Your Views: We ignore the advice of a Founding Father
James Madison published the following in his Political Observations on April 20, 1795: “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.
“In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
Madison, author of our Constitution, warned us about war and liberty. Despite attacks by the press and protesters of the War of 1812, he never suspended constitutional rights. He was the only wartime president to do that.
The United States has been in “continual warfare” since the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed Congress in 1964. Our children are growing up in a constant state of war. Many people have never experienced peace.
We have seen our liberty slowly eroded away in the name of national security and our resources wasted on bombs and bullets. In one week, our president authorized the use of a super bomb ($16 million) and 59 Tomahawk missiles ($100 million). He is now considered “presidential”! Why aren’t we heeding Madison’s words?
STEVEN J. DOELDER