“A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”
So history records Benjamin Franklin’s reply, when queried about the type of government being created, that sweltering Summer of 1787 in the City of Brotherly Love. Known for his sardonic wit, sharp tongue, and acerbic pen, this time, “Poor Richard” wasn’t trying to be ironic. He knew well the challenges that awaited the young nation. Having suffered through years of war, he and his fellow members of the Constitutional Convention were now faced with the daunting task of creating a unified polity from 13 disparate states.
From Bunker Hill to Brooklyn Heights, from Trenton to Valley Forge, throughout the American Revolution, the issue had been very much in doubt – until the French fleet had shown up off the coast of Yorktown six years earlier. They now joined in earnest the work of forging the nation for which so many had shed their life’s blood.
They had made the attempt before, but almost as soon as they were adopted, the Articles of Confederation had suffered from a lack of a strong, central government. This weakness had contributed to what would become known as “Shay’s Rebellion.” Before it was over, two would lay dead, twenty wounded.
Now, in the stifling Philadelphia heat, and after weeks of acrimonious bickering with little to show for their effort, on the morning of June 28th, Benjamin Franklin arose and addressed his fellow delegates. Of the assembled representatives, Franklin was one of the least religious. But he was no atheist.
Years before, he had struck up a friendship with the fiery Great Awakening preacher, George Whitefield. It was to Whitefield’s God he suggested he and his fellow delegates appeal. He reminded them that in that very room, while the war still raged, they had begun each meeting of the Continental Congress with prayer. Though they listened respectfully, and his motion was seconded, his appeal would ultimately be tabled.
But the speech must have made an impression because after a three-day break, the delegates returned to Independence Hall with a renewed vigor and sense of purpose. At the very least, the bickering seemed to have ended. What came out of the Constitutional Convention, of course, was the greatest governing document the world had ever known. And as imperfect as our country has been, for 230+ years, the Constitution of the United States has been the means by which successive generations of Americans have, on the main, peacefully transferred power.
At present, following a contentious and – contrary to what the mainstream media would have us all believe – as of this writing, a still undecided presidential election, our Republic arguably faces its greatest threat since the bloodiest war in our history, The Civil War, ended, 155 years ago this Spring. For now, thankfully, it is not threatened with bullets or bayonets, but by an activist, globalist Left, which seeks to undermine its very foundation. This must be clear, to even the most casual observer.
Much of this effort is concentrated in an activist press, which has become unmoored from its original purpose, namely, the task of holding our elected officials accountable to the people who put them in office. In this stead, what today frequently passes for “journalism” in this country, is often thinly disguised advocacy.
No matter who takes the oath of office next month, it is also clear that our Republic cannot long survive as founded, unless we have an honest Press. To be a free people, the citizenry must have access to honest, unbiased information
With that in mind, we at the RF Angle pledge to our readers an uncompromising effort to present the truth regarding the issues of the day, without bias, so that you may come to the informed opinions a free nation requires of its citizens, in order to be governed by those elected officials “…with the consent of the governed.”
May we be successful in that endeavor.
And God save the republic.