“if you can keep it”

“Well Doctor, what do we have, a republic or a monarchy?” asked Mrs. Powell of Benjamin Franklin.  “A Republic,” replied Doctor Franklin, if you can keep it.”.

I think we have failed to keep it. 

If you don’t know where the quote is from, then I feel sorry for you. If you don’t, then you are a part of the problem. 

Google it to find the whole story. Or not. Up to you.