In various articles I have discussed the historic reasons for the inclusion of the Electoral College process in presidential elections, citing specific reasons the Founding Fathers, soon after gaining American independence from the British Empire and experiencing the deficiencies of the Articles of Confederation, finally framed a Constitutional Republic at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. The founders chose this form of government for the United States rather than a simple majoritarian democracy.
The generations who founded America and our republic saw that ensuring the individual rights of free people was necessary to limiting government power and to their own pursuit of happiness. This came to be expressed in our Bill of Rights with its ultimate guarantor, the Second Amendment.
I read with interest the recent Telegraph op-ed, “The ‘Enlightenment’ keeps on winning, ” and frankly I was astounded at the mischaracterizations alluded to by author-journalist James A. Haught attempting to force through his thesis. Where do we begin?
In a recent op-ed entitled, “The ‘Enlightenment’ keeps on winning,” James A. Haught, an editor emeritus of a West Virginia newspaper, asserts in his latest column that since the advent of the Enlightenment, for three centuries, liberals have scored a string of historical victories over conservatives, and he “hopes the progressive pattern keeps rolling forever.”
A Review of Washington — A Life by Ron Chernow (2010)
Excellent biographies of the Founding Fathers have been published in the last several decades. With these books, the nation seems to yearn for moral and political guidance from America's founders — i.e., through their words, lives, and actions, as recounted in the pages of history. It seems these tomes are needed to help steer the presently insecure nation through the prevailing rough political waters and treacherous economic shoals of the present global age.
A review of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (2004)
John Quincy Adams (2012) by Harlow Giles Unger is a well written and well-researched book that brings to light the sixth president of the United States, and the only son of a Founding Father to become president — John Quincy Adams.
The Last Founding Father — James Monroe and a Nation's Call to Greatness by Harlow Giles Unger (2009) is a well written and eloquently narrated book that goes a long way to accomplish what it set out to do — to make James Monroe, not only the last Founding Father, but also the greatest of the founders, second only to George Washington.
Recently, Bill Ferguson, a local columnist in The Macon Telegraph, opined it is "time to call for a new constitutional convention." To make his points, he tells us about the public's general dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in our nation, and then tries to scare us to death with the frightening scenarios of a government shutdown, the U.S. defaulting on the national debt, and the gridlock in Congress, so that "these once-unthinkable situations could come to pass."(1)
A great many Telegraph posters and avid readers are disappointed and fuming because The Telegraph issued a new directive that henceforth the paper would use Facebook (and not Discus) for online commenting.
The Founding Fathers of this great nation designed a Republican form of government. By this, they meant a government under the rule of law and not the capricious rule of man, under a written constitution whose main function is to clearly demarcate the limits of authority of the federal government.
With the recent commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, a number of journalists in their editorials (and even a historian, David Von Drehle, in a Time magazine article) attempted to assure us that they are setting the historic record straight — namely, that the paramount reason for the War Between the States (aka “The War of Northern Aggression” in the South) was racial hatred and slavery.
If I were to tell you there is a constitutional subject that is expressed in a countless number of words; that is argued endlessly; that a myriad of books have been written about; that legions of court cases have been filed over and many judicial decrees have been issued upon; that many laws have been enacted to implement; that endless regulations have been promulgated under its purview; that trillions of dollars have been expended under its authority; but on which there is still no unanimity --- what would you believe I was referring to?
In the summer of 1787, as the Founders, led by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, concluded the drafting of the momentous Constitution of these United States, a Philadelphia lady at the steps of Independence Hall, asked, "Mr [Ben] Franklin, what kind of government have you given us?" He retorted, "a Republic, ma'am if you can keep it."
The Civil War's immediate impact was felt mostly in America. It ended slavery, preserved the union, and in time reaffirmed the natural rights of man first proclaimed distinctly by the English physician-philosopher, John Locke (1632-1704). Locke is perhaps the foremost proponent of individual rights in the history of Anglo-American jurisprudence. He wrote that all human beings were equal and free to pursue "life, health, liberty and possessions." He influenced our Founding Fathers immensely: