I believe we, as a republic, face grave threats in the coming months and years as we attempt to navigate a world in which the tide has seemingly gone out from right underneath our feet, leaving us bare and exposed for the world to see. Whether it be an increasingly natonilist tone and demenour here in the U.S. and abroad (U.K.’s Brexit in 2016 and a potential Le Pen victory in 2017 that would set in motion a France-exit) that threatens to dismantle the power structure and legitimacy that has been carefully created since the end of WWII, or an increasingly, but not surprisingly, aggressive Russian authoritarian regime which, since the rise of Putin 16 years ago, has been lined with 6,000 neo-Soviet ex-KGB agents that are like little cockroaches and scurry to and fro following the Kremlin’s orders no matter how inhuman they may be, we find ourselves in the crosshairs of a fight that threatens to not only upend but also destroy the liberties that have been so closely stitched in the American heart. It is at this current juncture that we have to look deep inside and ask ourselves what we, as a republic, want to become or not become in the years ahead. It is now that we have to be encouraged by the great opportunities that lie in front of us, which are a result of our forefathers’ hard fight in upholding and carrying forward the torch of freedom and liberty. But at the same time we need to be intensely aware of the grave threats that exist and seek to extinguish that same flame. Although there may be no simple or easy solutions to the problems we face here or abroad, we can start by first continuing to champion the articles of the constitution, articles that are capable of spreading their light to some of the darkest corners of the world. But in order to do so, we must keep the balances of power in check here in the U.S. We cannot afford to forfeit or disregard principles that sit at the bedrock of our constitution. We cannot turn into an authoritarian regime like Russia where the judicial system takes its marching orders from the executive. We cannot simply let our principles and freedoms be dismantled by one man, or a few men, in high-office that, quite frankly, might lack a basic understanding of history and how our great nation, or other great republics, rose to power or self destructed. Like Sparta, Athens, Rome, and Carthage that all came before us, there are always grave threats lurking on horizon and all have a real potential to plant the seeds that will lead to our destruction. Like Washington, Jefferson and Adams did only a short 240 years ago, we must stand tall and relentlessly fight for the principles, pillars and institutions that have led to our current prosperity; we must respect, honor and abide by the constitution and the separation of powers that it so sharply and precisely articulates. This even means the President himself, a man that has both chosen and been elected to represent, lead and bear the weight, no matter how small or large the burdens, on his shoulders and lead the republic to new heights. The position of high-office is not to belittle judicial judges or smear facts and fictions, but to firmly unite the people together, to respect and encourage the freedom of speech, and to keep at bay any perils that conspire to stripe away our liberties. If the President is indeed the one entrusted to help bring reason to politics and embody the constitution, he has let us all, both Republicans and Democrats, down in a vastly unprecedented manner. These next four years are not going to be about petty or trivial matters such as a few thousands jobs or a few tenths of a percent in unemployment metrics, no, these next four years are going to be a true test of the republic, the institutions that uphold it, and the strictly defined separation of powers which are embedded in the constituion. Name calling on social media platforms, banishing those who seek to keep a free and open press, and referring to members of the judicial system as “so-called judges” is not a hallmark of democracy, it is teetering on the edge of authoritarianism.