Madison

July 14, 2005

I was working on James Madison's civil religion this evening and found something that reminded me why I should not read the news.

When I do read the news, I get angry, very angry, at the current administration. I then want to go off and read more, and write more, and vent that anger.

But I do not have the time away from writing to do that, not and finish. So I try to sublimate the anger.

Anyhow, I was working with Madison and found the close of his final annual message. This is the sort of document that, IMO, reveals the political cleavages in America today. I read this, and if I posted it on someplace like The Washington Monthly Kevin Drum would read it as a biting indictment of BushCo. If these same words were posted on one of the republican apologist sites like Powerline, they would take it as a rollicking endorsement. Then again, they have decided that since they like having their backs pissed on it must be raining.

Madison below the fold.

And may I not be allowed to add to this gratifying spectacle that I shall read in the character of the American people, in their devotion to true liberty and to the Constitution which is its palladium, sure presages that the destined career of my country will exhibit a Government pursuing the public good as its sole object, and regulating its means by the great principles consecrated in its charter and by those moral principles to which they are so well allied; a Government which watches over the purity of elections, the freedom of speech and of the press, the trial by jury, and the equal interdict against encroachments and compacts between religion and the state; which maintains inviolably the maxims of public faith, the security of persons and property, and encourages in every authorized mode the general diffusion of knowledge which guarantees to public liberty its permanency and to those who possess the blessing the true enjoyment of it; a Government which avoids intrusions on the internal repose of other nations, and repels them from its own; which does justice to all nations with a readiness equal to the firmness with which it requires justice from them; and which, whilst it refines its domestic code from every ingredient not congenial with the precepts of an enlightened age and the sentiments of a virtuous people, seeks by appeals to reason and by its liberal examples to infuse into the law which governs the civilized world a spirit which may diminish the frequency or circumscribe the calamities of war, and meliorate the social and beneficent relations of peace; a Government, in a word, whose conduct within and without may bespeak the most noble of ambitions - that of promoting peace on earth and good will to man.

Posted by Red Ted at July 14, 2005 09:36 PM | TrackBack