Thursday, April 14, 2011

Letters from an Ohio Farmer

Steven Hayward over at Power Line links to a fairly new site today called "Letters from an Ohio Farmer."  The site is inspired by the "Letters from a Pennsylvania Farmer", penned by John Dickinson under the pen name Fabius contemporaneously and in agreement with The Federalist Papers in the 1787-88 era during the birthing of our Constitution. Dickinson was a collaborator with Thomas Jefferson in 1775 on the Declaration and Causes of the Necessity of Taking up Arms which, perhaps due to the less than catchy name didn't quite take. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence (much better!) the following year but Dickinson abstained from voting on it, hoping for some reconciliation with Britain. Here is Hayward's summary of what the Ohio letters is about:

"These letters are formally addressed to members of the 112th Congress but are also written for the engaged citizen. Many of the large class of new House members came to office in an election marked by an unprecedented populist fervor for constitutionalism. For that is partly what the Tea Party movement is--a populist constitutional movement--something James Madison would have thought at first glance not merely improbable, but an oxymoron, though on second thought he might have celebrated that the Tea Party represents the fulfillment of one of the Constitution's larger purposes, which was to create a reverence among citizens for the principles of the nation."
Read Hayward's whole post for background, then head on over to the Ohio Farmer letters, eight so far, and be inspired.

Update: I just had to call out this paragraph from the most recent Letter, "A Republican Form of Government" :

"Here Madison may have been too optimistic. The lessons of recent American politics suggest that minority factions can be more dangerous than he imagined. The modern phenomenon he failed to anticipate was a government entrusted with so many responsibilities, and so much power and money, that it becomes a faction unto itself, with its own passions and interests adverse to the rights of other citizens. Those in the control room have both the motive and means to steer the ship of state in directions advantageous to themselves, rather than ones preferred by the passengers who employ them."


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