of the world to slip away into nothing. And maybe, only when it is gone will we realize what we actually had, and didn’t protect.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.