Federalist No. 1 exemplifies Founders’ vision of the importance of the task they were undertaking. As it turns out, this may be the time when Hamilton’s question is answered for all time: “whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force?”
Every election poses the question anew. Elections determine whether the Constitution will endure, or will be rendered obsolete. Legislators who no longer abide by Constitutional strictures wield a power as destructive of liberty as the force of arms and more insidious.
It was evident, even in Hamilton’s time, that America is exceptional, a place where a Constitution binds government so its citizens can be free.
For over 200 years, America has been the “golden door” in the poem inscribed on the Statute of Liberty. The French people, whose gift she is, called her the “Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World.” And so she has.
President Ronald Reagan, in his farewell address, called America “the shining city on the hill… a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity.”
That is the nation of our founding, energized by freedom and an economic system that has been the wellspring of prosperity at home and generosity abroad. That is our past.
The future has yet to be determined.
…the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind.