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Should our elected officials be required to read or at least understand the Federalists papers?

Updated on September 20, 2014

The answer to this question is undeniably a yes but the reason behind the answer is the present culture in Congress and the federal government. Some of our elected individuals in these economic times are creating havoc with our economy. It is important for any elected official to not only honor the Constitution but to know the intent of the various sections when it was created. Intent is normally a difficult thing to realize but our founding fathers provided this information for us. The answer lies in the Federalists papers which were written to provide some perspective on the objectives and philosophy involved in creating the Constitution.

The scope and activities of the federal government have far surpassed the intention when our Constitution was first created. Discussions centered on the need for a central government according to documents available including the Federalists papers. We do need a central government in place to support the states as identified by our founding fathers but their concept is different than what it has become. Granted many things have changed since our country first began and there are issues not even envisioned by our founders. In some respects the roles our government has taken on is appropriate and logical but the size of our federal government has raised many questions by us the voters.

The true mission of our federal government can be found in the responsibilities and authority identified in the Constitution. It was meant to be a support function and in many cases it is but not in every case. Laws and regulations have been created over time which has expanded the role of the federal government in our daily lives in some cases dictating requirements for us to follow which may not necessarily be constitutional. All of us know what these topics are and each of us has our own opinion.

The details involved in the Federalists papers provide an avenue of what our founding fathers envisioned for our country during our beginning and into the future. Each individual currently representing us in the federal and state governments and those who will represent us in the future should be required to read these papers. It is important for this condition to be in place to grasp the concept intended for a centralized government. One would hope after reading these documents that the decisions being taken by our elected officials may change their perspective of what involvement a federal government should be in the decisions they make each and every day.

To inject another perspective these papers have been referenced in court cases and their decisions with regards to the intent when the Constitution was written. Individuals who represent us in the federal government specifically can avoid court actions if they understood the intent of the various sections of the Constitution. One specific area would be the tenth amendment where it indicates responsibilities not delegated to the federal government are the responsibility of state governments. Sometimes there can be a fine line with regards to specific topics and some topics are best served under the federal government while others should remain for states to take action. In some cases states make different decisions regarding their respective citizens which may not match. Citizens of individual states have both different needs and others which are common across state lines.

Legislative actions along with rules and regulations should conform to the intent regarding responsibilities and authority of the federal government. We as a country have many issues with which we must deal. Each legislative action/decision along with rules and regulations should compare the content with the purpose of the federal government as it was first intended. The intent of a federal government entity is not what politicians interpret when proposing legislative actions the intent is what our founding fathers placed in the Federalists papers. It would be a better country and a more prosperous one if the original intent of a centralized government were honored today and into the future. The level of government involvement in our daily lives has gone too far and this environment is so far from what our founding fathers intended to be in place for a centralized government.


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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 3 years ago


      Thanks for stopping by and providing your input. It is my hope that those who read this will have a better understanding of the decisions being made in Washington. There I believe many cases they violate the intent of a central government philosophy as defined in these papers

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      retief2000 3 years ago

      The Federalists is just one of many things I think all Americans should read. I am happy you have taken to the defense of this important series of essays on the natural of American government. Sadly, I think it may be too late.