A Republic IF we can keep it

September 18, 1787 a lady asked Ben Franklin "Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy - A republic replied the Doctor, if you can keep it."

People are worried about survival of their republic. My wife and I Just returned from a multi-week 4000 mile, mostly two lane highway two funerals and a wedding road trip to Bonfield, Illinois and back. Angry billboards were plentiful along rural roads and towns. Dueling commercials vilified all local, state and federal candidates running for office everywhere we overnighted or stayed. There is a lot of angst across America.

A 2016 survey found only about one out of five Americans pays attention to politics. I believe most people will pay attention to politics if they know what is at stake and what they can do. To paraphrase the late Reverend Culver Nelson "Never under estimate the intelligence of others but never overestimate their understanding".

We must be careful who we choose to represent us. Everyone needs to know how our republic works, how representatives are elected and how civil servants are hired. Confidence everyone elected to public office, or in a civil service job is an honest citizens with a public servant attitude doing good work for all constituents, is essential.

Partisan primary elections are destructive. Many Arizonans have given up on both political parties. Arizona now has more "Independents" than "Republicans" or "Democrats". Letting all citizens vote to choose the two most popular candidates in an open primary, so candidates liked by everyone regardless of party can run against each other in the general election, might result in election of centrist representatives who believe it is their duty to serve everyone, not just persons from their political party, might lead to people having more confidence in government.

End campaign contributions .The cost of running for office creates an aura of corruption. A candidate has to either beg donors for "campaign contributions",or be wealthy enough to pay for their campaign them self to get elected in America. What we call "campaign contributions" are very similar to "bribes" leaving people suspicious that their representatives have been "bought". Eliminating campaign contributions (bribes), and providing each qualified candidate with limited free radio, television, print and social media space, for a limited time before each election, would reduce the image of rich people and corporations having "hired" elected officials who only care for the welfare of their wealthy employers.

Enforce honesty. Candidates can legally lie. Restoring the "Fairness Doctrine" would help bring honesty back into political ads. Before 1987 a spokesperson from the opposing position was guaranteed media time to rebut each of the other side's political ads. Knowing lies would be exposed made politicians more careful, honest and respectful than many are now.

Restore separation of church and state. When all nominated Supreme Court judges are chosen from a Federalist Society list and are of the same minority religion, it is logical to assume their judgments will be more influenced by adherence to their religious dogma than by facts of the case.

Reward quality customer service. Finally I would do my best to instill the need for all elected officials and civil servants to always provide quality customer service to every constituent regardless of the type of interaction or person asking for help. People like public servants who give them what they need and treat them with respect.

I believe it self-evident being a republic has served us well.
We have it pretty darned good.

I pray we can keep our republic intact so our children and grandchildren can enjoy the freedoms we have inherited and live as well as us.