May 26, 2010 – Federalist No. 21 – Cathy Gillespie

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Yesterday, May 25, 2010, marked the 223 anniversary of the convening of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.  The National Constitution Center is sponsoring an innovative Twitter program which Constituting America is promoting: www.twitter.com/secretdelegate .

The premise is that a rogue delegate is secretly “tweeting” from the Constitutional Convention and giving us “the inside scoop.” It is fun! If you are on Twtter, check it out! If you aren’t on Twitter, consider signing up!  It is vital that we utilize “new media,” to spread the word about the Constitution and the founding principles of our country.

Thank you to all of you who participate in this blog, follow Constituting America on Facebook (www.facebook.com/constitutingamerica), and Twitter (www.twitter.com/constituteUS) , and forward emails out to your friends!  A big thank you, also, to Horace Cooper for sharing your insights on Federalist 21 with us!

In Federalist 21, Publius begins an itemization of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation in order to build a case for the proposed Constitution.  The Articles of Confederation were clearly not taking the country in the direction the founding fathers hoped it would go.  Imagine what shape the country must have been in, in 1787, for our founders to have undertaken the monumental task of travelling to Philadelphia, and spending over three months in the oppressive summer heat crafting the Constitution.

From Hamilton’s writings, it seems the national government did not have enough funds to operate, the states were not being adequately protected from domestic uprisings such as Shays Rebellion in Massachusetts, and the founders foresaw long term problems in the unequal way taxes were being collected from the states through quotas.

How are these Federalist Papers relevant today? The United States of 2010 is again in a period of challenging times.  A shaky economy, threats from our borders, and protesters from groups such as SEIU that are increasingly bold and unruly. Most recently to the point that Nina Easton, a member of the media who would normally support the rights of protesters, has openly condemned a group of over 500 who showed up next door to her home, on the lawn of her neighbor, Greg Baer.

All the while, the national government seems to be ever growing and reaching, employing the “Star Trek” principle: Boldly Going Where No United States Government Has Gone Before – running our auto companies, our health care system, and even trying to dictate what types of food we eat!

For those who are unhappy with the course of our country, there is solace in Alexander Hamilton’s words:

Where the whole power of the government is in the hands of the people, there is the less pretense for the use of violent remedies in partial or occasional distempers of the State. The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men.

Thanks to our Constitution, and our republican form of government, there is a structure in place to change the course of the country, and get back onto the path envisioned by our founders, the path of individual liberty, limited government, and free enterprise.

Tough times in 1787 sparked an amazing document that has guided our country for over 200 years, now the oldest federal constitution in existence.

What positive outcome will the tough times of 2010 produce?  I am praying it will be a rekindled passion for the United States Constitution, and the founding principles of our country – the principles that have allowed us to be, in Janine Turner’s words, “America the beautiful, America the hope.”

Good night and God Bless!

Cathy Gillespie

 

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