It has been reported that Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, was forced to delete a post from her social media account. In the tweet, she pushed her tale about January 6 by incorrectly quoting Benjamin Franklin.
The ‘insurrectionists’ who put democracy at risk were the focus of Shaheen’s call to her supporters on the three-year commemoration of the Capitol riots. She attempted to cite Benjamin Franklin.
Shaheen wrote: “‘A democracy, if you can keep it.'”
“A democracy” was not what Benjamin Franklin said.
A lady by the name of Elizabeth Willing Powel approached Benjamin Franklin after the Constitutional Convention’s September 1787 adjournment and asked what kind of government the framers had instituted- A republic or a monarchy?
“A republic. If you can keep it,” Franklin declared.
Our constitutional republic differs significantly from a pure democracy, even if the founders’ style of governance is a kind of democracy.
A report showed over 4,200 responses, with a significant number of people taking issue with Shaheen’s misquotation of Franklin. The overwhelming majority are quotes from other reposts, which also called out the senator for making such a glaring mistake.
A report shows that Shaheen deleted her tweet, but it was screen-capped by social media users.
An expert in American politics and history, Jay Cost, explains that the republican nature of our government stems from the fact that our forefathers recognized the people as the ultimate arbiters of policy. However, it is not entirely democratic since they feared the people would misuse their power and created a tool of government to prevent short-lived, reckless, and extreme popular sentiment from controlling politics.
Given the impossible odds of a self-appointed or inherited sovereign surviving long-term popular resistance, this form of governance is characterized by republicanism. Ultimately, it’s the people that drive everything. However, the phrase “ultimately” is crucial to that statement. Oftentimes, the people do not exert direct control. While not totally democratic, the system is republican.