We The People…

April 12, 2013

I am bringing up a new category with this post called “We the people”. Of course many of you know that those words are the start of our Constitution. What I have in mind for this category are posts about what polls and such show that the people of this country want as opposed to what is happening in Washington today.  I must admit that I am getting pretty fed up with our dysfunctional federal government. I don’t know if this dysfunction is a planned strategy of one of the political parties or not. At this point I really don’t care.

“We the people” will also be used to look at many of the Federalist Papers. Here is what Wikipedia says about them:

Federalist Paper CoverThe Federalist Papers are a series of 85 articles or essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay promoting the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October of 1787 and August 1788….

The authors of The Federalist Papers wanted to influence the vote in favor of ratifying the Constitution.  However, the authors of the Federalist papers also had a greater plan in mind. According to Federalist 1:

” It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.”

According to historian Richard B. Morris, they are an “incomparable exposition of the Constitution, a classic in political science unsurpassed in both breadth and depth by the product of any later American writer.”

The quote in red are at the heart of what I am thinking. That is the Federalist Papers were about making a government accountable to the people; where they decide what is good for the country and whether people are really capable of establishing good government.  The Federalist Papers are therefore an exposition of how the founding fathers thought our government should respond to the will of the people.

I admit that it has been years since I spent any time on these documents but I can’t think of a better time to sit back and see what they had in mind at the beginning.  I will be looking at those documents with an eye to today’s dysfunction to see where we possibly got it wrong. Truthfully, I have no idea how this is going to pan out but I have an idea that these papers might show us why we are in the mess we are.  This is an intellectual exercise that I hope interests you as much as I think it will me. I don’t have any grandiose feelings that I can solve the problems of today but at least this exercise will get me away from our polluted partisan atmosphere currently manifest in this country.

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