Monday, September 19, 2011

The Federalist

I've decided that it's time for me to read "The Federalist" by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. While this is usually hailed by conservatives as evidence that they are more in line with the founder's ideology, I believe that it can also be used to make a point about America as a whole.

The point I want to make about reading The Federalist is that the modern Republican party are very far removed from the ideal of the founders. In fact, all of Washington has been misguided by the pull of money and power from special interests. America was founded as a place of ordinary freedoms for ordinary folks. It is based on the idea that every person, regardless of background, race, religion, or party can be successful.

The modern day parties do not reflect this ideal. The GOP spends all of its time scheming with private business, trying to disenfranchise the American People (to read more about how the GOP is looking to destroy the people's voice in Washington, read this). The Democratic party are not much better, with more and more pandering to refit social programs and dumping billions of dollars into social safety nets without trying to redesign them to be more efficient. All the while, there are major fights over simple things like budgets, taxation, and government regulations.

I believe that the founders, while imperfect, made a piece of legislation that can still be used today. We have the ability to try and extrapolate meaning from the original documents for modern concerns. As Joe Pesci's character said in the movie With Honors (which I highly recommend), the founding fathers were "a bunch of bums" who knew that what they said was not perfect and that what they devised did not solve every problem. What The Federalist Papers do for us is give us context for how the founders viewed the Constitution, how they wanted it used, and how they felt America should exist. We should take a lesson from them and get back to some of the original intents of America: individual freedom, the power of the people, and a government that serves its citizens and not the elite.

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