At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked by Dr. James McHenry, "Well, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin responded, "A Republic, if you can keep it.” Our Founding Fathers founded our nation as a representative republic. Constituents (voters) were to elect representatives to represent them in Congress; that is, to represent their convictions and best interests.
Recently, Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, reprimanded Democratic lawmakers in Congress for failing to vote the party line on a key piece of legislation. According to Ms. Pelosi, "You are either for us or against us." In other words, she expects all Democrats in Congress to represent her Democratic caucus and to vote in the best interest of the Democratic Party, not to represent their constituency and to vote in the best interest of voters back home who elected them to Congress as their representatives.
In his Farewell Address, George Washington warned his fellow-Americans "in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party." According to Washington's successor, John Adams, "The division of our republic into two great parties," with the result that party members begin putting party before country, "is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”
In light of Speaker Pelosi's recent diatribe against Democratic representatives failing to vote in accordance with her dictates, it's safe to say that the evil feared by Washington and Adams is being perpetrated in present-day America. We're no longer keeping our republic, but it is slipping through our fingers right under our noses!