“The dysfunctional politics we are experiencing may in part be the result of a deeper corrosion — a dangerous instability that is growing within our Madisonian system.” – JT
It is no longer a Madisonian system in the sense that Madison intended it:
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other [enemy of public liberty]. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. Those truths are well established.
And to bring it current at 4 July maximum:
“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” – James Madison
Below is my column in the Sunday Washington Post on separation of powers — authored with United States Senator Ron Johnson (R, Wis.). As the piece states, Johnson and I come from sharply different political perspectives, though the most surprising aspect of this collaboration is that he is a Packers fan and I am a Bears fan. We decided to write a piece together to try to seek a nonpartisan response to the rapidly expanding executive power in our system — and the corresponding decline of legislative power. We have been discussing this worrisome shift within our system and the lack of any collective institutional identity, let alone action, from members. We thought, if we could show the common ground in these concerns, it might encourage other members to reach across the aisle in the interests of their institution.
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