Letter to the editor

One of the most memorable stories surrounding the 1787 constitutional convention is about Ben Franklin, when confronted by a curious citizen who asked, “What kind of government have you given us?”

To which Franklin replied, “A republic, sir, if you can keep it!”

As we approach the 243rd anniversary of the signing of our sacred Declaration of Independence, we are forced to answer the question: Do we still want to be a republic or are we ready to accept an authoritarian head of state?

As many Americans seem eager to allow the president of the United States to disregard the constitutional power of Congress to do oversight on the executive, they are approving the unchecked supremacy of Donald Trump. While claiming to be totally transparent, this president has failed to adhere to 50 years of making tax returns available; has refused to honor every subpoena for witnesses to appear and testify; has refused to allow former Special Counsel Robert Mueller to question him under oath; has the worst record of presidential press conferences and White House briefings of any commander-in-chief in the last 60 years; has failed to disclose the content of discussions with dictators like Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jung Un; and has lied continuously about the Moscow Trump Tower project and the paying of hush money to women in order to cover up affairs that could have destroyed his electoral chances.

Unless Americans decide to support the completion of dozens of investigations, Trump will succeed in becoming the unchallenged monarch Franklin feared. It is now, truly, up to all of us to decide if we fervently wish to keep our republic.

Thomas Smith


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