December 15, 1791 A Republic, if you can Keep it
Today we stand on the brink of a runoff election, threatening to tip the balance of the United States Senate away from the Republic of the founders, and toward the proverbial “democracy” of three wolves and a lamb, voting on what to have for dinner.
There is no reason to believe the Bill of Rights will survive such a transition.
The Founding Fathers ratified the United States Constitution on June 21, 1788. In so doing, our forebears bestowed on generations yet unborn, a governing system unique in all history. A system of diffuse authority, checks and balances, and authority delegated but Never relinquished, by a sovereign electorate.
Today the American system is often described as “democracy”. That description is in error.
Ambrose Bierce once described Democracy as four wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. The founders gave us a Constitutional Republic.
The genius of such a Republic is demonstrated in a system which protects the rights of All citizens, including that individual. The proverbial lamb. The specifics are enumerated in our bill of rights, twelve amendments adopted by the first Congress on September 25, 1789 and sent to the states, for ratification.
Even at the Constitutional Convention, delegates expressed concerns about the larger, more populous states holding sway at the expense of the smaller states. The “Connecticut Compromise” solved that problem, creating a bicameral legislature with proportional representation in the lower house (House of Representatives) and equal representation of the states themselves in the upper house (Senate).