IX.2: John Adams, the Almost Forgotten Founder

Most Americans know very little about John Adams, the second U.S. President. Mount Rushmore contains colossal carvings of America’s first and third presidents, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. And our fourth president, James Madison, holds the honorable title of “the father of the Constitution”. But our second president, John Adams, is the almost forgotten founder. … Read more

VIII.6: Originalism versus the Living Constitution

A war of opinions has roared ever since the U.S. Constitution was written. In other words, how should we interpret it? The argument is about originalism versus the living constitution view. That is: Should we set the Constitution’s meaning in stone according to the opinions of its creators? This view is called originalism, or strict … Read more

VII.5: Getting Back to the Constitution

Many believe that America could solve the problems with our government if only we would “get back to the Constitution”. I like that idea, but it misses the real point. Let’s imagine we could re-align our laws and government operations perfectly with the Constitution. If those laws and operations got away from the Constitution before, … Read more

VII.3: Anti-Federalist Predictions against the Constitution

In 1787, the U.S. Constitution was written, but not without a fight. That is, many of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention opposed it. But in the end the majority decided what it would say. That majority group became known as the Federalists. And those who opposed them became known as Anti-Federalists. Moreover, there were … Read more

VII.2: What Does “Federal” Mean?

The word ‘federal’ refers to the division of governing power between a nation and its sub-regions or states. It is confusing that in America it has become common to use the word “federal government” to refer to the national government alone. It would be far clearer to use the phrase “national government” for that purpose. … Read more

VI.3: National versus State Sovereignty

The American Civil War was not just about slavery, though that was the hot-button issue. The bigger issue in that war was national versus state sovereignty or power. That included a state’s right to allow slavery. And while it’s true that most southerners believed slavery was necessary for their economy, many wanted it slowly abolished. … Read more

V.4: James Madison and the Virginia Resolution

We know James Madison as the “Father of the Constitution”. But he also expressed an ingenious afterthought in his Virginia Resolution. James Madison wrote his Virginia Resolution to address a serious oversight in the Constitution. The issue began with the French Revolution in 1789, just after the nation elected George Washington for his first term … Read more

II.2: Liberty or Equality – a False Choice?

If you had to choose either liberty or equality for America, which would you choose? Of course, that begs a more important question: Do we have to choose between them at all? Do we even have to compromise between them? I argue that this is simply another way of looking at the false choice between … Read more

I.1: America’s Representative Democracy

What is “business as usual” in America’s representative democracy today? Government by two gangs (political parties) has replaced government by the people’s representatives. Politicians must get re-elected, so they cater to their largest campaign donors. Rich and powerful elites dominate both parties. Each party wipes out the previous accomplishments of the other, so little ever … Read more