by Jay Cost
After the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin’s response: “A Republic—if you can keep it.”
This book argues: we couldn’t keep it.
A true republic privileges the common interest above the special interests. To do this, our Constitution established an elaborate system of checks and balances that disperses power among the branches of government, which it places in conflict with one another. The Framers believed that this would keep grasping, covetous factions from acquiring enough power to dominate government. Instead, only the people would rule.