Over the past few years, I have likened the ideological divide to a political civil war. The Democrats still embrace the Federalist view of government while the republicans now embrace the anti-Federalist perspective.
“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
James Madison, Federalist 47
The country cannot function with this much conservative extremism and hostility. The checks and balances have all broken down. The country is in decline. The political conversation has become all about picking sides and bundled agendas. We are facing a Constitutional crisis.
We need a major event. Something to rally around. Something that can push us past the propaganda. Something that can be used to make us take a serious look at ourselves and our future.
9/11 involved an external threat. It was irrelevant to a constitutional crisis.
We have two diverging interpretations of the Constitution. The liberal view is a more principled interpretation, which has benefited the general welfare of the country far better but still needs better definition of it’s limitations. The conservative view is a more literal interpretation, which is more appropriate to a sparsely populated isolationist society with an agrarian economy. Conservative policies have done real harm to this country for decades, and threaten to make our current problems insurmountable.
We need an event that will lead to something like a town hall constitutional convention. A widespread and in-depth public conversation on what we want and need the Constitution to mean. Only then can we decide with confidence how we want to enforce or amend it.
Ignoring the Constitution, or pretending it says something it does not, are not options in a nation of laws.
- Madison rocked by impasse, protests (politico.com)
“He’s also signed into law tax cuts for businesses that relocate to Wisconsin”
“The competitions of commerce would be another fruitful source of contention. The States less favorably circumstanced would be desirous of escaping from the disadvantages of local situation, and of sharing in the advantages of their more fortunate neighbors. Each State, or separate confederacy, would pursue a system of commercial policy peculiar to itself. This would occasion distinctions, preferences, and exclusions, which would beget discontent. The habits of intercourse, on the basis of equal privileges, to which we have been accustomed since the earliest settlement of the country, would give a keener edge to those causes of discontent than they would naturally have independent of this circumstance. WE SHOULD BE READY TO DENOMINATE INJURIES THOSE THINGS WHICH WERE IN REALITY THE JUSTIFIABLE ACTS OF INDEPENDENT SOVEREIGNTIES CONSULTING A DISTINCT INTEREST. The spirit of enterprise, which characterizes the commercial part of America, has left no occasion of displaying itself unimproved. It is not at all probable that this unbridled spirit would pay much respect to those regulations of trade by which particular States might endeavor to secure exclusive benefits to their own citizens. The infractions of these regulations, on one side, the efforts to prevent and repel them, on the other, would naturally lead to outrages, and these to reprisals and wars.”
The Founders understood the dangers of pitting one state against another. A lesson the republicans have failed to learn.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost