Advocating for the Anti-Federalists

To understand the basis of views and positions of the American people, we must understand the underlying rationale behind those views and the implications of their implementation. The American people had been through tyrannical British rule, and they had fought a revolution on the ideals of liberty and Republicanism. The articles of confederation in many ways was a failure because it restricted the national Government a lot. So there was a need to ratify the constitution. Nonetheless, we know that any form of Government taken to the extremes of one end is not good. The Federalists want to create a tyrannical system in which the Government has absolute control in a way that makes the US look like it did when it was a colony of Britain. Most people supporting the federalists’ side are people of power who cannot pretend to understand the will of the common man or the importance of Republicanism.  

                The federalists lack in their understanding of the principles and the functioning of a Republican Government. They inherently are distrustful of the people and are trying to distance the people from the Government. They do not believe that people can make decisions for themselves and hence believe that the views of the people need refinement from people living far away from them. That is the point they make when they advocate for a government that is to function for the people. Their reasoning is flawed because if we were to pay heed to the greatest of history and self-evident truths, we would know that a free republic could not exist when governing so many people. Throughout history, republics have collapsed due to them becoming too big and being of too many opposing forces that deride the people of their well being. Such situations occur simply because in such a large republic, one cannot have their voice heard and delegated at the highest levels. As the country expands, the demands of so many people would make simple transactions impossible. Simple functions of democracy, such as the ability to debate, assembly, and understanding of issues, cannot be adequately done because of the multitude of people within. Legislators must serve their constituents well, and it is impossible to practice Republicanism in such a setup.

       The constitution makes it blatantly obvious that we are going to see a massive siege of power by the elite of this humongous republic. It says in Article 1 section 8 “that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution, in the government of the United States; or in any department or office thereof.” This article is listed in conjunction with the enumerated powers, and there is no other legal check on this power. The judicial branch, which will try to increase its own power, will not be inclined to control the actions of the legislature. To understand the implications of this, one must understand the extent of power given to the legislature just within the enumerated powers guaranteed by the constitution. The powers include things like collecting taxes, raising standing armies, instituting courts, and exercising other general powers. The power to collect taxes may be the biggest of them all as state governments rely on money to sustain themselves. However, the unchecked power to tax can dwindle state governments and obliterate any ideas that the will of the people can run the country. Another tyrannical power is the power to raise standing armies that will be the recipe for the destruction of our liberties. These powers aided by the “necessary and proper” clause will see that tyranny will go unchecked, and knowing the nature of man and his power-hungry attitude such an event is destined to happen. It is a lesson of history that men have always been irresponsible in their use of power, and such a constitution will be a recipe for disaster.  

            There, in literal terms, is no bound to power for the Judiciary. Those entrusted with that power have unquestioned authority over the law of the land. The language that vests authority in courts is crafted in such a way that the common man will not be able to understand the construct of it, and it will vest much power in professionals to interpret and make out the words of the constitution at their will. They may abuse such a power that can have catastrophic effects on society. When mentioning the bounds of power of the federal court, nothing is specified, and the construction provides the most power possible. It initially says that courts will have jurisdiction over all cases of equity, laws of the US, and treaties. Later on, it says that the courts will have the cognizance of all laws in the US; hence, this expands the power of federal courts to nearly that of state courts and in many ways, goes against Republican ideals. The authority of the courts to examine cases that relate to the construction of the constitution provides them latitude to construct the laws in the ways they want. Every word that has a technicality or is vague is subject to the viewpoint of the courts. That viewpoint of a judge will dictate the lives of the citizens of the country. The prospect of a judge’s viewpoint running the country is especially frightening because there is no established interpretation of the articles that govern the nation’s state and federal government. With no specific laws to govern things like equity and power of the General Government, we would have the courts expand such powers as their interests lie in a strong federal government. The court would be made up of people, and the greed for power corrupts people. 

          In essence, the federalist argument against a bill of rights was that all the rights that are not given in the constitution were reserved to the states and to people to decide and deliberate in their local setup. They said that everything not given was reserved. They also made the argument that making an exhaustive list of rights could imply that rights could be abused or are subject to federal government control. The Federalists do have some merit to their arguments, but they seem to miss the larger picture. Without the Bill of Rights, we have a constitution that lets the judiciary have a free ride, and the legislative has the “necessary and proper” clause. Hence the recognition of our fundamental rights, without which our society would descend into tyranny, are necessary because they would recognize the natural rights of the citizens and limits on the Government. The argument that states the bill of rights would be sufficient is fallacious because the constitution is the supreme law of the land. The bill of rights is needed so that we can have clearer interpretations of some very vague laws that exist at the legislative and judicial levels so that we can are protected from such abuse of powers. The federalists’ opposition to recognizing the fundamental rights of the people coupled with their vague laws can only lead us to one conclusion that the set up they are trying will end in tyranny. 

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