GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Federalist Papers--They're back

After a long absence, it's time to re-exam those classics of American political thought- The Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers.  We now turn our attention to #9.

In the Federalist #9, Alexander Hamilton makes the case for a strong central government to protect against insurrection and domestic unrest.  Likely this is to dredge up memories of the recent Shay's Rebellion an early version of the Tea Party..or maybe Occupy Wall Street, only with muskets.  The framers of the Constitution were terrified of their new country falling into chaos without a strong central government to keep order:
A FIRM Union will be of the utmost moment to the peace and liberty of the States, as a barrier against domestic faction and insurrection. It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid succession of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy.
Funny that our Founding Fathers were using Europe as a model of what NOT TO DO...if only our current political leadership were as wise.

In the Anti-Federalist #9, Brutus (Robert Yates) takes issue with this idea and once again, the Anti-Federalist papers provide a prophetic vision of unchecked federal government power in the hands of unscrupulous men.
The design of civil government is to protect the rights and promote the happiness of the people.

For this end, rulers are invested with powers. But we cannot from hence justly infer that these powers should be unlimited. There are certain rights which mankind possess, over which government ought not to have any controul, because it is not necessary they should, in order to attain the end of its institution. There are certain things which rulers should be absolutely prohibited from doing, because, if they should do them, they would work an injury, not a benefit to the people.
Now, to be fair, and historically correct, many of the issues raised by the Anti-Federalists were addressed in the Bill of Rights.  BUT, what happens if an unscrupulous government or its leaders decide that the Bill of Rights becomes some ancient, outdated idea that needs to be guided by ENLIGHTENED, PROGRESSIVE thinking.

You know what I mean--judges can INVENT a right to privacy that clears the way for unlimited abortion, but local governments can't seem to understand the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms for law abiding citizens.  Or my other personal favorite, liberal progressives ensure that the 1st Amendment allows hippies to burn flags, but can't seem to understand that it also protects the Catholic Church from providing "medical services" that run contrary to our faith? 

Clearly, our Founding Fathers understood the pitfalls of providing too much power to a central government.

Another little hidden nugget in this Paper is the often misunderstood reason why Senators were originally appointed by the state legislature rather than being directly elected, something Progressives made sure was changed in the early 20th century with the 17th Amendment.

The present Congress are restrained from an undue exercise of this power, from this consideration, they know [that] the state legislatures, through whose authority it must be carried into effect, would not comply with the requisition for the purpose, if it was evidently opposed to the public good: the proposed constitution authorizes the legislature to carry their determinations into execution, without the intervention of any other body between them and the people. The Congress under the present form are amenable to, and removable by, the legislatures of the respective states, and are chosen for one year only: the proposed constitution does not make the members of the legislature accountable to, or removeable by the state legislatures at all; and they are chosen, the one house for six, and the other for two years; and cannot be removed until their time of service is expired, let them conduct [themselves] ever so badly.
Once again, those old white slave holders were much smarter than we give them credit for...Congresscritters should ALWAYS be accountable to their state legislatures...imagine what might have happened to Obamacare if some of those squishy Red State Democ-RATS had been looking over their shoulders to their home states instead of thinking about campaign donations from Planned Parenthood.

More to come...

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