Franklin's words were quite telling. He could have simply said, "A republic", but he added the five words, "if you can keep it." By uttering those words, Franklin was suggesting that a republic is not something that can survive without nurturing and constant attention. If we take this responsibility lightly, that republic will grow into an unrecognizable monster, defiant and thirsty for self-gratification. Franklin saw the very real possibility that the infant republic might not stand the test of time; indeed, he recognized the thirst for tyranny among some of those that sat right there in the room with him, crafting our Constitution.
The choice is ours. As someone said, "let it not be said that we did nothing."
On the other side of the crack was the America I grew up in, bounded by anarchy and a passion for truth. In that America, all wars were meaningless, born out of governmental greed and disregard. Vietnam was just the latest in a series of events to help the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. People on my side of the crack” .....
-from "Society's Child - My Autobiography" by Janis Ian