The Federalist 2008: Part the First  

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Throughout the last nearly three years as one of the Rightosphere's louder voices in support of the Founding Fathers' dream, I have built much of my relevant writing around the following statement, found in the New Federalist Platform, as submitted by

We call ourselves "Federalists" because we humbly acknowledge that our guidance derives from the original ideals and principles of federally distributed powers as explicated by The Federalist Papers. But we are "New" Federalists for two basic reasons: first, because we are well aware that the cautionary warnings of the Anti-Federalists have proven true about the central government embarking on a long crusade of usurpations and encroachments that have substantially abridged the rights of individual citizens and state and local governments; and second, because we follow in the tradition of New Federalism that was implemented under Ronald Reagan's presidency, but has since then languished. We strive to reassert the principles of New Federalism, to roll back those abridgements and infringements of our rights as plainly set forth in our Founding Documents.
Indeed, the Federalist Papers, written largely in defense of the Constitution in the wake of much dissent with regard to the document, were very persuasive in ultimately bringing forth ratification, and the warnings of the Anti-Federalists have largely come to fruition as well. One would have to be completely blind to the situation in America today to believe otherwise.

Recently, on a thread over at RWN, I took a stand in favor of the Founders and their vision. I even posted about it. My argument is simply that conservatives are dropping the ball when they argue with liberals on the liberals' terms. Why? Simple: These arguments were had back in the Eighteenth Century, and the Founders had the opportunity to explain themselves. The decisions about the meaning of the Constitution were made then, and the liberals of the 20th Century have succeeded in convincing an uneducated public that the Constitution says something different. It's time to reinvigorate the enthusiasm of the American people for the true vision of the Founding Fathers by reintroducing the public discourse of their time into the public discourse of today. It only makes sense, given the liberals' constant desire to inject the evil of the federal government more and more into our daily lives.

On the aforementioned comment thread at RWN, I successfully got liberals to take (among others) the following positions:

* That socialism is allowed in the US under the general welfare clause of Article 1, Section 8.

* That James Madison would advocate socialism and/or nationalist socialist healthcare.

* That James Madison and the Founding Fathers are irrelevant.

I prodded these guys about Madison quite heavily to get these responses, given that Madison - the biggest contributor to the Constitution from a content standpoint - would clearly NOT have advocated socialism being injected into our lives, especially to the degree that it is today. This discussion of Article 1, Section 8 was had 220 years ago, and the rationale for the wording of the article was made clear then. To ignore the discourse of the founding generation and/or call it "irrelevant" is sheer foollishness and idiocy.
The legislative power is competent to lay taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; — there is no limitation to this power, unless it be said that the clause which directs the use to which those taxes, and duties shall be applied, may be said to be a limitation: but this is no restriction of the power at all, for by this clause they are to be applied to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but the legislature have authority to contract debts at their discretion; they are the sole judges of what is necessary to provide for the common defence, and they only are to determine what is for the general welfare; this power therefore is neither more nor less, than a power to lay and collect taxes, imposts, and excises, at their pleasure; not only [is] the power to lay taxes unlimited, as to the amount they may require, but it is perfect and absolute to raise them in any mode they please. - Brutus #1
So the challenge to the Constitution was made then, as you can see. Madison responded as follows:
The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. - Madison, Federalist 45
Have I not been consisitent in saying that the states have the authority to have socialism within their own systems if they so (foolishly) choose, but that the federal government does not? I have yet to find a liberal who would advocate turning the federal socialist machine over to the individual states. One size fits all is the only thing they know. Government is always the only solution, even when government is the stupidest option available (and legally, it is not available - or so say the Constitution and its primary author). To say that James Madison, who penned the above words in defense of ratification, would have supported the efforts being made today to expand upon the socialism, which he would have denounced, by extending federal powers to include control over people's healthcare decisions is, at best, ignorance, and at worst, a deliberate lie perpetrated for the purpose of cheating the American people out of more of their tax dollars in support of another lunatic ponzi scheme.

Today, we are seeing the concerns of the Anti-Federalists coming to fruition, and it's happening right before our very eyes (baby, what a big surprise). It's happening, and all the liberals can do in their own defense when we so clearly demonstrate that their vision is so inconsistent with that of the Founders is call the Founders "irrelevant" and/or lie about what their true positions would be. I'm sorry folks, but I just don't buy the idea that they don't know. I might believe that about Joe Publick and the rest of the victims of the public education system, but you had better believe those in Washington and those seeking the nod to go there know better. Trust me. They know better - and better than you'll ever know.