A Republic, If You Can Keep It

Straight Talk with Sam

On September 17, 1787, delegates left the Constitutional Convention in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. As they exited, Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government do we have? "A Republic," he replied, "if you can keep it."

For months, the delegates of the Constitutional Convention worked to devise a system of government that would keep the worst intentions of man in check. Because, as Franklin put it earlier in the Convention, "the first man put at the helm will be a good one, nobody knows what sort may come afterward."

They came up with a Republic to be held together by checks and balances. The Constitution established three co-equal branches: the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. Each was given the power to hold the others in check to prevent any one branch, or any one individual, from seizing absolute power. Because, as the Founders knew, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Fast forward 234 years and their concerns seem prescient. Today, liberals in Congress unveiled their plot to pack the Supreme Court and bend the Constitution to their will. 

If you look up court-packing in the dictionary, you’ll find a succinct definition of what they’re trying to do. Merriam Webster defines “court-packing” as “the act or practice of packing a court and especially the United States Supreme Court by increasing the number of judges or justices in an attempt to change the ideological makeup of the court.”

That’s exactly what some on the Left want to do by proposing to add four new Justices to the Supreme Court. However, as President Biden once said, that's a "bonehead idea." Threatening to pack the Court was a "terrible, terrible mistake" when FDR tried it, and it remains a threat to our Republic now. It would completely upend the system of checks and balances that our Founding Fathers imagined and shake the very foundations of our Republic.

When FDR tried to pack the Court in 1937, Americans across the political spectrum loudly rejected his thinly veiled power grab. Now, we are called upon to do the same, to keep this Republic.


Sam Graves