August 2, 2010 – Federalist No. 68 & Federalist No. 69 – Janine Turner
Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010
Howdy from Texas! As I read Federalist Papers No. 68 and 69 it becomes evident in a factual way how earnestly and tenaciously our founding Constitutional forefathers strove to protect our liberties and our Republic. Once again, they based their decisions, not on rhetoric or reason but on the wisdom wrought by history.
In no circumstance was this more evident than in regard to the election of the President of the United States. In Federalist Paper No. 68, Alexander Hamilton, states this with precision and clarity.
“Nothing was more to be desired, than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of Republican government, might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”
Could this be more relevant throughout our history and even today? We, and democracy, have been under continuous attack from varied countries for the past two centuries and we are under attack today. “The enemy is in the field,” whether it be via the insidious silencing by an overzealousness of “political correctness” or a literal attack on our soil.
America represents hope and hope is the envy of the enemy.
Our founding fathers wanted to protect our Republic from intrigue and corruption with the establishment of the electoral process. This provided a sort of perspective permeating through the passions of the people as well as a balance of power throughout the country. In times of peace and prosperity the perspective of an electorate seems redundant. Never have we seen, nor experienced the horrors that our forefathers endured that warranted and verified the need to establish such a window of wisdom laid in the hands of a few. Tyranny can easily slide in our backdoor while we slumber. Today, soldiers don’t beckon at our door to spend the night in our homes – this doesn’t mean it may not happen yet again.
Our only guarantee lies within the guarding and respecting and understanding the premise and principles upon which our Constitution was established.
We must never let ourselves be so far removed from the history or teaching of tyranny that we relinquish the reigns to the horse that pulls the cart. If we do this, our horse will pull our cart over a cliff into an oblivion of despair that will then be beyond our control.
“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” John Adams.
Liberty cannot be sustained without a general knowledge of the United States Constitution.
The Electoral College is also important because it balances the power between the states. If we abolished the electoral process then the more populated states, such as California, Texas and New York would control the policies and direction of the country. One has to wonder about the “winner takes all” policy regarding the electorate that exists presently in all of the states except Maine and Nebraska. My understanding of “winner takes all” is that it undermines the electoral process. It also may falsely represent the political inclination of the states and eliminate electoral votes from certain regions that could, when added all together, actually determine an election. Is, “winner takes all” a violation of the United States Constitution? Does it circumvent the amendment process?
Federalist Paper No. 68 is enlightening and intriguing. Federalist Paper No. 69 is a smart, insightful comparison of our United States Constitution with the British rule of the king. Revealing are the nine points Alexander Hamilton makes by this exercise: Term limited, Impeachment possible, Checks by the legislative body, Power to command the military but not declare war or raise arms, Treaties made with concurrent power of the legislature, Appointment of officers with approval of the legislature, No power to convey privileges, Can prescribe no rules concerning commerce or coins, No particle of spiritual jurisdiction.
The comparison of the United States Constitutional restrictions to those of the British crown are awesome and revealing. Brilliant were the checks instilled upon the Executive branch of the United States’ government. This, of course, begs the question how have these limits prevailed today?
My curiosity is peeked by Alexander Hamilton’s statement about the President’s power of nomination being just that – a nomination – approved by the Senate – in ALL categories.
“The President is to nominate, and, WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE, to appoint ambassadors and other public ministers, judges of the Supreme Court, and in general all officers of the United States established by law, and whose appointments are not otherwise provided for by the Constitution.
The President’s nominations of ambassadors, public ministers, judges, and in general all officers of the United States established by law and whose appointment are not otherwise provided for by the Constitution must be held to the scrutiny and “consent of the senate.”
How does the bloating of our modern day federal government, with unapproved and unchecked “bureaucrats and czars,” fair under this Constitutional scrutiny? These are the bleeds that rupture the heart of a Republic and threaten a seizure of the people.
Thoughts to ponder.