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Pride in America: James Madison

Pride in America: James Madison

Niklas Kleinworth
June 16, 2023

Welcome to Pride in America Month. Every day in the month of June and through Independence Day, we will highlight a figure who has demonstrated and defended American values. Consider it a healthy alternative to the Left's June celebration that has taken over the media and corporate America.

The ultimate goal of cancel culture is to tear down institutions. This goes beyond de-platforming views that don’t coincide with the woke position; it destroys the very monuments and pillars of society that sustain the American vision of liberty.

James Madison — the Father of the Constitution — sought to create a system of government that would withstand the concentration of power and preserve liberty for all Americans. Madison could read and write in 13 languages. Prior to calling for a Constitutional Convention, he had Thomas Jefferson send more than 200 written works from Paris to study the rise and fall of governments throughout history.

From his research, Madison understood the danger of tyranny from both a citizen majority and a centralized government. In essence, there is a place for government to protect the natural rights of citizens. But those in power often outgrow their role, leveraging their control to thwart the very rights they purport to protect. This point is best summarized in Madison’s writings from Federalist 51:

“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.”

Madison’s goal was to create a system where the government is accountable to the people, yet immune from the tyranny of the majority. By creating a system of three equal branches of government and a divided Congress that is accountable to the people, warring interests would stall the wheels of government and limit the progression of tyranny.

With this context, it is safe to say that Madison would be appalled at what our government has become today. Today’s Congress delegates most of its authority to the executive branch for the benefit of political expediency and legislative laziness. This led to the accumulation of more than 186,000 pages of federal regulations that have the force of law.

Madison would also oppose the financial dependance states have on the federal government. While he served in the Virginia House of Delegates, Madison opposed legislation sponsored by Patrick Henry that would allow citizens to earmark portions of their taxes to be given to certain churches. He noted that these government subsidies centralized financial control and created dependency. He opposed this use of financial control even if it was to be used for benevolent purposes.

The inefficiency of the original system established in the Constitution was its greatest critique and its most beautiful feature. Federal power was never meant to move quickly unless there was strong consensus — putting the call to action in the hands of the states, not Washington, D.C.

As the federal government amassed its control, it expectedly breached the scope of its original role to protect one’s rights to life, liberty, and property.

Madison carefully constructed the Constitution to be a first-of-its-kind document. It established that rights do not come from government, but from God. In starting the preamble with “We the People,” the Constitution is not a contract between the states and the federal government, but an agreement between the people and government itself. The duty of government is to protect Americans’ God-given rights, and nothing more.

The Constitution is the principal institution of the American vision that the left seeks to destroy. Its principles are the proverbial monument that the woke mob seeks to tear down like all the others.

Unlike other political heroes who have statues, land, and monuments attesting to their achievements, Madison’s monument is the Constitution itself, and the values it protects. Preserving Madison’s legacy means preserving the Constitution, the balance of government, and our God-given liberties forever.

Do you have a great American who deserves to be celebrated this month? Let us know!

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