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)