The Federalist Papers

Federalist 10: Liberty Is to Faction What Air Is to Fire

I’m still digesting, and frankly, reeling a bit from, some of the things I’m seeing today: the execution of a Trump supporter (more on that in the next article) to guillotines in front of the White House and Jeff Bezos’s house, to mobs attacking couples and individuals as they left the Republican National Convention. All of these are mere displays of what Madison feared and wanted to avoid. He knew the volatility of human nature, the irrationality of factions, and the dangers of mob rule. I’ve always known what he said was true (based on history), but have never been more confident in his reasonings as I am today.

You will find much of what he says, the issues he was facing in his day, very familiar to what we are facing today. Gear up, there’s a lot of Madison language here. Read it all… it’s worth it.

Federalist 25: A Standing Army

In this midst of internal turmoil in the United States and the always looming threat from external enemies around the world, many Americans would balk at the idea of eliminating the standing military of the United States. While some in the country would advocate for less military spending, even they would have to agree that it would be foolish for America to completely rid themselves of the military altogether and rely solely on the armed citizenry of each state. But this was not always the case. Click to read further.

Federalist 51: Ambition Must Be Made to Counteract Ambition

I’ve written an article on this topic once already, but in the middle of increasing concern about a potential Biden/Harris presidency, I want to remind you of the ingenious way Madison structured the government to prevent tyranny. That’s not to say that if Biden/Harris take office, liberty won’t be in grave danger or even egregiously violated, but that America is built in such a way that no matter how much people in government may want to change that government, they will be met with resistance from every facet of government and society. Click to read more.

Federalist 51: If We’re Going to Debate, Let’s Debate Over Things That Are Real

I’ve been feeding y’all a lot of information recently, with long articles that require heightened mental engagement. So, today I’m going to give you (and myself) a slight mental break and simply discuss with you a topic that has been bothering me. It aligns perfectly with this last quote from Federalist 51. Click to read more.

Federalist 78: The Weakest Branch?

“It proves incontestably, that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power; that it can never attack with success either of the other two; and that all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks.” —Hamilton.

In today’s post, I step through four basic assumptions that Hamilton made about the Court in his Federalist paper entitled The Judiciary Department. Click to read more.

Federalist 70: How to Assess the Performance of a President

I want to clear up a common, and highly destructive, American misunderstanding about the president.

To start, take a moment and answer the following questions or yourself:

  1. What factors do you consider when judging whether a not a president has done a good job?

  2. What factors do you consider when you decide which presidential candidate to vote for?

  3. When the presidential candidates campaign, what kinds of issues do they talk about and what kinds of issues do people want them to talk about?

Thought about your answers? Good. Now let’s talk about it. Click to read further.

Federalist 68: The Mode of Electing the President

As we enter the final week before the 2020 elections, it seems Americans can think of little else. Given this and given that people are also concerned about the method of electing the president (the electoral college), I thought it a good time to discuss what the Constitution’s authors had to say on the topic.

The United States truly does have one of the most unique and important modes of elections in the world. In fact, the Federalists and supporters of the Constitution were more concerned about the mode of electing the president than even the powers of the president himself, for if the citizenry considers the mode illegitimate, no matter what the president does, he and his powers will be considered illegitimate.

Federalist 37: The Real Wonder That So Many Difficulties Were Surmounted

If you haven’t read Federalist 37, go read it now, even before you read my post. It is brilliant, enlightening and sobering. It details the reality of the difficulties our founders faced when establishing our great nation. Something so few people seem to appreciate now.

So, buckle up and get your reading cap on, this is going to be a longer read with a lot of Madisonian language—-I prefer his language to mine, so I feed you plenty of it. Click to read further.

Federalist 23: The Necessity of the Constitution and Federal Government

n Federalist 23, Alexander Hamilton details the purpose—the reason—for a stronger national government. Pay careful attention to his words. He doesn’t say that the national government is necessary to provide greater healthcare, more jobs, increased welfare, a better climate, education or a litany of other topics that our federal government now considers its job. Click to read further.

Federalist 78: The Court and the Constitution

It’s fascinating to read these Federalist Papers and apprehend the thoughts of America’s greatest thinkers and founders. So much thought went into such a short document: the Constitution.

In this post, I finish up my analysis of Hamilton’s Federalist 78, in which he discusses the judiciary. His interpretation of the judiciary is perhaps more loose than that of some of the other founders (namely, Madison), but he shares the following fundamental belief with all his fellow founders—in all cases of law and interpretation, the Constitution is supreme.

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