August 6, 2010 – Federalist No. 73 – Janine Turner
Friday, August 6th, 2010
Howdy from Texas! Are we not the luckiest people in the world to have these precious Federalist Papers archived and at our disposal? Is it not remarkable that our founding fathers wrote 85 essays for print in their local newspapers explaining the Constitution? Are we not so very fortunate to have this guidebook to the United States Constitution? Is it not worth recognizing that our founding father’s believed in the genius of the people and viewed them with the respect that prompted them to write these papers?
Is it not worth mentioning that the people wanted to know about it, read about it and demanded it?
Why do many of our representatives not want to coherently lay out the laws for us today? Is it that they do not believe in the genius of the people? Is it that they do not care to be truly open and forthright due to intrigue and manipulative measures? Is it because they do not read the laws and thus do not have the wherewithal to write about them? Or is it that they would rather spin the web by witnessing with words?
The written word is not permeable. The written word requires time and thought and tenacity and truth. The written word does not lie.
Speaking of the written word, today’s reading of Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Paper No. 73 exhibits our founding father’s savvy. What our founding fathers truly understood, in an astonishing way, was human nature. They studied the temptations that befell the psyche of men and recognized the vulnerabilities that weaken even the best-intentioned individual.
Alexander Hamilton gives a mesmerizing breakdown in regard to a scenario where a President may be wary do the right thing in certain circumstances because he fears the perception of it. Having thought of this potentiality the founders of the Constitution gives the President a way to both make the right choice and save face.
“A man who might be afraid to defeat a law by his single VETO, might not scruple to return it for reconsideration; subject to being finally rejected only in the event of more than one third of each house concurring in the sufficiency of his objections. He would be encouraged by the reflection, that if his opposition should prevail, it would embark in it a very respectable proportion of the legislative body, whose influence would be united with his in supporting the propriety of his conduct in the public opinion. A direct and categorical negative has something in the appearance of it more harsh, and more apt to irritate, than the mere suggestion of argumentative objections to be approved or disapproved by those to whom they are addressed. In proportion as it would be less apt to offend, it would be more apt to be exercised; and for this very reason, it may in practice be found more effectual.”
Alexander Hamilton also sums up the rationale for the Constitution’s checks and balances, the cement of its foundation, in one concise, astute and profound paragraph.
“When men, engaged in unjustifiable pursuits, are aware that obstructions may come from a quarter which they cannot control, they will often be restrained by the bare apprehension of opposition, from doing what they would with eagerness rush into, if no such external impediments were to be feared.”
This is the crux of the creed.
Man is subjected to the pull of evil vices – power, greed, shortsightedness, impatience, imprudence.
The Constitution is the conscience of America, Americans and its leaders.
The Constitution is the governor upon the men who govern.