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Why a Republic is Fragile

A fragile republic is not bounded by ethnic identity rather it has a clear, unprecedented, and radical notion of liberty for all. Eric Metaxas, the author of “If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty” recalls that America might have forgotten the true essence of its ‘perfect’ union as a republic. He argues that if America wants to be exceptional it must “keep the promise” as a fragile republic and if it does not fulfill its duty towards keeping the promise, America would not exist for future generations in any real sense. He reminds the contrastive insights of the perception of American freedom in political history. He presents the misunderstandings of American liberty to conservative block by instigating their ideology of self-government and freedom as a natural condition of humankind. However, he also questions the liberal block regarding its confusion of American liberty with moral license and liberty. He puts forward that conservative and liberal understate the supporting structures of American freedom and self-government.

Metaxas examines the answer Franklin gave to Americans that founders have given people a “republic” and immediately shot back at the interviewer “if you keep it.” This reply was a chilling reminder to America that America as a ‘fragile republic’ or a ‘nation of nations’ cannot embrace America’s greatness if it not “keeps the promise” founding fathers have entrusted to it. He revitalizes how fragile American freedom is; what the American nation requires to keep America as a republic, and what self-government means when the idea says “govern yourselves.” His fundamental argument of a ‘fragile republic’ suggests that democracy can be fragile if the state defends the religious liberty of the nation to cultivate virtue and moral character. In short, Metaxas believes that saving America as an exceptional republic from a downward spiral is only possible by reviving the religious beliefs of evangelical Christianity.


Metaxas, E. (2016). If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty. Penguin.



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