Published in Suburban Trends, April 11, 2016

In your paper's "Our View" editorial on April 3, you quote Benjamin Franklin at the end of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, in which he stated when asked what kind of government had been formed he replied "A Republic, if you can keep it." The problem with your quote is in the question that was asked of Franklin; the question was not whether we had a republic or a monarchy but rather whether or not we had a republic or a democracy.

No doubt it was an innocent oversight by your editorial staff but many times the question is misquoted on purpose so that the resistance to democracy by the founders is hidden from the American people.

It wasn't just Benjamin Franklin who warned against the dangers of democracy (which is unbridled majority rule with no restraints on government power; whatever the mob wants it gets).

Alexander Hamilton said, "We are a Republican government. Real library is never found in despotism or in the extremes of democracy." Samuel Adams warned "Remember! Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself! There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide."

James Madison, a member of the Constitutional Convention, wrote, "...democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."

Individual liberty can never be secure when it is subject to the whims of an uninformed "majority" inflamed by politicians. One need look no further than current headlines to see our contemporary demagogues in action. On one hand we have Donald Trump wanting to ban immigrants from America if they aren't the right religion or come from a country he doesn't like. On the other hand we have Bernie Sanders preaching class warfare against those who are wealthy and successful. You have to wonder if either of these two (plus the other Republican and Democrat candidates) have ever actually read the Constitution. If they had they'd all know that the Constitution grants the government only limited, specific powers which don't include banning, unpopular religions or "redistributing wealth."

This past Friday evening, I tuned into John Stossel's program on the Fox Business Channel. He had on three men who obviously have read and do understand the Constitution.

They were former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, cyber security expert John McAfee, and freedom activist Austin Peterson. They are all seeking the nomination to be the Libertarian Party candidate for president in 2016. Our National Convention is in May in Orlando, Fla.

Regardless of who gets the LP nomination, they will be a real alternative to Big Government Party "A" and Big Government Party "B." Go to the Libertarian party website - - to stay abreast of these events as they develop.

Mark Richards,
West Milford