Walter Williams accuses New York Times magazine editor of gross ignorance (One Document Under Siege by Richard Stengel).
But in his July 8 column in The Post-Journal, Williams is focusing on such power-limiting phrases as Madison's Federalists No. 45 which says: The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined.
The problem is that that is not true. All that power to tax, legislate and adjudicate plus the executive power, few and defined? Nix.
Stengel wins big by focusing instead on the purpose of the Constitution. The purpose was to strengthen the center and weaken the states, and I dare to add also the people. Madison called the common people the rabble. But surely there might have been some among the "rabbles" that had just as good a sense of justice as did those elite behind the closed doors at Philadelphia.
Stengel notes that Americans have debated the Constitution since the day it was signed.
Indeed they have. Soon after it was ratified large numbers of middle and lower class people saw that they had been deceived. And they blamed Washington. The Philadelphia Aurora spoke for those people. Here follow excerpts of an editorial in that newspaper in 1796: "If ever a nation was debauched by a man, the American nation was debauched by Washington. If ever a nation was deceived by a man, the American nation has been deceived by Washington. Let his conduct then be an example to future ages. Let the history of the federal government instruct mankind, that the masque of patriotism may be worn to conceal the foulest designs against the liberties of the people" Philadelphia, Aurora December 23, 1796.
Lets keep in mind that liberty is the key word. So if you lefties claim that the Constitution denies us too many of our rightful liberties, I'm with you.
But if you want to deny the self evident truth that all men are endowed by their creator to certain in alienable rights such as life, liberty, and property, then I am not with you.
If you think it's O.K. to take from the rich and/or productive and give it to the poor and/or nonproductive then I am not with you.
Such redistributing appeals to many. It seems nice and good that none should be rich while others are poor.
But history proves abundantly that forced redistributing does not serve to human happiness.
The reason it doesn't work is because there aren't enough angel-like people in this world to do the taking and giving justly. Obama hasn't learned that history lesson yet. Maybe he doesn't want to.
Jacob Lapp lives in Cassadaga.