After my experience during the last couple of weeks with grass-roots party activities, ended up writing my Voice from the Plains newsletter about what happened and what I learned along the way. Suffice it to say that I am bouyed by the experience, and I think we can all learn from examining what really happens when a party is trying to build its platform.
We had some really intense negotiations during our platform discussions both at the county and at the district level. What struck me most was that I kept coming back to the Constitution for guidance on what ought to be in the best interest of the country. Constitutional arguments are so compelling, so powerful, that it becomes hard refute anything that is not based in the language and intent of the Constitution. Unfortunately, unless someone reads the Federalist Papers, one will miss the profound wisdom and vision of the Founders. Thus, to write my newsletter, I went back to the Federalist Papers and reread several to make sure I had it right.
If you don't read any other entries, read Federalist 10 and Federalist 51. Those two build the strongest arguments for understanding our the how and why of our federal system. Federalist 10 is about factions and why we need a system of checks and balances to not only temper the heat of passion, we must also have the federal system to curtail tyranny and despotism. The Founders thought that without this system, men would fall into the human trap of gathering power for personal gain. Think about the wisdom of that thinking. Even with the out of control executive branch we have right now, our system has worked--and worked well.
Federalist 51 goes on to discuss the checks and balances of our federal system. The power of the government is not in one institution or another but really resides in the people. The fact that the Constitution provides these checks and balances is so important in assuring the citizens of the nation that are the true source of popular sovereignty.
Over the next several months, we will revisit the Federalist Papers from time to time. I would commend to all of you to find a copy you can read, and reread, to remind youselves of just how great this nation is, and will be again.
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