In the 18th Century, Mrs. Powel took to heart Dr. Franklin’s instruction to keep the U.S. republic. Today’s political environment, however, makes clear that she alone was not enough to keep our republic. She’s gone now and here we are, left to deal with a so-called “democratic” republic on an apparent crash course with anarchy. In 21st Century America, then, how do we maintain our republic?

Before we can maintain this structure, we need to understand it. The original U.S. mixed republic was designed to be balanced on a scale between tyranny and chaos – a place of peace between oppression and collapse. So first, determine how our republic is presently functioning. Is the aircraft balanced or unstable? Then ask yourself, is this because of the pilot, a dysfunctional governmental structure, or both?

The passengers on the Right side of the aircraft between 2009-2016 might tell you the previous pilot (Obama) was “definitely, purposely” trying to crash the plane – as if he had 100% control of it like a king. And today (2017), the Left-side passengers would say the current pilot (Trump) is “definitely, purposely” trying to crash the aircraft – as if he has 100% control of it like a king.

Based on this thinking, both sides organize within the cabin using their issues to attempt to disrupt or preserve the pilot’s control (i.e. protest, occupy, testify, sue, etc.). They eventually succeed in replacing or keeping the single pilot (i.e. DNC, GOP, etc.). Both sides will tell you those actions “keep the aircraft” from crashing. However, are these modern day “pilots” (Obama & Trump) merely navigating the plane to the Left or to the Right? And depending on your perspective, are you mistaking these Left and Right turns for the plane crashing?

In the 21st Century, cabin and cockpit politics dominate while Franklin’s prescribed maintenance of keeping the republic is almost non-existent. The irony is that in most cases a plane’s crashing has little to do with the pilot. In other words, the pilot turns the plane left or right – keeping it on a course. However, two other MAJOR factors outside the control of the pilot can contribute to a plane’s crash – and these factors deserve your attention!

Consider carefully the forces of nature like gravity, turbulence, lightning strikes, and so on. In addition, when something is wrong with an aircraft’s structure due to sabotage or negligence, regardless of a Left or Right pilot, either pilot will find it nearly impossible to maintain control of it. At that point, it matters little whether the pilot is from the Right or Left. It only matters that the damaged structure is repaired and the natural force of gravity is overcome.

Our republic is built to overcome the gravity of our human nature, just like a plane is designed to overcome gravity. Think of it: the super majority of us naturally engage government only when it hurts us personally – in much the same way we call our doctor only when something hurts in our body. And until that point, we leave all control of our system to the “pilots”. On the other hand, those who have been given control of the system (the governors or pilots) will naturally expand their control of the governed – as in the overreach of national health care.  Just like gravity, isn’t this expansion of control the natural course of governments? Historically, world governments have demonstrated this as is confirmed by our experience and that of America’s Framers.

Taking these natural forces into account, the U.S. architects built a mixed republican form of government. And to keep that structure intact, they intended that the GOVERNED (that’s us) should take on the structure’s maintenance responsibilities. This was never before tried in the history of government. This requires the governed to overcome their human nature daily and keep the governors’ human nature confined to their delegated “cockpit” of control.

Keeping the U.S. republic in the 21st Century requires a major paradigm shift on the part of the governed. We must first start with ourselves and change the way we think and speak about government. Stop saying “government has too much power.” By saying this, we are giving life to government with our words and we are equating the government with the pilot. This is an un-natural statement. Government is not the pilot. Government is an “it”, a system, the aircraft. When we say, “government has too much power” we begin to behave as if we have no power (a falsehood) and are speaking our own slavery and chaos into existence.

Second, as natural-born people, we need to learn the U.S. republican system. When it comes to government, we are naturally lazy and leave all things governmental to the pilots. The truth is, in our U.S. republican system, we govern together with the pilots. We must prioritize our lives and learn the system so we can fix and maintain it, just like mechanics of an aircraft. Otherwise, everything else in life will take precedence, and eventually we end up neglecting the system. Then we wonder why our governmental aircraft is in danger of crashing.

Third, we must commit to building relations with everyone on board the “aircraft”: Left and Right side passengers as well as the elected, appointed and employed “pilots”. We are conditioned to being divided. And as a nation, we are in danger of being conquered by those divisions. Unable to maintain this system on our own, each of us will need a community intent on keeping the structure of our republic intact. We can gather a tremendous amount of knowledge about the function of the “aircraft” – how our system is working now - just by listening to the governed and the governors.

Fourth, troubleshoot the system. Your paradigm shift, your knowledge of the system, and your commitment to build relationships with fellow citizens and those controlling government alike will alert you to trouble in the structure. Always remember this: replacing the pilot does not fix the system – doing so merely determines the direction of the plane. Also, keep in mind, putting out the fire (fixing an issue) does not fix the aircraft either – doing so merely allows you to go back to sleep in the cabin.

We naturally think it is the Left or the Right-side passengers or the pilot in the cockpit trying to bring down the U.S. republic. It is much easier to identify the saboteurs of the U.S. republic when we can see through all this smoke. The saboteurs will use any pilot or issue in the cabin to keep us distracted from keeping the system intact.

To become experienced in troubleshooting our government, we must continuously overcome our natural tendency to focus on fixing the “most important” issue in our minds or simply replacing the pilot. Issues and candidates (pilots) will come and go. The principles that keep the system intact and maintained must always be our focus.

In closing, it is important to fix the system – the issues and pilots will work themselves out. It is futile to attempt to fix issues or people. To fix our system, we must start with ourselves and cultivate a community of keeping our republican structure. It’s “a republic if YOU can keep it” – not Obama or Trump. With habit, practice and long-training WE can keep our U.S. republic.  

*Article by Mark Herr

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