Talking to myself about foreign policy, US politics, technology, &c.

What would Founding Father have wanted?

A thought from one of the lead framers of the Constitution as the Ship of State hurtles towards a collision in the Gulf of Hormuz:

In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department. Beside the objection to such a mixture to heterogeneous powers, the trust and the temptation would be too great for any one man; not such as nature may offer as the prodigy of many centuries, but such as may be expected in the ordinary successions of magistracy.

War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. In war, a physical force is to be created; and it is the executive will, which is to direct it. In war, the public treasures are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them. In war, the honours and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed. It is in war, finally, that laurels are to be gathered; and it is the executive brow they are to encircle.

The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honourable or venial love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.

James Madison, writing under the pseudonym Helvidius.

Congress better start moving faster if it wants to turn this boat around.

This is from an extraordinary project from the University of Chicago called the Founder’s Constitution. Check it out; for those interested in “original intent” this is a great collection of the things the framers actually said.

If you haven’t checked it out, we the people might want to start here.

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