“A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Upon leaving the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was reportedly asked by an anxious citizen, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” To which he famously replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

Today, that question, along with Franklin’s conditional answer, is still with us, but in a distinctly modern form: Will the Trump Presidency be the start of a new authoritarian regime, unaccountable to either the electorate or the other branches of government, or will it be a one-time deal, a final culmination and repudiation of the 30-year Republican program to enrich a minute class of millionaires and billionaires at the expense of everyone else in the country? Continue reading

Is Trump the key to a Democratic Party resurgence?

Trump may fail miserably, but if the Democratic Party does not offer a viable alternative to Trumpism in the upcoming Congressional and Presidential cycles, he may still prevail. And with another electoral “mandate” Trump may easily become emboldened to escalate his authoritarian aspirations for the American Presidency. So a revitalization of the Democratic Party is as crucial to the future of the Republic as is the reinvigoration of a vigilant, oppositional Free Press. What do the Democrats need to do? Continue reading