Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When The Past Is The Present: What Would James Madison Say?

"It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what is will be tomorrow."-- James Madison, Federalist no. 62, February 27, 1788

Read it again and take a moment to let it soak in. Two hundred and twenty-one years ago, James Madison described our situation today.

Today we elect people who represent themselves via special interest dollars in spite of the wishes of their constituents.

Today we have bills that impact 300 million citizens that exceed ONE THOUSAND PAGES that our elected representatives did not write and do not read. The bills are intentionally incoherent with the thought of implement now, figure out later.

When our Founding Fathers gave us a form of government based on individual liberty they intimately knew the personal suffocation of tyranny. They imagined that each branch of government would watch over the other and that "We, the People" would look over all three.

We have reached a turning point in our national life. Our choice is between the self-governance envisioned by our fore-bearers or a reliance upon a central government.

"There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."-- James Madison, speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 16, 1788

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