May 21, 2010 – Federalist No. 18 – Cathy Gillespie

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Friday, May 21st, 2010

Another week of 90 in 90: History Holds the Key to the Future draws to a close!  Thank you to Andrew Langer for your participation as a Guest Constitutional Blogger! And thank you to everyone who is posting such well thought out and researched comments.

In Federalist 18, the founding fathers are telling us that History, indeed does hold the Key To the Future, as the name of this blog indicates.

Not even a fourth of the way through the 85 Federalist Papers, and we have all been amazed at the foresight of the founding fathers.   They seem to have an uncanny ability to see the future.   We know they did not have a crystal ball or special powers, so what was their secret? The answer is that they were extremely well read students of history, philosophy, and human nature.   They took the time to think; they actually thought about the future, and used their knowledge to predict outcomes if certain paths were chosen.

Today, we live in an instant gratification society. If a problem is not immediately upon us, it is not dealt with.  If a problem looms twenty years away, we do not want to address it.  Our founding fathers had a much longer vision looking ahead, and looking back.

The depth of knowledge of the founders about ancient civilizations, and the lessons drawn from them is fascinating.  As Juliette, Janine’s daughter observed, they knew all this and didn’t even have Google!

The founders took the time to study these ancient civilizations so they could draw the important lessons from them:  the necessity of a closer union so the strong states would not tyrannize the weak, that “a weak government, when not at war, is ever agitated by internal dissentions, so these never fail to bring on fresh calamities from abroad,” that a stronger union can repel invaders.

Somewhere along the way our society has lost respect for history.  People want to alter it, to make it fit their world view.  In arrogance we believe we are immune from the mistakes of the past and don’t take the time to analyze events or draw lessons from them.

In today’s comments, Ron made an important point – to change this culture of disrespect for and ignorance of history, we need to take action! He encouraged us to “find some historical event that you’re passionate about, do the research, and tell the story. Service clubs need speakers for every week’s meetings, so there are plenty of opportunities. We just have to do it. Taking action is important. Exercises like this should stimulate us to some action; if we finish this FP exercise and go back to living our lives as we did before, then we’ve gained knowledge, but done nothing to rediscover our heritage or, more importantly, to help others do the same.”

Ron is so right!!  As we read the Federalist, our eyes open to many truths, one of which is the importance of looking at lessons from history as we move forward.   We need to find ways to take action, and share what we are learning with others.  Whether it is Ron’s idea of speaking to civic clubs, or simply forwarding a link to this blog to your personal email list, you can make a difference in  opening people’s eyes to the founding principles of our country, and the importance of knowing the United States Constitution.

Thank you to each of you for all you do for our Nation!

Good night and God Bless!

Cathy Gillespie

One Response to “May 21, 2010 – Federalist No. 18 – Cathy Gillespie”

Barb Zakszewski says:
May 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm
I like Ron’s idea too. We must take the knowledge we are gaining and share it, or it will just grow old and stale in our brains. I’ve been talking to everyone I can think of, informing this of this website and the knowledge I’m gaining…I actually write a small column for the monthly newsletter of a club I belong to and have told our editor of my plans to start writing a summary of the what’ I’m learning here each month!! I’ve constantly encouraged my club’s members to become active, and as Janine says, “knowledge is POWER!!!”. Let’s all spread the word!!

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