The vision that many conservatives have about returning to what they see as the “original” concepts of the Constitution reminds me more of a bad movie called “The Articles of Confederation,” subtitled “How Not to be the United States of America.”
For instance, a recent letter to the CDT in support of Ted Cruz in the presidential primary said Cruz puts “the Constitution first. ... He wants to go back to our founding principles: small, limited government, let the states and the people decide what is best for them, and get out of the people’s way.”
In the view of George Washington and most Founding Fathers, that is what they had under the Articles after the Revolution ended in 1783: a government without an executive, run by committees in a Congress without taxing power to build roads and canals or even pay for national defense, not to mention the lack of a common, sound financial system. It was a Congress asking 13 ornery states to — please — send some money. Washington despaired that the 13 states could survive as a nation without a central government that had uniting powers.
He spurred on James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, who together organized the framework for the convention at Philadelphia in 1787. After many compromises, including the festering one about slavery, the convention produced the “founding principles” of the actual Constitution, not the mythical constitution of the conservative vision.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Centre Daily Times
Most of the Founding Fathers wanted a government for the United States that would really work.
John N. Rippey, Zion