Tag: James Madison

Gun Control Is Re-Branded Gun Violence

TJ Roberts | United States

On January 9th, 2019, Dianne Feinstein introduced the Assault Weapons ban of 2019 to the United States Senate. In the authoritarian left’s endless attempt at complete social control, Feinstein has made it her goal to ban guns as small as the Ruger 10/22. Feinstein and her supporters justify this in the name of safety. While one may have sympathy for one’s desire for safety, basic logic refutes this claim. In fact, there is nothing that could make a physically weak person safer than a gun. It must be made clear that all gun laws are infringements. There is no compromise on fundamental rights. Continue reading “Gun Control Is Re-Branded Gun Violence”


America Did Not Listen to the Founders

By Jack Parkos | United States

The founding fathers of our nation gave us plenty of advice on how to run the country they formed. They warned us on many threats to liberty, explaining how to prevent a tyrannical government from growing. Unfortunately, America did not listen to the advice. Our government has grown tyrannical and our liberties are waning daily. The founders knew how easily this could happen and did all they could to prepare us. Frankly, we failed them.

Warnings on Factions

It seems sometimes that many of the founders predicted the future of America. James Madison, in particular, seemed to have this power. The former president warned us of many things in his writings and philosophy, most notably mob rule. In the Federalist Papers, Madison strongly criticized democracy and urged for a constitutional republic. He clearly feared factions growing in America. The essays warned how mob rule would be a threat to the liberty, outlining the fears that factions would only lead to groups pursuing interests that ran opposed to freedom.

Washington, the only president in our history without a political party, expanded on this idea. In his farewell address, he warned about the dangers of political parties and how they could lead to despotism. No one listened to his warning: not even the other founding fathers. This led to many disputes throughout history and continues to be a major issue today.

Words Against War

Once again, Madison came in with some great advice that most people ignored. He clearly warned that wars were a threat to liberty, going so far as saying:

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.

Madison knew how when a nation is in constant warfare, liberty is in danger. War also has the ability to create more enemies for the people that only will cause more tension and conflict in the future. The founders would not have cared about wars in Yemen: they would have safeguarded American liberty first.

Limiting the Federal Government

The federal government was supposed to be limited in what powers it had. Its main goal was to unify the states and prevent European dominance from ruining the American experiment. The federal government, however, has grown to such great lengths that the founders may not have been able to even conceive. In fact, by modern standards, even old George was a very modest tyrant, whose demands of the people were far more reasonable than those of the American government today.

One justification for such growth of government was the “General Welfare” clause. Basically, politicians believed their unconstitutional practices were acceptable, as long as they were intended to help the general welfare of the public. Once more, James Madison, the father of the Constitution, rebukes this:

If Congress can apply money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may establish teachers in every State, county, and parish, and pay them out of the public Treasury, they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post roads. In short, every thing, from the highest object of State legislation, down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress; for every object I have mentioned would admit the application of money, and might be called, if Congress pleased, provisions for the general welfare.

James Madison explicitly states that “general welfare” does not mean the federal government can do whatever it wants. Roads, education, and law enforcement are of no business of the government. Madison warned how officials could use this clause, but the people ignored him.

Consequences of Ignoring the Founders

The above stated are not the only examples of wisdom we ignored, but they are ones that have a big impact on modern-day America.

Partisanship has only grown, to the point where our system exactly matches what Washington warned against. As a result, elected officials are putting party over country, Constitution, and liberty. Tribalism is also spiking. Mob mentality has taken over politics and law. Public opinion, rather than clear examination, is the new grounds for looking at the Constitution. If a large majority believes in a false interpretation of the Constitution, it will change and liberties will die. This is what the founders warned about: people using politics for their pursuits and sacrificing important liberties in the process.

The United States has never listened to Madison’s wisdom on war and its negative impact on liberty. In fact, it is hard to think of a time that America has not been at war. In recent years, we have been in continuous wars in the Middle East. These have led to numerous deaths, and for the survivors, more debt and fewer freedoms. We have not been able to preserve liberty throughout the wars, just like Madison stated.

Perhaps we need to stop waiting for a new revolutionary idea or leader to come about to fix our country. We can look to the past to our country’s founding to save our liberty and our prosperity.

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Revising the Foundations: The Founding Fathers Are Out of Date in a Few Ways

By Michael Kay | [USA]

It’s a question that’s been asked in almost every post-revolutionary state, sometime in their histories. Why should the founding fathers dictate the way in which we run our nation? In this article, I seek to examine this question in the context of the United States, and then discuss how this applies to our current administration.

The first major point to identify is the time difference. In 1776, upon the Declaration of Independence, the “American” colonies were highly wary of powerful governments and thought of their own state governments as mere means of protection against British imperial power. Keep in mind, for example, that Alexander Hamilton did not establish a national bank until years later, which suggests that the states were highly divided. Taxation merely existed in the form of light tariffs, and neither states nor the national government had the means to infringe upon the rights of its citizens. In fact, the governments had a vested interest in a laissez-faire approach to the market. But this time difference has other implications as well, including some very pressing pieces of the Bill of Rights. For example, the Second Amendment was written for two main purposes. First, in the circumstance that the National Guard (which was merely an idea at the time) was unable to properly hold off the British Army, the Congress wanted the populace to bolster the army with civilian reinforcements. The amendment was further written as a means of providing a defense for the citizens, provided that an elected US government did not abide by the Constitution or infringed upon the inalienable rights of its citizens. So I think, given that the US has one of the most powerful standing militias in the entire world, the first clause is somewhat redundant. However, as a libertarian, I am still fundamentally opposed to anything besides some heavy firearms registration laws.

The second point to consider is that the founding fathers were not in agreement. For example, Alexander Hamilton opposed the entire idea of the Bill of Rights (more on that later), while Madison and Jefferson were strongly opposed to the establishment of a Treasury and a national bank. And of course, Hamilton and Washington were opposed to slavery (so was Jefferson, privately), yet they did not write it into the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

First, why did these disagreements come about? Many of them were based on the traditional North-South divide. Jefferson and Madison didn’t like the idea of the National bank because the economies of Virginia and (in general) the South were mostly agrarian in nature. A stronger national government would have more difficulty implementing economic policies that did not either unfairly disadvantage the agrarian economy or the industrial economy of the Northern states. The slavery argument is obvious, as many of the founding fathers saw slavery as directly hypocritical to the words of the Declaration of Independence, as one would then have to assume that not ALL men were created equal. However, according to Jefferson (in his journal), he knew it was wrong, but be simply couldn’t imagine a life without slavery, as he believed that without it, the Southern economy would die (as it did, after the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment). Finally, the most interesting and complex disagreement came from Alexander Hamilton, when he opposed the existence of the Bill of Rights. Hamilton argued that if we bind the government with negative clauses, that restrict the government, we allow the government to do anything that isn’t explicitly written. This is how we ended up with gun control, as it isn’t explicitly written. Hamilton preferred a system in which common sense ideas and positively restrictive laws existed and instructed the government to carry out specific legislation. Something not explicitly written would not mean it is or is not legally permissible.

These disagreements on the fundamental ideas of our nation would suggest that the founding fathers were not necessarily correct in every respect. Instead, consider the idea of a rewritten Constitution, where we can still consider the ideas of our founding fathers by reading documents such as the Federalist Papers, which were written defending each clause of the Constitution, and written by both Northerners and Southerners. I think that if the founding documents are outdated and controversial, it makes sense to rewrite them based on the current atmosphere of our nation.