Constitution Thursday – The Spirit of Vigilance
As the debate over the Ratification proceeding, things were becoming quite heated – at least in a literary sense. The Anti-Federalists were rapidly picking apart what they saw as obvious flaws in the proposed system of National Government, particularly concerned that the House of Representatives could become a new Parliament. That is, full of corruption and men who would be disconnected and disinterested in the People or their liberties.
On February 19th, 1788, James Madison would present Federalist #57 as a counter to the argument that the House would become such a body that is disconnected and have little to no sympathy with the People.
Of all the Federalist Papers, this is personal favorite. Of the entire paper, my favorite potion is a single sentence which has become my rallying cry since the day I first read it:
“If this spirit (of vigilance) shall ever be so far debased as to tolerate a law not obligatory on the legislature, as well as on the people, the people will be prepared to tolerate any thing but liberty.”
Today on Constitution Thursday as a part of our look at the ratification Process, I present to you an “Original” episode from July 21, 2011, when we took a look at this particular paper as a part of the broader discussion.
This episode is a solo radio broadcast, so there is a bit of a different timber. I also am very passionate about this particular issue. So there is a bit more… well.. I guess anger and frustration here.
Let’s travel back in time a bit and talk about Federalist #57