Constituting America

Have you heard about Constituting America? You can find it at http://www.constitutingamerica.org/

Mission Statement: The Constitution should not be dismissed or relegated to obsolescence, for as surely as this is done, democracy will meet its demise. Knowledge of the contents of the Constitution and the values of our founding fathers is pivotal to enduring these challenging times.

A renewed, rekindled enthusiasm and a patriot’s desire for the understanding of our Constitution begins with its accessibility. Challenging the mindset of those who consider our Constitution to be antiquated, is our mission. An enlightened America regarding her roots, her basis, and her thesis is the key to America’s pertinent survival. Americans have rights. Americans must have knowledge to understand them.

Constituting America’s mission is to reach, educate and inform the youth and all citizens through modern technology and modern means, because we must not let those who devalue freedom dominate the debate.
~ Janine Turner

 

They challenge you to read the Federalist Papers, one a day, and study what the Founders had in mind for the American government, and what they didn’t want. You will be surprised at how turned around we have become. You will be informed. Maybe even learn things you can do to get representatives elected who represent you and not big government.

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One Response to Constituting America

  1. hybridtalk1 says:

    Here is an example. Reading Federalist Paper #35 and then look at some of the commentary.

    http://constitutingamerica.org/blog/?cat=47

    Publius begins his essay by stating several maxims regarding taxes, including:
    “All extremes are pernicious in various ways.”
    “Exorbitant duties on imported articles would beget a general spirit of smuggling; which is always prejudicial to the fair trader, and eventually to the revenue itself.”
    “When the demand is equal to the quantity of goods at market, the consumer generally pays the duty; but when the markets happen to be overstocked, a great proportion falls upon the merchant, and sometimes not only exhausts his profits, but breaks in upon his capital.”
    “The maxim that the consumer is the payer[of taxes], is so much oftener true than the reverse of the proposition.”
    The theme of these quotes is that the consumer, the merchant, and ultimately the economy suffers when taxes become oppressive. When raising taxes to address “necessities,” false reasonings do not render the hoped for results. For example, the stimulus bill was supposed to lower the unemployment rate to 8 percent or below, but despite all the money spent, unemployment has not reached that target. Would a less “oppressive” means, such as cutting taxes, have yielded better results?


    In the midst of discussing questions of tax power and policy, Federalist 35 ventures into a fascinating argument about the nature of representation in a democratic republic – a very relevant question today.
    The argument about representation is a response to an Anti-Federalist claim that the House of Representatives will be too small to contain citizens from all classes and occupations, and that this will prevent “a due sympathy between the representative body and its constituents.”
    When we first read this, we can’t help but identify with the Anti-Federalists. In 21st Century America there could hardly be less sympathy between our representative body and its constituents!
    But upon further investigation, Hamilton argues, we will see that the Anti-Federalists’ argument is “made up of nothing but fair sounding words.” Most significantly, he rejects the call for “an actual representation of all classes of the people by persons of each class.”

    There are two related problems with the Anti-Federalists’ argument, according to Hamilton. The first is that it misunderstands the nature of representation. The Anti-Federalists presumed that representation should produce a legislature that is a “mirror” of the public at large. It should look like a microcosm of the people themselves if they could assemble directly for the purpose of making laws. Representation, in this view, is merely a practical mechanism which should reflect direct democracy as much as possible. It should not refine public opinion.
    The second but related problem with the Anti-Federalists’ argument, Hamilton claims, is that representatives are not mere guardians of a particular interest. They are supposed to pursue the common good of the whole society. To argue that a legislative body should contain a composite of classes and occupations equal to the society at large is to imply that a cobbler’s interest can only be pursued by a cobbler, that an attorney’s interest can only be pursued by an attorney, and so on.
    In today’s politics, it often seems like representatives more often seek to satisfy particular interest groups than pursue the common good of the whole. Some have argued that the Founders wanted it to be this way. But in Federalist 35 Hamilton reminds us that a representative republic allows us to be governed by those who place the public good over the clash of particular interests.
    Most importantly, we can only pursue the common good by abandoning the idea of separating ourselves into classes. Dividing ourselves into separate classes overlooks the natural human equality that is the basis of our rights, and it overlooks the common interests and affections that bind us together as Americans.

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