In 1787, the American nation’s leaders’ deliberations of the Constitutional Convention were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended.
As the story goes, a Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin who exited the Hall, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Republic: a state in which supreme power is held by the people, for the people, and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.
It was on July 4, 1776, when the young American nation declared its independence from England monarchy with the immortal words:
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness … “
Nine years later, from May 25th, 1787 until September 17th of that year, the smart and magnificent America’s founding fathers held the Constitutional Convention which concluded with what can be called “The Torah” of the American democracy, namely, the Constitution its preamble reads:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The first ten amendments were proposed by Congress in 1789, at their first session and became a part of the Constitution December 15, 1791, and are known as the Bill of Rights.
For a little perspective on the magnitude of these events, in June of 1793 until August 1, 1974 France was subjected to a “reign of terror” – thousands of death sentences and bloody executions for opposition to the Revolution. In England, until 1868, public executions attracted large crowds of spectators, including tots.
America remains a more perfect union and we retain the rights, as formulated in the First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
And the irony is that those who take every measure promised in the foregoing, are now doing their best to violate real liberalism and democracy. But, our great nation will prevail. Happy birthday to America, the best land of all.
As much as I am very proud being a Jew and I proudly support the state of Israel, the land where I was born, I must make my case, loud and clear, that America, the Republic, is the greatest land of all. We MUST keep it.