Saturday, May 1st, 2010
Howdy from Texas! I am still here in the Lone Star State for a few more days. Tonight Janine and I were honored to be invited to a wonderful gathering hosted by our friends Don Hodges and David Thompson and many new and old friends in Dallas to fill them in on Constituting America and how they can be involved. We are gratified by the enthusiasm those in attendance have for learning and spreading the word about the U.S. Constitution, and hope to see our Dallas friends joining us on the 90 in 90 = 180: History Holds the Key to the Future Blog!
Today’s reading, Federalist 3, begins to address the benefits of the new government proposed by the U.S. Constitution, vs. a government of independent, sovereign states, as some at the time advocated. It is interesting that one of the first justifications for the Constitution expounded upon by John Jay was the safety and security of the homeland, still a primary concern today.
Jay’s statement that “one good national government affords vastly more security against dangers of that sort than can be derived from any other quarter,” is certainly true. A government that is perceived as strong will be less vulnerable to attack than one that is divided and weak.
Chuck invoked Ronald Reagan today, and President Reagan was on my mind as I read Federalist No. 3 as well. In a compelling National Security speech on March 23, 1983, Reagan said:
The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to deter and defend against aggression – to preserve freedom and peace.
Just as a body’s strength is dependent on its skeletal system, our country’s strength is dependent on its Constitutional backbone.
Our founding fathers knew they lived in a world that posed threats, and they knew the best way to keep the peace was a strong, unified country. Two hundred twenty-two years later, our world still poses threats, and the stronger and more unified the United States is perceived, the safer we will be.
Have a great weekend everyone!
See you Monday for Federalist No. 4
9 Responses to “April 30, 2010 – Federalist No. 3 – Cathy Gillespie”
Susan Craig says:
That is one thing I can never figure out. How when we have never been the initiator of aggression and very infrequently have we retained, annexed and or occupied for our profit can we be called imperialist? What dictionary definition of that word do people who think that hold to?
Reed W says:
Wow, the more I read, the more I am grateful for the founding fathers and their consideration and determination to bring about a united government that was motivated towards the shared rewards of a participating society. They looked to bring forth the best in we humans, considered all the pitfalls we manipulate, over stepped their own, and reached for the honesty of common decency. It was so down to earth and selfless, and good. Can we still live up to it, as Franklin implied? O gosh, we need a really big big wake up for a lot of people, politicians and voters. They gave us the tools, the framework, it’s not dissolved yet. How do we get this education out? It is so amazing that all this even came about. Thanks again for having this symposium!
“our country’s strength is dependent on its Constitutional backbone”. It seems to me that in the plethora of labels tossed out these days–liberal, conservative, democrat, republican, independent, etc — the Constitution itself has been completely forgotten. I identify myself as a Constitutionalist and people actually ask me “What’s that?” How sad that they do not even ASSUME a meaning for that label…
I applaud and appreciate what you’re doing here, it is more crucial now than at any time in our history–will spread the link!
Bob Greenslade says:
“Today’s reading, Federalist 3, begins to address the benefits of the new government proposed by the U.S. Constitution, vs. a government of independent, sovereign states, as some at the time advocated.”
It appears you are asserting that the Constitution consolidated the States into one nation and they are no longer sovereign entities because they surrendered their sovereignty to the federal government.
Please explain your comment. Thanks.
Constituting America says:
Hi Bob – Thank you for your question! Ours is a federal system. Often people are confused about it, and this is one of the reasons we initiated this project – to try to address concerns just as you mentioned. If you look at the preamble, our Constitution makes clear that the beginning and the end of the government’s authority comes from the consent of the people. We the people desire to form “a more perfect Union; establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense…. ordain and establish this Constitution.”
By ratifying the U.S. Constitution the people caused the State to cede certain powers to the federal government. Both the Constitution itself and the founders who drafted and confirmed it imply only that states ceded the powers enumerated and listed in the U.S. Constitution as powers belonging to a federal government. All other authority continues to rest with the people and the states respectively. When the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution, both the 9th and 10 amendments reaffirmed this principle.
Roger Jett says:
Excellent comments by Cathy and all ! I would like to add a quote attributed to James Madison that for me is pertinent to the discussion as it pertains to the sovereignty issue.
” We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
Roger Jett regarding your post: WOW. Intuitively, we know this, and it is what our parents taught us; but here it is in black and white from the Father of the Constitution. Very powerful and worth remembering. This incident in NYC is a good example of one man using his intellegence and God-given sense to prevent a terrorist attack. What if he decided not to get involved and let someone else take care of the problem. Boom.
Thanks for the quote.
Andy Sparks says:
Unfortunately, it can not be proved that James Madison said that. Especially with the proliferation of the internet, bogus quotes are flying around everywhere that can not be appropriately attributed to the authors. Below is a reference asking the question of the validity of this very quote:
Roger Jett says:
I agree with Andy Sparks that we can all too easily latch on to a bogus quote off of internet sources. I apologize for not citing the source for my earlier post concerning a quote that has been “attributed” to James Madison. My source for ascribing this quote to Madison is Frederick Nymeyer, Progressive Calvinism, (January, 1958), Vol. 4, p. 31.