May 3, 2010 – Federalist No. 4 – Cathy Gillespie

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Hello from Virginia! I made it back from Texas in the wee hours of the morning, thanks to some thunderstorms and unexpected equipment on the runway at Reagan National Airport!

To all who have been posting – Thank you!! We invite all our visitors to add their comments! We love the sense of community, and are learning so much from each of you.  If you have a question, please ask it, and if we can’t answer it, hopefully some of our blog participants can!

Federalist #4 elaborates upon a phrase stated in the preamble to the Constitution: ”We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I’m reminded of a quote of a famous Texan from the 1970′s and 1980″s, Eddie Chiles, who said all he wanted the federal government to do was defend the shores, deliver the mail, and leave him alone!  It is no accident that Eddie Chiles started his quote with “defend the shores,” and that so many of the first Federalist Papers touch on this theme of defending our country.  It is one of the powers enumerated in the Constitution that the federal government is best equipped to perform.

The other quote that caught my eye was the last phrase: “……how soon would dear-bought experience proclaim that when a people or family so divide, it never fails to be against themselves.”  As citizens of the United States, the more common ground we can find with each other, the better. And the more educated our citizens are about the founding principles of our country, the easier it will be for us to find common ground.

Good night!

Cathy Gillespie

7 Responses to “May 32010 – Federalist No4 – Cathy Gillespie

  1. Bill Kenagy says:

    Note in the preable it says, “promote the general welfare.” Not to provide for the general welfare.

  2. Bache says:

    A quote from Benjamin Franklin…” The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” His saying reflects the ideology of the preamble “to promote the general welfare.”

  3. Roger Jett says:

    Good Morning Cathy Gillespie and All !

    In penning what was to become our national anthem, Francis Scott Key in 1814 at Fort McHenry, in his second verse and fourth verse, continued on the theme, “defend our shores” :

    On the shore, dimly seen through the mist of the deep,
    Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
    What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
    As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses ?
    Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
    In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
    ‘Tis the star-spangled banner ! Oh long may it wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave

    Oh! thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
    Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation,
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    May God bless us, preserve us and keep us brave and free!

  4. The equality of all people stand on the OPPORTUNITY that our freedom provides. We all have the same OPPORTUNITY to “pursue happiness” without the overreach of government taking from one and giving to another. Everyone has the same opportunity to work hard and succeed, what one chooses to do with that opportunity is up to them. And if you think someone needs help use your money to help them don’t take mine(not that I have any) But I believe that we “reap what we sow” so I’m still sowing baby………

  5. Julie Bedard says:

    @Bill Kenagy—well said. There is a big difference between “promote” and “provide”. The next queston becomes–what did they mean when they wrote “general welfare”? As we know this also has been twisted and misconstrued throughout time to move towards “social justice” policies. I take it to mean “to promote the general welfare of the UNION”–again to protect and defend the Union from external and internal sources so it remains intact for all people within the Union to live peacefully and pursue their dreams without fear of disharmony, chaos, and war.

  6. Susan Craig says:

    The conflict of promote and provide occurs within the constitution itself. The Preamble says promote while article 1 says provide.

  7. Kellie says:

    @Julie Bedard: Well said on the issue of interpreting the “general welfare” of the Union. I have found that those truly well-versed on the Constitution know and understand that meaning to be for the protection of the Union from external and internal sources, NOT that we provide welfare to those in need within the Union, as is currently interpreted. My fear is that it’s proper meaning is not being taught in the schools…



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