At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin is said to have responded to a question about the form of our new government by answering: “A Republic, if you can keep it.” What was true then, remains true today: the principles and institutions of our democratic republic must not be taken for granted, and we – the American people – are responsible for their preservation.
New Hampshire's Granny D, who marched across the country for campaign finance reform, often told us that, “Democracy isn’t something we have, it’s something we do.” And while this is a responsibility we all share, our elected officials have a special obligation to be good stewards of our democratic norms and institutions.
The freedom of the press, the rule of law, and the separation of powers are all fundamental to our democracy. These are not partisan principles, they are American values. Even in times of political polarization, we should be able to unite around these common values. Yet, we have seen increasing attempts by some in power to undermine our free press by deriding them as “fake news” or “enemies of the people”; to undermine the judiciary and disregard ethics and anti-corruption standards; and to disregard the oversight role of the Executive branch by the Legislative branch, such as Congress relinquishing its responsibility to authorize the war. These are in direct conflict with the very principles that underpin our democracy.
Naomi knows that public office is a public trust, and she strongly believes in respect; respect for each other and respect for our institutions. “Keeping the republic” relies on respect and civility and vigorous participation in our democracy. She will work to protect everyone's right to vote.