May 4, 2010 – Federalist No. 5 – Janine Turner

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Howdy from Texas. What a great conversation today. I have to tell you guys, or y’all, I am really learning from not only our guest scholars, but from you who blog. Today was a most thought provoking dialogue. I thank you for joining us and for spreading the word about our “90 in 90.” A great civic discussion, based on the founding principles of our country, is just what our country needs.

I thank Horace Cooper for his wonderful essay today. Thanks Horace!

I related to what Tricia said in her blog today regarding the fact that a union gives us the ability to disagree yet to unite in times of trouble. An analogy would be a family. Families may bicker but – watch out – because they will defend each other when one is confronted or in danger.

In relation to the founding era and Federalist No. 5, there was still so much to be imagined, discovered and resolved. There was an abundance of mystery in America. This is one of the brilliant aspects of Publius – they had such foresight, almost prophetic. They knew there were differences amongst the peoples of America, with a vast portion of America yet to be discovered and claimed, but they also new that it was better to be with each other rather than against one another; to be governed by a unified vision.

As our two hundred thirty -four years have evolved, it has become apparent that our differences did drive stakes into our passions but they did not dismember us. If we had not found stability as a burgeoning union then we would never have been able to survive the challenges that were to be wrought by the civil war and the great depression.. to name a few.

So what is the relevancy of Federalist No. 5 today? It is in defining the boundaries between the federal government and the states in the twenty first century. It is in the understanding of how much power our founding fathers really intended the federal government to have. It is in the reckoning and reconciling of the autonomy the states were intended to have and should have today. The answers to these questions are complex, especially because it is inordinately hard to rein back leniencies that have already been dispersed. Once one foot is in the door, it is very hard to close it again.  Has the federal government planted its boots upon our thresholds too boldly?

I dare say many of us would answer yes. I dare say many of us agree with Arizona in regard to the fact that she has the right to make her own laws, yet look at how her autonomy is disrupting the union. Is this not exactly what Publius was predicting? However, today, is the fault with the state or with the Federal government who failed to protect her and her people?  Or is it the state’s right to defend herself? Is this not addressed in the Constitution in Article I Section 8.16?  I, personally, would like to hear some thoughts from our scholars as to what exactly Article 1 Section 8.16 means in relation to Arizona.

It is only in the educating of America about the United States Constitution that these questions may be answered. Knowledge is power. We cannot appreciate what has been taken away if we have never known what was rightfully ours in the first place.

The monarchies of Europe didn’t want their “people” educated. An educated people meant that they would be able to see the truths. These truths are self-evident: If we don’t utilize our educated voice someone else will speak for us. And all of our rights will be lost.

God bless,

Oh, we have fixed it so all of the comments will be in the same place.. so please comment in the main essay’s comment box  (the guest scholar of the day’s  essay) from now on.. )

Janine Turner

 

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