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Letter: These trying times


Monday, December 11, 2017
These trying times

A bit of history and a grain of salt: At the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked by Mrs. Powell of Philadelphia, “Well, Doctor, what have we got – a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

To sharpen my focus, I checked out republic: a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

Okay, but now for a tangy touch of salt: Further in the definition we find this bit that’s included in the concept: a group with a certain equality between its members. Yes, I rather like the flavor of that.

Looking further, I couldn’t find where the wealthy and corporations are considered more equal, or was I thinking of Orwell’s Animal Farm?

It would seem today that we the people of the United States are questioning – seriously questioning – the nature, the identity of our nation. I wish us well.

Thomas Paine, I believe, forged a closing vision to this letter: “These are the times that try men’s souls.” If he were alive today he might have said that – the souls of men and women.

These are trying times, are they not?

CHARLIE STEPANEK

Concord