April 29, 2010 – Federalist No. 2 – Janine Turner
Thursday, April 29th, 2010
Howdy from Texas! I thank you for joining us today! I am thoroughly enjoying this process and I am learning so much from the readings, our exceptional scholar’s essays and from all of you who are blogging. I want to say how appreciative I am that Marc S. Lampkin joined us today as our “guest scholar” and I thank him for his wonderful interpretation and explanation of Federalist Paper #2 by John Jay. Thanks Marc!
There are many aspects in our readings of the United States Constitution and “The Federalist” that are relevant today. However, as I was juggling many pertinent points from Federalist Paper #2, suddenly a more general observation manifested.
Our forefathers were intent on explaining the Constitution to the people of the United States. They wanted the Republic to understand what was in the “bill,” and they undertook great pains and efforts to make sure that happened – 85 different Opinion Editorials published in newspapers and spearheaded by Alexander Hamilton.
Not only did they go to great pains to explain the contents of the Constitution, which was only seven pages, they knew that the American public would demand to know what was in it before they ratified it. This brings about two conclusions:
1. The American people of the 18th century wanted to know what their government was doing, felt very much involved in the process, and were passionate about the direction of their country
2. Publius and the signatories of the United States Constitution felt obligated to explain it to them, and did so in great detail and they could – as they had written it and they understood it.
A very different atmosphere exists today. Both the American people and the United States government are to blame for the obscurity in which we wander. The bloated bills and ignorance of their intentions are the fault of both the governor and the governed. We, as collective countrymen and women, grew discordant and lax in the affairs of the state, and like a child pushing the boundaries with their parents, the United States government got away with what they could. It’s human nature. Men are not angels – hence, the Constitution.
But times have changed. Our country’s woes are like trying times for the soul. Difficult times are God’s way of shaping our character – making us into the people He wants us to be – a light, a leader. Now Americans are waking up and realizing that we must once again demand to understand. What is really in the bill and what is really the direction of our country? We are realizing that we must vet, vote and find our voice. In our blood is the ancestry of righteousness.
We must stress to our elective officials that we will accept nothing less than clarity. In Federalist Paper #62 James Madison zeros in on this point:
It will be of little avail to the people, that
the laws are made by men of their own choice,
if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before
they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes, that no man who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known or less fixed.
The title of John Jay’s Federalist Paper No. 2, “Concerning Dangers from Foreign Force and Influence,” is applicable today as well. If we do not gain control of the economy we are going to be like Greece and times of economic stress are ripe for tyranny.
If we do not gain control of our spending and deficit then we are a sitting duck for the hunters who wait in the night – “Dangers From Foreign Force and Influence.” As Benjamin Franklin said, “Think, when you run into debt, you give to another power over your Liberty.”
John Jay’s ends this paper, from over two hundred years ago, with a Shakespearean quote, it echoes eerily across our current environment. It is a battle cry and ominous warning of something we do not want to ever shout, “FAREWELL! A LONG FAREWELL TO ALL MY GREATNESS”
As the present necessity of unity prevails, we the people will gather with the mission of preserving our great country and we will be spurred by our patriotism and launched by our learning.
6 Responses to “April 29, 2010 – Federalist No. 2 – Janine Turner”
Richard Gruver says:
Janine, Those are great thoughts on our current state of government. When the press and the governed decided that character no longer mattered but only progressive press aligned political ideology and many of the governed became incessantly dependent on government handouts and fixated on class envy promoted by progressives and the media we lost our way. The Bible says don’t covet thy neighbor’s property, wife, goods…etc. but preogressive envy everything of those who work hard and want it all taken and redistributed to the envyors. It will take dedication, courage and a divine hand once again to re-establish our nation to its’ founders principals. It starts a the ballot box and voting for elected officials who put the constitution and the people above themselves. I hope we can be sucessful as the alternative is not very good for our future generations.
Seij De Leon says:
I find it very interesting how when the country was being constructed, the people were so ready and willing to learn about the constitution. Nowadays I think this overall involvement in the direction of the country has definitely weaned, which is understandable as they are not dealing with the insecurity and troubles of forming a new system of government after the relatively ineffective and weak Articles of Confederation. If more people were to take an active role in examining politicians and seeing what they put first, instead of trusting the news media, then the nation could start to head in a better direction, like how Gruver says, it starts at the ballot box.
Given this new passion sweeping the country, which our current leadership has so graciously created, I am anxious and excited to see what happens in November. I am hoping and praying that it will be the catalyst for the people of this country to continue to pay attention, spread the word and make their voices heard. We may be on the eve of a scary, yet possibly exciting, new revolution…
Charles Babb says:
Janine; you and Cathy have provided a wonderful service by making this educational tool available.
How, and why has the practice of writing such confusing and lengthy bills evolved? Was it just to confuse the electorate so that we would have less control over our legislators?
How we go about demanding clarity in the way legislation is written will be another story, but with the armor of knowledge and the weapon of truth, we will prevail.
Jim S says:
Charles & All,
Legislation has become more lengthly because we expect it to be specific. The Constitution, on the other hand, is simply the framework for our government. If we wanted to fairly compare the two, we should include with the Constitution Congress’ rules of order, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and all military regulations, rules of decorum for the Supreme Court, and Executive procedures. This compendium would outline exactly how the government should be run, as the healthcare bill outlines for its role. Then we may complain about our 2000+ page Constitution.