On reading Federalist No.85, at once and with clarity
comes the headline in my mind:
“Alexander Hamilton Speaks to the 2012 Electorate”.
There can be no better defining of the necessary and proper character of the electors, and that self-sustaining duty of the great body of the American people, if it is to be the fundamental article of our republic.
And cautions to the machines that would divert us from and threaten and dispute the very underpinnings of our society, have as great a weight today as then, and broader still they are.
The object of ratification of the U.S. Constitution bears equally to the object of its keeping.
You, the American voter, would do well for your country to carefully examine the words that follow, and consider the gravity and the whole of your suffrage. To whatever particular you may be attached, it is meaningless without the entirety from which it may be derived. ~tdv
From Federalist No.85,
Conclusion to the Papers Explaining and Defending the
Constitution of the United States, by Alexander Hamilton, 1788
Par.04: …The charge of a conspiracy against the liberties of the people, which has been indiscriminately brought against the advocates of the plan, has something in it too wanton and too malignant not to excite the indignation of every man who feels in his own bosom a refutation of the calumny. The perpetual changes which have been rung upon the wealthy, the well born, and the great, are such as to inspire the disgust of all sensible men. And the unwarrantable concealments and misrepresentations, which have been in various ways practised to keep the truth from the public eye, are of a nature to demand the reprobation of all honest men. It is possible that these circumstances may have occasionally betrayed me into intemperances of expression which I did not intend; it is certain that I have frequently felt a struggle between sensibility and moderation; and if the former has in some instances prevailed, it must be my excuse, that it has been neither often nor much.
Par.05: Let us now pause, and ask ourselves whether, in the course of these papers, the proposed constitution has not been satisfactorily vindicated from the aspersions thrown upon it; and whether it has not been shown to be worthy of the public approbation, and necessary to the public safety and prosperity. Every man is bound to answer these questions to himself, according to the best of his conscience and understanding, and to act agreeably to the genuine and sober dictates of his judgment. This is a duty from which nothing can give him a dispensation. It is one that he is called upon, nay, constrained by all the obligations that form the bands on society, to discharge sincerely and honestly. No partial motive, no particular interest, no pride of opinion, no temporary passion or prejudice, will justify to himself, to his country, to his posterity, an improper election of the part he is to act. Let him beware of an obstinate adherence to party; let him reflect, that the object upon which he is to decide is not a particular interest of the community, but the very existence of the nation; and let him remember, that a majority of America has already given its sanction to the plan which he is to approve or reject.
~Glossary: from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary~
Approbation: 1. The act of approving; a liking; that state or disposition of the mind, in which we assent to the propriety of a thing, with some degree of pleasure or satisfaction; as,
“the laws of God require our approbation.”
Aspersion: 2. The spreading of calumnious reports or charges, which tarnish reputation, like the bespattering of a body with foul water.
Adherence: 2. Figuratively, a being fixed in attachment; fidelity; steady attachment; as, an adherence to a party or opinions.
Calumny: Slander; false accusation of a crime or offense, knowingly or maliciously made or reported, to the injury of another; false representation of facts reproachful to another, made by design, and with knowledge of its falsehood; sometimes followed by on. “Neglected calumny soon expires.”
Constrained: Urged irresistibly or powerfully; compelled; forced; restrained; confined; bound; imprisoned; necessitated.
Discharge: 10. To perform or execute, as a duty or office considered as a charge. One man discharges the office of a sheriff; another that of a priest. “We are all bound to discharge the duties of piety, of benevolence and charity.” (piety is the highest respect and reverence for the Supreme Being) (benevolence is the disposition to do good; good will)
“Piety is the only proper and adequate relief of decaying man.”
Dispensation: 3. The granting of a license, or the license itself, to do what is forbidden by laws or canons, or to omit something which is commanded; that is, the dispensing with a law or canon, or the exemption of a particular person from the obligation to comply with its injunctions. The pope has power to dispense with the canons of the church, but has no right to grant dispensations to the injury of a third person.
Indignation: 1. Anger or extreme anger, mingled with contempt, disgust or abhorrence.
Intemperance: 1. In a general sense, want of moderation or due restraint
Malignant: 1. Malicious; having extreme malevolence or enmity; as a malignant heart, evil intent
Obstinate: 1. Stubborn; pertinaciously (with perverse persistence) adhering to an opinion or purpose; fixed firmly in resolution; not yielding to reason, arguments or other means.
“No ass so meek, no ass so obstinate.”
Posterity: 1. Descendants; children, children’s children, &c. indefinitely; the race that proceeds from a progenitor. The whole human race are the posterity of Adam.
2. In a general sense, succeeding generations; opposed to ancestors.
“To the unhappy that unjustly bleed, Heav’n gives posterity t’ avenge the deed.”
Prejudice: 1. Prejudgment; an opinion or decision of mind, formed without due examination of the facts or arguments which are necessary to a just and impartial determination. It is used in a good or bad sense. “Innumerable are the prejudices of education; we are accustomed to believe what we are taught, and to receive opinions from others without examining the grounds by which they can be supported.” A man has strong prejudices in favor of his country or his party, or the church in which he has been educated; and often our prejudices are unreasonable. A judge should disabuse himself of prejudice in favor of either party in a suit.
2. A previous bent or bias of mind for or against any person or thing; prepossession.
“There is an unaccountable prejudice to projectors of all kinds.”
Prosperity: n. [L. prosperitas.] Advance or gain in any thing good or desirable; successful progress in any business or enterprise; success; attainment of the object desired; as the prosperity of arts; agricultural or commercial prosperity; national prosperity.
“Our disposition to abuse the blessings of providence renders prosperity dangerous.”
“The prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” Prov.1.
Refutation: The act or process of refuting or disproving; the act of proving to be false or erroneous; the overthrowing of an argument, opinion, testimony, doctrine or theory, by argument or countervailing proof.
Reprobation: 3. A condemnatory sentence; rejection.
Vindicated: Defended; supported; maintained; proved to be just or true.
Wanton: 6. Loose; unrestrained; running to excess.