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Archive of posts published in the tag: James Madison

The Need to Say ‘No’

What distinguishes a republic from a democracy is recognition of the need to say ‘no’ to the majority every now and then.

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The Problem With Big Political Ideas

Big ideas that expand the government’s power and domain into aspects of our lives where they possess neither the knowledge nor ability to succeed leaves them with only one tool; raw power. Big ideas that come at the expense of bigger and better ideas proven over time is not a sign of progress.

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The Madisonian Insight

“This was the Madisonian insight,” he contends: “that you can make all sorts of promises on a piece of paper, and call it a ‘bill of rights,’ and it’s not worth the paper it’s written on unless you have some means to enforce it. Like any good contract, it’s only worth the enforcement mechanism it stands on.”

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Was Madison Wrong?

Madison was correct that a dispersal of special interests over a large land mass could protect a republic from tyranny, but he failed to foresee that special interests are no longer restrained by mere distance and geography. They now exist in the cloud.

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Why We Hate Politics

What threatens us is not the division of factions but the myth of unity, even within a single party. Unity does not rise, it is forced. The will of the people is what their demagogue tells them it is.

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The Quicksand of Optimism

from the WSJ and William Galston,  What Would Madison Do About the Budget? When it comes to government, I am a die-hard Madisonian. The chief intellectual architect of our constitutional order knew that public officials would always be torn between…

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Will Liberty Control Factions ?

from Roger Kimball at The Wall Street Journal. Since Men Aren’t Angels: Madison, Hamilton and other supporters of the Constitution worried about the potential incursions of federal power just as much as did the anti-Federalists, who opposed adopting the Constitution…

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A Government of Laws

from Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal, Clinton is Already Vowing to Overreach: This is no small matter. “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands,” James Madison warned in Federalist 47, “may justly be pronounced…

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A Program for Every Problem

from George Will in The Washington Post, The danger of a government with unlimited power Lack of “a limiting principle” is the essence of progressivism, according to William Voegeli, contributing editor of the Claremont Review of Books, in his new…

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Intellectuals at Room Tempreature

via Ed Driscoll at PJ Media, “Intellectuals Cannot Operate At Room Temperature” Quoting Thomas Sowell: There’s something Eric Hoffer said: “Intellectuals cannot operate at room temperature.” There always has to be a crisis–some terrible reason why their superior wisdom and…

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Demosclerosis

from National Review, How American Government Became Encrusted with Subsidies by George Will: Excerpts: Madison counted on conflict, but gargantuan government is, because of its jungle-like sprawl, mostly opaque. So there is what Weiner calls “dissipation of conflict.” And Weiner…

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Madison and Hamilton

For Madison, the ultimate goal of the new government was to balance different factions and produce public policy that was only in the public interest; for Hamilton, the goal was a vigorous government to spur the country on to national…

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We’re No Angels

In Federalist 51, James Madison wrote, “But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?  If men were angels, no government would be necessary.  If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls…

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