A "Darn, I Wish I Had Thought of That" Moment

Assigned Reading: James Madison Predicted This ‘Obama Obsession’ Thing
(FROM: Townhall)

Every once in a while, I’ll read an article or commentary or hear an argument or even a joke and think to myself: “Dang it, I wish I had thought of that!” Reading this piece from Austin Hill over at Townhall.com was one of those moments. Here’s an excerpt:

In many ways, it’s a sad state of affairs. Americans are scared and want their President to be an omniscient, omnipotent savior, and the man we elected knows with certainty that he is that savior. Yet it’s comforting to know that, in many ways, some of the founders of our nation understood human nature so remarkably well that they could have predicted a day when future generations would want not a President, but a messiah, and a day when a President fancied himself as such.

Such wisdom is yours for the reading in “The Federalist Papers,” that old compilation of some 85 newspaper editorials that argued for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, published in 1787 and 1788. While make the case for limiting the power of government, and establishing “checks and balances” between government’s various “departments,” James Madison eloquently wrote in “The Federalist Number 51:”

It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. 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 on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government…

It would seem that Madison the philosopher (who went on to become our Fourth President of the United States) was quite certain that those who govern will never be “angels” (he would probably also concur that a President will never amount to a messiah). Madison also seems to indicate that those who govern will naturally begin to think a bit too highly of themselves, and will have difficulty with ‘self-restraint.”

I don’t know about you, but with almost each passing day I am reminded just how prescient our nation’s founders truly were. I’m fortunate enough to work across the street from the site of the home where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and just a few hundred yards from where that document, along later with our Constitution, was signed. These men constantly amaze me, and it saddens me that we have largely dismissed their wisdom as simply the antiquated ramblings of equally antiquated relics.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    SCOTUS clerks are misinforming the citizens again
    May 17th, 2009

    “I got a phone call from Mr. Bill Van Allen, who filed his case in SCOTUS. What concerned me, is the fact that his case was returned with a letter from a clerk…

    …to uphold the Constitution, as one ultimately accountable to the American Citizens and their Common law Grand Juries.”

    Entire news report here:
    http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/blog1/?p=1138

    Gaining momentum:
    http://americangrandjury.org/arkansas-and-the-american-grand-juries-level-indictments-on-the-same-day

    Pixel Patriot

  2. berkshire says:

    Jeff, I couldn’t agree more. After I finished reading the 5000 year leap a couple weeks ago, I am now reminded daily of the ways in which we have wronged our founding fathers.

    I now recommend the book to _everyone_ (even people outside of the US) in order to share the enlightenment and spread their universal truths. It is simply an injustice to mankind not to understand the perspective with which our country was founded.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Jeff,
    It is so sad to me that there are people in our government who KNOW what this administration is doing to undermine the foundations of our nation and yet they are willing to turn a blind eye to it and be content to ride the wave of this ‘new world’ agenda instead of standing up against it. If only we had statesmen who would put honesty and respect for the citizens above their own selfish interests. We have allowed these opportunists to gain control of our government and every day it looks more like an episode of ‘romper room’. Lies are glossed over and personal integrity is non-existent but as long as we tolerate this disrespect for our heritage, we can only continue to shake our heads in disbelief. Surely there are patriots who will orchestrate and direct a rebellion…if ever we need courage and fortitude from ordinary citizens, it is now. Allan Keyes was arrested at Notre Dame….why didn’t we have masses of people non-violently making a statement? I was not there either but I must commit to facing whatever in order to stand against this abomination. I hope there will be more demonstrations on Memorial Day and July 4th…I will be there!!

  4. 223 IS MY FAVORITE says:

    W H I S K E Y __ R E B E L L I O N

    ’nuff said

    I get tired of repeating myself

  5. Gail B says:

    223 IS MY FAVORITE–

    What about LIBERAL REBELLION?

  6. Anonymous says:

    You will notice that Madison recognized the undeniable presence of “human nature” in all of us, and that, left uncontrolled and independent of the Divine nature, it would ultimately destroy itself.

    What we presently see is the consequence of the denial by the liberal/progressives that there even is such a thing as a self-destructive “human nature”.

    So, Jeff, how many laws have been enacted since Hamilton’s time to deal with the real effects of something that the liberal/progressives would claim does not exist.

    “And man said, we will have no God over us.” I think that I read that somewhere.

    Old Bob

  7. cal says:

    Jeff,
    I think the sad state of affairs today in our country is causing people to look back to the writings of our founder and to our founding documents to find ways to rectify this madness. I do not think the founders have been forgotten. There has been a rebirth in the appreciation of these men and it will continue to spread. Your blog is a testament to this fact.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Here is a man,Kurt Kallenbach, going out on a walking journey from Illinois to Washington, D.C.–due to arrive on July 3rd for the Tea Party on the 4th in D.C. He is a former runner, and he wants to protect what everyone is reporting here. He will need our support on his journey. Here is what he had to say, and his website (which will be operating in a few days) http://walkthetalk.reteaparty.com
    He can be contacted via email at: DCTea1773@gmail.com

    “Due to the political assault on the Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution, and individual rights, I have decided to take a walk from my green house in Rockford, IL to a White House in the Kingdom of Washington D.C.”

    “I feel that the time has come for Americans to aggressively remind all those holding elected office, that it is “We the People,” not they, “the elected,” who ultimately decide the fate of this wonderful country.”

  9. Tigress says:

    I would highly recommend to anybody interested out there the HBO mini series “John Adams” (available on DVD). It has 7 parts, about an hour long each. My spouse and I found it absolutely riveting. We watched one episode every night for a week and were so sad when it was all over–it was like saying goodbye to a friend, really.

    It follows Adams from his early career as a lawyer defending British soldiers from the Boston Massacre until his death. It is character driven and amazingly acted. The relationships between Adams and his wife Abigail and Adams and Jefferson were very interesting.

    I relearned a lot about that horrible Alexander Hamilton, our first Secretary of Treasury. He was a war monger who sought to create debts, a centralized bank, and a strong centralized government. He was a strong influence on Washington, so we’re lucky Washington tired of the presidency, otherwise he would’ve been in there for life and we wouldn’t have gotten Adams, who took us in a better direction. (Then, of course, came Jefferson.)

    Anyway–it’s simply excellent!!

  10. Tigress says:

    P.S.–I forgot to say, seeing Hamilton do his dirty work made me feel oddly comforted. This country has always had people in positions of power who try to take away the freedoms of the people. We keep on, though!

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