As a student of early American History, I see issues plaguing our current political system that is similar to the issues that perplexed our Federalist and Anti-Federalist founders in the late 1700s.
While the Federalists favored a more powerful centralized government, the anti-federalists favored more state control with a strong Bill of Rights.
Clear differences then. Not so in 2019, when you compare our two political parties.
Currently, our two-party system is-in-essence, two factions of the 18th century Federalists.
Both sides, Republican and Democrat, want a strong centralized government. The differences between Jefferson and Madison are long gone in U.S. politics.
Fortunately, we still have people like Ron Paul and Justin Amash. They are the Madison and Jefferson of our time. They have consistently stood in the way of government overreach.
Our United States was founded on the principles of defiance and questioning authority. When we allow ourselves to blindly follow a politician because they belong to a certain party, we become akin to the Americans loyal to King George during the Revolution. We cease being patriots.
In 1798 President John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Acts. This was perhaps the first blatant violation of the 1st Amendment as well as the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th amendments. And what happened next with the drafting of the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions, would prove that our countries division was only just beginning. Talk of secession continued until 1860 when the first Republican president was elected, prompting South Carolina to secede from the Union and starting the U.S. Civil war, a pivotal moment that would change U.S. Politics Forever!
And as for the rhetoric today against Muslims in Congress? The predecessor to the First Amendment is the Virginia statute for religious freedom, a document that will clear up what the intention of the founders wanted as far as religious preferences when it comes to the ability to govern. Jefferson felt so strongly about it that he left strict instructions to have it on his headstone it reads:
“Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and father of the University of Virginia.”
Here is an excerpt from the statute:
“That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry, that therefore the prescribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right,
That it tends only to corrupt the principles of that very Religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honors and emoluments those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed, these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way.”
The point I am making is that we are all Americans! We are kindred spirits! Let’s stop fighting among ourselves and unite in a common cause. That cause is liberty for all!
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