March 11, 2009
"James Madison, the father of our republic, warned of the dangers of human nature tied to unchecked factions. He designed our constitution to be a check against the ill conceived ideas of any impassioned group. In the Federalist #51, Madison said, “A rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project, will be less apt to pervade the whole body of the Union than a particular member of it; in the same proportion as such a malady is more likely to taint a particular county or district, than an entire State."
Madison understood the nature of man and the proposition of "wicked" ideas such as over-speculation, foregoing the costs of choices, and laying claim to another man’s property; but he never envisioned these "maladies" would be able to infiltrate and “taint” the political fabric at the national level. Let’s take a closer look at the current architecture in Washington that would make Madison recoil in horror.
"A rage for paper money" by printing, borrowing, loaning and spending 4.6 trillion dollars and promoting over-speculation based on lax market oversight on Wall Street and legislative mandates to buy houses on Main Street.
"[a]n abolition of debts" by bailing out the banking, insurance, and auto industries, as well as renegotiating private mortgage contracts.
"[a]n equal division of property" by a legislative agenda based on redistributing income on a massive scale with universal healthcare, subsidies, and tax credits to non-taxpayers, paid for by tax increases to those who create the wealth of the nation.
Madison’s belief that no one political entity could ever “pervade the whole body of the Union” has been thoroughly discredited by the current behavior of the legislative and executive branches of government. If the people of the body politic do not rise up and provide a counter balancing faction to the “malady” that is Washington, we will get everything we have not asked for and do not deserve. Fortunately, the Constitution offers not only the method of our destruction but the means of our salvation. American’s owe Madison, and every other citizen who has fought and died to protect this great nation, personal actions to stop the “improper” use of power and reaffirm the guiding principles of our founding fathers that have served us well for the last 233 years.