10 Current Political Questions Answered By The Founding Fathers

The Federalist Papers are a collected series of essays that originally appeared in New York newspapers from 1787-1788, during the period of debate and ratification for the new Constitution.  In them, the series’ three authors–Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay–very clearly explain the nature of the Constitution and how it was to be implemented.

Their authority is, of course, unimpeachable.  Hamilton would become the first Secretary of the Treasury.  Jay would become the first Chief Justice of the United States.  And Madison, the primary architect of the Constitution itself, would go on to become our 4th president.

Here are some of our most auspicious Founders’ answers to ten pressing issues of the present day:

 

1. Is America a multicultural society, or a basically homogeneous Christian nation?

Answered by John Jay: “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country, to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs…”  –Federalist #2

2. Should American government be more Democratic (populist) or Republican (representative) in nature?

Answered by James Madison: “A pure Democracy, by which I mean, a Society, consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischief of faction.  A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole….A Republic, by which I mean a Government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking.”  –Federalist #10

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Universal Health Care Unconstitutional

A Virginia judge decided just over a week ago that ObamaCare’s mandate that people must purchase insurance exceeds the government’s constitutional authority.  My local newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, then printed a letter (which must have been written before the decision) defending universal health care. 

Today, the paper printed another letter responding to that one and, while it is excellent, it sadly isn’t mine, which I thought was pretty good itself.  Since the paper doesn’t seem interested in it, here it is:

Frederick Spoerl wrongly denied the success of the profit motive and made many mistakes about the Constitution in his Friday letter defending ObamaCare.

He says that the Founders never envisioned America’s “tremendous growth,” yet in Federalist #10, Madison said one of the chief benefits of a republic is that it may be “extended” over a “greater sphere of country.” Indeed, as presidents, the Founders added several states and territories to the nation, including Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase.

He criticizes those who would limit government size and scope, but ignores the tenth amendment, which says that the federal government may only be involved in things delineated in the Constitution itself.

Spoerl also writes that the Constitution denies voting to women and endorses segregation (neither of which it mentions at all), and promotes slavery. The Constitution opposes slavery. Article I, Section 2 thwarted the South’s desire for more representative power by limiting slave counting in the census, and Article I, Section 9 includes a ban on future importation of slaves.

Spoerl uses the “general welfare” clause of the Preamble to justify ObamaCare. Others had already thought that phrase could allow the government to do anything they saw as good, rather than the few specific things the Constitution defines as “general welfare,” and in Federalist #41, Madison responded to the misunderstanding: “a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms, immediately follows….For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power?”

ObamaCare is unconstitutional, Mr. Spoerl, and your letter shows how ignorant of our founding charters someone must be to support it.

Ask The Founders

Here’s one for Independence Day.  This is the thrid time I’ve posted this now, and I like it more each time I read it!

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The Federalist Papers are a collected series of essays that originally appeared in New York newspapers during the period of debate and ratification for the new Constitution.  In them, the series’ three authors–Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay–very clearly explain the nature of the Constitution and how it was to implemented. 

Their authority is, of course, unimpeachable.  Hamilton would become the first Secretary of the Treasury.  Jay would become the first Chief Justice of the United States.  And Madison, the primary architect of the Constitution itself, would go on to become our 4th president.

Here are some of our most auspicious Founders’ answers to the pressing issues of the present day:

  • Is America a multicultural society, or a basically homogeneous Christian nation?

Answered by John Jay: “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country, to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs…”  –Federalist #2

  • Should American government be more Democratic (populist) or Republican (representative) in nature?

Answered by James Madison: “A pure Democracy, by which I mean, a Society, consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischief of faction.  A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole….A Republic, by which I mean a Government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking.”  –Federalist #10

“In a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents.  A democracy consequently will be confined to a small spot.  A republic may be extended over a large region.”  –Federalist #14

  • Can America ensure that its citizens have equal success and comfort?

Answered by James Madison: Continue reading