As the current election cycle proceeds, I am ever reminded of the importance of returning to and adhering to first principles. For purposes of government, those principles are best illuminated in our founding documents, to which may be added The Federalist Papers. Following is an excerpt from my recently published 2nd edition of Excerpts with Commentary (first the quote, then the commentary):
LXXXV. CONCLUDING REMARKS
(There is an) utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded . . .
The establishment of a Constitution, in time of profound peace, by the voluntary consent of a whole people, is a prodigy, to the completion of which I look forward with trembling anxiety.
85. Renewing The Heritage of the Founding Fathers
. . . Renewal requires education of young and old, re-examination of the founding documents and the arguments for and against them, and a thoughtful rejection of so-called “progressive” doctrines which at their heart are anti-American, meaning opposed to the principles that made Americans uniquely distinguishable from others around the world. Progressive has been revived as a label, borrowed from the turn of the 19th century to replace the discredited term liberal; it is an unexamined term that assumes “progress” is an ideal, without consideration of what one progresses toward; it is a godless millennial term that supposes mankind can create a perfect society of perfect people in a modern Eden, but in practice is always an excuse for an elite few to rule without restraint over the non-elite many.
On the political level, renewal can be effected by the states reasserting their individual and collective authority not only over themselves, but over the Union itself in those matters not delegated to it. This can be accomplished only by careful selection at state and local levels of candidates who understand and are committed to the principles of individual liberty and federalism, as well as by promotion of like-minded people on the national level.