Upon leaving the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked by citizens what type of government was created, a monarchy or a republic. Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” And Alexander Tyler, an 18th-century Scottish advocate, judge, writer and historian, noted that the average age of the world’s greatest civilizations, including the ancient Greeks and Romans, was 200 years.

The mob’s Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol building and its occupants was the culmination of Donald Trump’s persistent undermining of our 244-year-old democracy. Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives is a good first step toward rehabilitating our democracy, but more is needed. Trump needs to be prosecuted for his many criminal acts, and his enablers and sycophants have to be held to account by, at a bare minimum, voting them out of office. The future of our republic is hanging in the balance.

Michael Saphier


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