JustJoe Over the Road


A Nation Who Knows Not Its History Has No Future

Posted by justjoe on January 1, 2006

“…you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America…”
Alexander Hamilton-Federalist Paper #1


Rather weighty and poetic language, but lots of great stuff from one of the founders of our nation, if you take the time. This argument to the people of New York for the adoption and ratification of a new Constitution is not only timely but prophetic. Witness one small passage.

“An over-scrupulous jealousy of danger to the rights of the people, which is more commonly the fault of the head than of the heart, will be represented as mere pretense and artifice, the stale bait for popularity at the expense of the public good.”

  1. Cindy Sheehan’s demand to know what “noble cause” her son died for.
  2. Dick Cheney’s secret meetings with oil companies.
  3. Unregulated wire tapping of the American people.
  4. Outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame by the White House.

“It will be forgotten, on the one hand, that jealousy is the usual concomitant of love, and that the noble enthusiasm of liberty is apt to be infected with a spirit of narrow and illiberal distrust.”

  • Note the word illiberal

“On the other hand, it will be equally forgotten that the vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty;”

  • In other words, a distinct and clear separation of powers that vigorously challenge one another.

“that, in the contemplation of a sound and well-informed judgment, their interest can never be separated;”

  • It is through these dissents to one another (legislative, judiciary, executive) that “their interest” the rights and liberties of “We the People” are secured.

“and that a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government.”

  • Ignore the rhetoric that speaks of protecting the people while suspending the rule of law and principles of good governance through rigorous check and balance principles

“History will teach us that the former”

  • rhetoric and feel-good speeches

has been found a much more certain road to the introduction of despotism than the latter,”

  • Rigorous adherence to the rule of law and the check and balance principles in government

“and that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people;”

  • the currying of favor of religious communities through promises and funding of faith- based initiatives
  • appealing to the purient interests of the people while, through cronyism and no-bid contracts, rewarding supporters.

“commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.”

  • ie: George Bush

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