Constitution Day Makes Me Nostalgic for Republic
The anniversary of the signing of the Constitution deserves as much attention as any other national holiday but is often just glossed over. While making it a holiday has promoted awareness of the Constitution and its role in establishing our Republic, I’m not sure that it’s doing much to actually promote understanding of the document.
One of my favorite quotes from the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 is attributed to Benjamin Franklin. When asked what the resulting document produced – a Republic or a Monacrchy, he said, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” There’s no doubt that preserving our rights is not something that is handed to us on a silver platter. Brave men and women have fought and died to protect those rights. Just yesterday twelve people working at a military facility on our own soil were killed for reasons we still don’t understand.
One could argue that we’ve lost our Republic a long time ago. Many have come to focus on the difference between a Republic and a Democracy – that there is some form of representation, that individual citizens make their voice heard through people they elect to run the government, not by making those decisions themselves. I would rather go back to the actual root of the term Republic, which simply means government matters are of a public interest.
Are we actually doing a good job of keeping things in the public interest? We’ve been writing about our frustration of just getting some public information from the Department of Education about how they are responding to public information requests. At the federal level the “most transparent administration in history” has Presidential appointees creating “dummy” official accounts and using personal email to communicate about public policy.
As government grows more complicated, more complex and encroaches on more aspects of our lives at the state and federal level, it becomes more and more difficult to keep government a matter of public interest. That doesn’t mean the responsibility is any less ours – if we’re not happy about the decisions our representatives make or how they make them it’s our job to elect new people to those jobs. I realize that reads like a vast oversimplification, and I understand that this drift is not entirely of our own making – decades of inattention to what the government is actually doing has contributed to the mess we find ourselves in today.
What was created over decades is not undone in a day. But I’ll say this: as we celebrate our “Republic” today and the Constitution that created it – we’re going to be here doing our best to share information with you to keep information in the public interest alive and well. We need your help to make that happen… if you’d like to contribute your thoughts or news you think other Hoosiers need to know, send it to us! Hoosier Access is more than just a group of writers and editors, it’s a place for the conservative community in Indiana to come together, share information and build each other up for the fight ahead, and that’s why we’re here.