|
|
Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
A blog 'for independent minds'
‘Listening to the Founders’
email print
About this blog
Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion ...
X
Political Views
Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion section of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. As such, our focus starts there and spreads to include Massachusetts, the nation and the world. Since successful blogs create communities of readers and writers, we hope the \x34& Co.\x34 will also come to include you.
Recent Posts
June 16, 2014 11:10 a.m.
June 16, 2014 11:10 a.m.
June 15, 2014 5:10 p.m.
June 13, 2014 5:10 p.m.
June 13, 2014 5:10 p.m.
By Rick Holmes
Jan. 5, 2014 11:10 a.m.



Another fissure has just opened up in the Republican Party, one I’m hoping Rob can help us understand.

GOP establishment commentator David Gerson fired a volley in a column I ran Saturday, arguing that the GOP moderates are ceding too much ideological ground to anti-government extremists. Gerson challenges the assumption that the Founders were tea party conservatives:



The Federalist founders did not view government as a necessary evil. They referred to the “imbecility” of a weak federal government (in the form of the Articles of Confederation) compared to a relatively strong central government, which is what the Constitution actually created. Though they feared the concentration of too much power in one branch of government, they believed that good government was essential to promote what they referred to as the “public good.”

And they assumed that the content of the public good would shift over time. “Constitutions of civil government,” argued Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 34, “are not to be framed upon a calculation of existing exigencies, but upon a combination of these with the probable exigencies of ages. … Nothing, therefore, can be more fallacious than to infer the extent of any power, proper to be lodged in the national government from an estimate of its immediate necessities. There ought to be a CAPACITY to provide for future contingencies as they may happen.”


Lincoln, Gerson says, grew the government consistent with this vision, which may be where Rob has argued the Constitution took a wrong turn.

I’ve long been skeptical of trying to win arguments over current issues by pretending to see into the hearts of the Founders. Which Founders? The ones who made the Revolution or the ones who made the Constitution? Which of their countless aphorisms should we use to make a decision on an issue the Founder could never have seen coming? But I welcome any challenges to the attitude that the nation’s founders hated the government they worked so hard to build.

 



Recent Posts

    latest blogs

    • Community
    • National