“A republic, if you can keep it.”
Those were the famous words of Benjamin Franklin after the Constitutional Convention when he was asked if the United States would be a republic or monarchy. Mr. Franklin – along with the other Founding Fathers who would launch the great American experiment at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in 1787 – believed in the power of the people to govern. We exercise this power when we cast our vote at the polls.
In the United States, we vote to fill federal offices during even-numbered years. These elections determine one-third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives every two years. The 435 members of the House serve two-year terms and are elected by district. The 100 members of the Senate serve six-year terms and represent their entire state. The President and Vice President, of course, are chosen every four years…
…As I have said on a number of occasions, being born an American is like winning the lottery without having to buy a ticket. Election Day is just one reminder that we have a government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” We are the lucky ones, and this is our republic to keep.