I saw Hamilton recently and it was amazing. I’ve been enjoying the music with my family for a long time and seeing the show staged was glorious. Today, I spent a bit of time on YouTube watching Hamilton clips and there’s one of Lin Manuel Miranda at the White House poetry slam before Hamilton was Hamilton. He talks about how he loves Hamilton because he changes the world all in the power of his written word.
It got me thinking about the Federalist Papers and how Hamilton wrote most of them. They were essays defending the US Constitution of 1789, so that States would ratify it. Words and clauses of the Constitution’s text were dissected, positions and arguments established. The ideas in the Federalist Papers are the ideas that shaped how our Constitution was seen both then and now.
2019 (and beyond) needs more things the Federalist Papers. We need ideas to reform our republic. We need people discussing systems and philosophy above the fray of the daily political professional wrestling drama. We need to fix our current laws and constitution but not lose sight that our constitution is just a piece of paper that was agreed to 200+ years ago. We the People have the power to change it. Power stems from us not the Constitution. The Constitution is not a sacred document; while extremely important, it’s ultimately a set of rules that can and should change as we as a People decide it should.
I’d like to write about Constitutional ideas in this space, and hope to do so with some guidelines for myself:
- Much like activists in Michigan who put forth a referendum on redistricting reform, I’m going to refrain from using any partisan language or talking about particular politicians.
- I’m hoping to write things that hopefully transcend party and give us hope that we can have whatever government we, collectively and with mutual compromise, want.
- The daily politics are important, but not what I want to write about here.
- I definitely have a point of view and a political philosophy that will be readily apparent, and nothing is without bias, but I’m not writing anything to favor one political party or another.
I’m definitely not Alexander Hamilton, but also, why not me? Why not write my thoughts down? I’ve got access to all of human knowledge at my fingertips. I’ve got a keyboard and a word processor and a modest command of written American English. The worst thing that could happen is that I say something stupid that gets taken out of context, it goes viral, and I’m harassed for the rest of my life.
I care about my fellow human beings. I don’t think I’m better than you. I have a multitude of biases (some more conscious than others) that will always be apparent in my writing. Please do call me out. I’m going to make mistakes and I hope to be corrected.
More to come.