Is it possible for our nation to survive as a republic?

What is the definition of “republic” and the definition of “democracy?”

The story is told that as Benjamin Franklin was exiting the Constitutional Convention, a group of citizens asked, “What kind of government do we have?”

The 81-year-old sage replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Why is our nation a republic? Why do we have three branches of the federal government? What powers does each branch have and how do they check each other?

Why are representatives elected for two years, senators for six and the executive branch for four?


What are the articles of the Constitution and the Amendments and the purpose of each? Why is the Tenth Amendment (states’ rights) so important? Why do we have the electoral college? There’s so much to learn about our great nation.

I implore middle school, high school and college teachers and professors to pose these questions to their students. Teach the Constitution and what it stands for and what the framework means to us as individuals and to the states. Explore our American history, its successes and failures. Examine the policies of other nations and the effects of those policies.

Our next generations are ready to take charge and make important and lasting decisions.

Those decisions must be based on a thorough knowledge of how our republic works and its history. Education has never been more essential than now.

Jane Shields

Rocky Mount