Mark Caserta: Each of us has a role in defending our republic

24 Mar

me

Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

Mar 23, 2018

america

 

 

Following the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a citizen, “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” It is said, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

So, how have we done, as citizens, to “keep” our republic? Have we guarded it in a manner befitting our forefathers’ vision?

At the Battle of Gettysburg, 50,000 brave men died in three days. Shortly afterward, President Abraham Lincoln consecrated the ground in a speech famously known as The Gettysburg Address. Lincoln’s remarks, while short, were meant to resonate forever in the hearts of men and women across this great land.

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

But has the flame in Lincoln’s oratory dimmed over time? Nearly 150 years later, are our hearts resolved “that these dead shall not have died in vain,” and this nation under God shall be swaddled in the freedoms provided by their sacrifice?

Frankly, the number of people in our country who aren’t engaged with its governing is troubling. Many with whom I’ve spoken simply say it doesn’t interest them.

But our elected officials were hired to frame, within the Constitution, the very environment in which we live and raise our families! Not only should you be interested, you should be helping facilitate their representation!

Our freedoms are envied around the world, and there are entities, both foreign and domestic, that would render them void or transform them into something unrecognizable. And I submit, we’ve entrusted those freedoms to our elected representatives and they should be held accountable for protecting them.

A classic film directed by Frank Capra nearly eight decades ago always reminds me of the vulnerability of freedom within our own government.

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” is the story of Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart), leader of the Boy Rangers, who is appointed by the governor of his state to the Senate, where he is teamed with his state’s senator and childhood hero, Sen. Joseph Paine.

As with many “junior” politicians who have “visions of grandeur” for their constituents, Sen. Smith discovers the multiple deficiencies of politics, including his hero, Paine. He falls prey to the “so-called” political machine, which after failing to corrupt him, attempts to destroy him with a “fake news” scandal.

But, Smith, with some coaching from a savvy political assistant, learns just enough of the Senate’s parliamentary procedure to filibuster the chamber until his message of truth emerged.

Where are the Jefferson Smiths today? Is it possible they’ve become so mired in the swamp they can’t or won’t be heard above the fray?

If so, it’s because we’ve permitted it.

We witnessed in the 2016 presidential election how engaged voters can bring the political machine to a grinding halt. Subsequently, we’re witnessing government being returned to the people in an unprecedented timeline. Together, we helped return our nation on the path to greatness.

Our representatives weren’t hired to do our thinking. America is only as strong as your knowledge and engagement.

Your voice is crucial. Your vote is non-negotiable. Your duty is clear.

You are “We the People,” defender of the Republic. Will you help keep it?

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

 

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