Tim Timmons | Crawfordsville, IN

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December 11, 2017

2/8/2014 3:43:00 PM
Like Franklin said, it's a republic, if we can keep it

Maybe I've been listening to my friend Bubba Castiron too much. Maybe I'm just sick and tired of negative attacks from Joe Donnelley, Richard Murdock and John Gregg. Don't know what it is, but I can't put down Gov. Mitch Daniels' book, Keeping the Republic.
The title, as most American history students recognize, paraphrases one of our Founding Fathers Benjamin Franklin. The story goes that as Franklin was walking out of the Constitutional Convention a woman asked him what sort of government the country was going to have. "A republic, if you can keep it," was his response.
It could be the overall negativity that unfortunately seems to surround most elections these days, but whether or not we can hold onto that precious ideal has never felt more in doubt than it does today.
Fortunately for us all, Daniels seems to believe that we can indeed keep the republic . . . if we change our ways. He's got some other awfully interesting things to say on that subject and others. Here are a few examples.
• On our ballooning national debt: "Now we confront a second Red Menace (alluding to the Soviet Union being first), this time in the form of the red ink that could destroy the promise of American and, with it, our position as an influence for good around the world."
• "It's not out of the question that the American republic could undergo a full economic and social collapse, with consequences beyond our ability to imagine."
• On Social Security: "For seventy years, Americans were misled to believe that they had been putting aside money for their own retirement . . . This misrepresentation has been aptly named 'the noble lie' . . . Retirees weren't providing for themselves during their working years, they were simply paying for current retirees. And what was left over - the program's 'surplus' - was spent by the federal government."
• On President Obama's actions regarding the debt: "On the biggest danger to our nation, the biggest problem we face as a people, the president went AWOL. He should have stayed there. His silence would have been better than what he did next."
• On a statement from Fed chair Ben Bernanke: "Allow me to translate: we either deal with this problem soon, or we're hosed."
• On government workers: "Americans who have always thought that 'public service' meant that the government works for them must now wonder if they had it wrong. (Government workers) who have salaries, benefits, and protections against layoffs that far exceed anything in the private sector are now issuing orders to them and making all kinds of choices for them: where and when they can build, what equipment they can add to their businesses, where their children can go to school, what kind of health insurance they must carry, what kind of credit cards they may use, and so on."
• On the state of education in Indiana: "At the recent rate of improvement, it would take 21 years for us to catch Slovenia, and that's if Slovenia stood still."
• "Among the many things today's young people are unlikely to learn either at school or in front of a television or movie screen is where wealth comes from . . . they probably won't be told that the creation of wealth is among life's highest and most important achievements."
• On biased view of capitalists: "In the two decades that followed the end of World War II, (Michael) Medved reports in his book 'Hollywood vs. America' just 11 percent of Hollywood's villains were businessmen. By 1986, 67 percent of characters who committed felonies on-screen were businessmen."
• On the Tea Party: "Unlike many alleged protest organizations we have seen, consisting of a dozen sign carriers and a couple of television news cameras, this was a genuine grass-roots citizens movement, motivated by the kind of freedom-minded citizenship this chapter has fretted about the nation losing."
• On the challenge of government budgets: "I don't know whether winning football championships takes an Albert Einstein level of genius, but I do know that balancing a budget does not."
Although early on in the book, a fitting summary to what our great governor intends might have been summed up on page 15.
"Faith is at the core of every great endeavor. Early currency printed by the infant American Republic bore the words Exitus in dubio est. 'The outcome is in doubt.' Resolving to put this doubt to rest once again is the task of our age, and as noble an assignment as any generation could wish for."






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