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If We Can Keep It

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

As Benjamin Franklin was leaving Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a passerby supposedly asked him what kind of government the Framers had created.  He is said to have responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."  Every four years, we Americans are asked to keep it.  

At break of day today, we still do not know who our next president will be. Despite this uncertainty, I am heartened that we are keeping the republic that Franklin and his fellow Framers gave to us.

Tens of millions of Americans have voted, many for the first time.  During the voting process, there was no intimidation, no violence, no fraud. Instead, there was a calm, safe and respectful casting of ballots in every location across our land. An outpouring of confidence in our electoral system.

In polling places around our nation, thousands of patriotic Americans did (and continue to do) their civic duty to make sure that every legitimate ballot is counted, that every American voice is heard.  I am grateful to each and every one of them. 

Whichever side wins will be euphoric or relieved.  Whichever side loses will be sorely disappointed. That is the outcome of every election.

I believe that the vast majority of Americans know that we have had a free and fair election. I believe that even the majority who have voted for Trump realize that Trump's early claim of victory is not legitimate, that his charge of widespread fraud is not true, and that his demand to stop the voting (and counting) is not right. 

I voted for Biden.  But if Trump wins after all the votes are counted, I will hope that he will be a good president for all of us. I will continue to be part of the loyal opposition to legally, orderly and peacefully hold him accountable and work to change policies that I think are wrong.  I will look to our system of checks and balances to help moderate and guide the direction of our country. If Biden wins, I expect Trump supporters to do the same for their part.

After an election, we are all Americans charged with the duty and responsibility to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution that was handed to us over 230 years ago.

After all the ballots are counted and after each state declares its winning candidate, we will know who our president will be for the next four years. We Americans--individually and collectively--will then have to insist on a peaceful continuation of or transfer of power. If we do, then we will indeed have kept faith with Franklin and his fellow Framers by keeping the remarkable republic which they bequeathed to us.

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