Tag Archives: republic

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

24 Mar

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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.

 

Mark Caserta: Americans begin a new journey with President Trump!

14 Nov

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Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot editor

WE THE PEOPLE 1

The word “Republic” is a special word and quite different from a “Democracy.”

A Republic is a form of government in which the powers of sovereignty are vested in and exercised by the people, either directly or through representatives chosen by the people. Democracy is simply “majority rule.”

Our founding fathers had a vision for a republic, one in which every individual controlled their own destiny without interference from government or any oppressive entity.

The first time I ever heard the word and gained a real grasp of its meaning was from the 1960 epic war film “The Alamo,” starring screen giants like John Wayne as Davy Crockett, Richard Boone as Sam Houston and Richard Widmark as Jim Bowie.

The film depicts the “Battle of the Alamo” and the events leading up to it. Facing the insurmountable odds of defeating the Mexican forces, led by General Santa Anna, Sam Houston challenges Col. William B. Travis, played by Laurence Harvey, to buy him time by holding a position at the Alamo mission while he prepared an army capable of fighting for Texas’ independence.

In an early scene, Travis attempts a conversation with Crockett to convince him of the nobility of the fight and to persuade his Tennesseans to join the battle in pursuit of a Republic.

In the movie, Crockett quickly sets aside his “country-bumpkin” demeanor and speaks eloquently about the term “republic.”

“Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat – the same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or his first baby shaves and makes his first sound as a man,” Crockett said. “Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words.”

While Travis, Crockett and Bowie were badly defeated at the Alamo in 1836, Houston’s army won against the Mexican forces and gained independence for Texas. The phrase “Remember the Alamo” aptly immortalizes this brave sacrifice as well as our nation’s fervor for freedom.

Following the founding of our U.S. Constitution at convention in 1787, it’s recorded that a bystander inquired of Ben Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Since then, there have been a total of 27 constitutional amendments designed to further the premise of having three distinct branches of government, along with a system of checks and balances, to ensure no single branch would have too much power and that voters have the final word.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, Americans once again had the final word. Americans once again arose above the fray and persevered against tyranny and oppression.

I submit, Donald Trump’s decisive victory is best described by a posthumous response to Dr. Franklin’s challenge he posed following that immortal day in Philadelphia over 200 years ago.

“We shall, Mr. Franklin. We shall protect our Republic.”

May God bless America as we begin this new journey.  And may God bless Donald Trump as he takes the helm during tumultuous seas in the U.S.

 

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

 

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