A Republic: If You Can Keep It

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With the Summer now upon us, I am oft times reminded of the words attributed to Benjamin Franklin following the Constitutional Convention when he was asked by a passerby what the convention had given America.
"A Republic – if you can keep it," were the immortal words uttered by Pennsylvania’s bard.
Yet, with the commencement of the 2012 Presidential campaign, it has become disturbingly clear that some within the TEA Party and 912 groups have determined that the time has come to abandon the republican form of government set up by our Founding Fathers and not engage in voting, or cast their lots with third parties. 
Obviously, the desire to embrace this "political asceticism" is not driven by a hate of their country; indeed, all have a passion for it that exceeds the imagination.  Rather, they believe that because the political parties have betrayed them (having bestowed upon the electorate Barack Obama and Mitt Romney), then the only way to fix the country is to utterly break it down and start from scratch.
The analogy often used is of a bus being driven off of a cliff.  They argue that since the Democrats and Obama are driving the bus towards the cliff at 90 mph, and the Republicans and Romney are driving the bus towards the cliff at 75 mph, then the only result will inevitably be total collapse.  Their conclusion is that if the end is near, conservatives should let it happen and just pick up the pieces that remain.
The problem with this logic is two-fold.
First, Political Asceticism fails to consider human history.  After all, has there ever been a city-state or nation or populace that has fallen into demise and been resurrected again as a republic?  If anything, the only thing that results from a failed republic is some form of tyranny preceded by a period of utter chaos. 
The second problem with Political Asceticism is the complete disregard for the individual States.  For if the republic is being driven over a cliff, and there is no hope for the national union, do not the States have a right to try and prepare for the eventual demise of the union?  At least Romney and the Republicans – regardless of how corrupt they may be – would buy the States the time necessary to get their houses in order so that they can fulfill their own obligations to protect the rights of the people at the State level.
The simple reality is that the majority of Americans are not happy with their choices for President this year.  But being discontent with the choices does not necessarily mean one should not choose. 
And inasmuch as it may annoy some people, the simple fact is that our Founding Fathers would not embrace the notion of "break it all, we’ll clean it up later."  They were forward thinking and patriotic.  They understood human nature and understood individual rights.  Rather than boycotting the Presidential election, should we not be following the example of our Founders and work to fix the problems?
Louis Petolicchio is an auditor for Jackson Township (Lebanon County) and contributor to PATownHall
Confirmation: 717-228-7524