Mudcat Café message #1385206 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1385206
Posted By: Amos
22-Jan-05 - 11:00 AM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
The Globalist, an international magazine, offers this essay:

Madison Versus Bush



Edward Goldberg | Monday, May 19, 2003

The United States is at a crossroads. It can either continue in a policy of unilateralism and projection of raw power. Or it can realize that it needs to coexist within a multilateral world framework. Edward Goldberg explains how the origins of the U.S. constitution play into this choice.

Americans like to see their country as earnest, optimistic and youthful, individualistic, idealistic and a team player. "We give the underdog a chance" and "We play by the rules," Americans tell themselves.

Preserving liberty

Fortunately for America, a wise group of men came together 214 years ago to establish the rules that would make it safe for these attractive traits to blossom.

Madison argued that for large states to prosper, they needed to share power with small states.

The checks and balances in the Constitution which these men created would not only protect the rights of the individual.

But, it would also force conflicting power bases within society toward compromise in order for society as a whole to be able to move forward.

Not relevant?

The U.S. Constitution safeguarded the political system from abuse of power and from abuse of dogma. It forced each side's concepts to face the light of pragmatic concerns. James Madison and his friends knew well that, to preserve liberty, power needed to be balanced and checked.

This concept of checks and balances is integral to American political philosophy. But strangely, it is apparently not considered relevant by the Bush Administration in the formation of its foreign policy.

Power beyond challenge

Instead the administration has an overriding goal which is to place America's power beyond challenge.

America cannot continue as a nation that values the check on power as a protection of liberties within its own borders but feels constrained by the same values internationally.

There is an almost celebratory feeling that America is now free to use its power in the world as it wishes and that it is no longer shackled by the balancing forces of the Cold War.

Madison knew better. During the U.S. Constitutional Convention of 1787 and later in the Federalist Papers he argued that for the large states (such as Virginia or New York) to prosper, they needed to be courageous enough to share some power with the smaller states.

(Rest of this article can be found at The Globalist)