Editor: Let’s hope that the results of the 2012 election prove that our democracy is not for sale. Benjamin Franklin, arguably our wisest and most prescient Founding Father, warned his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 that we have a republic — if we can keep it.

He recognized that this remarkable form of government — of the people, by the people and for the people, as Lincoln was to describe it 76 years later — always would be challenged. It is the strongest form of government on the one hand because the power is so well spread, but for the same reason it is the most vulnerable.

“Things” happen when the vigilance of citizens wanes and other power players seize the day. It can be the state or the market; we must beware of both. Most important, we must take responsibility for correcting the imbalance because we and only we can do it.

The inordinate amount of money spent on the 2012 election bought us more lies and cynicism.
Most alarming, it caused a serious erosion of our democratic principles. Think of the bridges we might have built and the safety nets we might have provided with the money spent on vicious attack ads.
The good news is that all that money and the “whatever it takes” strategy did not prevail. President Obama has won a second term and we will stay the course to the future.

Curiously or, perhaps, not so, the Republicans dropped candidate Mitt Romney like the proverbial hot potato. Some of them admit that they lost their way — on the fast track to the past.

I trust that they will figure it out and that we the people of both parties will save ourselves by saving our democracy — our first and last best hope.

The Times-Tribune

Publication Date: December 16, 2012 

Democracy not for sale