Letters to the Editor

Let's uphold the ideals of the republic formed in 1787

I helped conduct two Vacation Liberty Schools this summer. Elementary students were taught the events of America's founding with emphasis on the writing of the Constitution. I portrayed Elizabeth Powel, the woman who asked Benjamin Franklin what form of government the delegates of the Constitutional Convention gave the country. His reply was, "A Republic if you can keep it!" He did not say "a democracy." I explained the difference between our republic and a democracy.

I'd like to share the lesson with Eagle readers.

The ancient Greeks (500 BCE) originated a form of government called a democracy. In city-states such as Athens, all male citizens met to pass laws by a majority vote -- pure or direct democracy. As the population increased, representatives were elected and would assemble in one place to pass laws by a majority vote.

Our constitutional republic incorporated democratic ideals: we the people control our government, representatives are elected by citizens, equality of all citizens before the law and expectation of citizens to participate in civil affairs.

What was not incorporated is that majority votes determine our laws and elect our president. Our framers recognized the issue of dangerous majorities exercising tyranny over a nation. They wrote the Constitution with safeguards to ensure liberty of all citizens: protection for rights of the minority, checks and balances of the three branches and diversity of viewpoints of citizens in large and small states (equal apportionment in the Senate and election of the president by the Electoral College).

Our republic is better than a democracy! It eliminates the possibility of majority votes taking freedoms and liberty away from its citizens. Remember this when pledging allegiance to "the Republic."

I encourage participation in activities promoting our republic. Let's meet Benjamin Franklin's challenge to keep the republic that was created in 1787!



Council candidate would be the change Bryan needs

I am submitting this message for a very worthy individual in the person of Rafael Peña. I have known Mr. Peña for a few years after attending several Bryan City Council meetings. He is a family man and is concerned about the people in the community and stands for right.

He has shown himself to be friendly no matter what your background, ethnicity or religious belief is. He is involved in the community in several organizations, including the Hispanic Forum and president of the Castle Heights Neighborhood Association, to name a few.

He is running for Bryan City Council for District 2. He has shown himself to be a leader and I feel he would continue to make a difference in the city of Bryan if elected.



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