With the possibility of a more interventionist foreign policy approach looming, questions will inevitably resume over which branch of government actually is responsible for sending U.S. troops abroad.
To the Republic: Rediscovering the Constitution
About the project
In her nearly 250 years of independence, America has endured brutal wars, catastrophic natural disasters and ravaging economic depressions. Through every challenge, she has survived because of a singular focus on the founding principles that launched one of the greatest experiments in human history and that tested the very boundaries of the capabilities of man.
Can a free people govern themselves?
Today, America faces a crisis unprecedented in her history. Not that we are more hopeless than we were during the frozen winters of the Revolution. Not that we are more riven than during the Civil War. Not that we live with a greater injustice than slavery. Not that we are more frightened and hungry than we were during the Great Depression. Not that we are more outraged than we were after 9/11.
What makes this troubling time unlike any other is the full-scale assault — from the criminal class to the highest levels of governmental power — on the very principles of our Founding. The simple yet powerful ideas of equal justice under law, of self-governance, of rights given by a Creator, not a man or a king, and of freedom of speech and religion have come under open attack from every level of society.
So the time now is ripe to revisit those principles. Remind ourselves how the Founders grappled with every question. Test their answers. Reevaluate their thinking for a modern world that, at least on the surface, looks different from the ink-quilled days when those principles were set to parchment and made into history.
The Washington Times has laid that challenge at the feet of some of the country’s pivotal thinkers. Each week in the coming months, we will present their findings and arguments to you as we rediscover the Constitution.
Americans in pursuit of the American dream have helped create a global superpower, and in turn, a more prosperous future for themselves and their families.
The House of Representatives, otherwise known as the "People's House," was designed by the Framers to be the body of the federal government most sensitive and receptive to voter opinion. That's why almost all members represent fewer voters than senators do, and it's why each member represents as equal a number of constituents as is possible and practical.
With the Democrats holding a slimmer-than-expected majority in the House and a 50-50 split in the Senate, the next two years will represent an almost equal tug of war between Republicans and Democrats in Congress.
The Senate is starting a most unusual impeachment trial. For only the second time in its history, it is likely to proceed to trial to consider articles of impeachment against a former government official.
The 2020 presidential election felt surreal. U.S. elections typically end with certainty and acceptance as a new president is inaugurated and a new phase of American political life opens.
The word "federalism" does not appear in the Constitution, yet it is the guiding principle that preserves the United States from the defects of unitary governments, like Great Britain, in which all power flows from one central government, and the defects of confederation, in which power is dispersed and consequently attenuated beyond usefulness.
The "To the Republic" series has primarily addressed the original Constitution rather than the subsequent amendments. However, there has been much discussion of the suddenly popular 25th Amendment during the Trump administration, particularly since last week's riot at the Capitol.
Many Americans still have serious concerns about the integrity of the vote in this election, and rightly so.
Most Americans believe that the Senate ratifies treaties, but that is the president's function and is one of many brilliant checks and balances in our system of government, as noted by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers.
Before republics fall -- from ancient Rome to modern America -- their legislatures show signs of dysfunction. They avoid tackling the tough challenges facing their societies, defer to other branches of government, and fail in their basic obligation to represent the popular will.
In Federalist 51, James Madison noted the difficulties of loaning power to a government-run by men and not angels. A degree of government is necessary to maintain order and protect liberty, but too much of it can quickly devolve to tyranny.
As we head toward the Electoral College's vote on Dec. 14, it would be useful to think about the risks posed by direct democracy.
If the Founders came to Congress tomorrow and saw the diminished role the legislative branch plays in the function of the federal government -- the degree to which the legislature really is vanishing -- it would be a mystery to them.
In "The English Constitution," Walter Bagehot compares and contrasts the unwritten English Constitution with the written U.S. Constitution.
Is a standing army a good idea? Is it necessary? Is it wise? Thirty-six countries do not have armies.
The Constitution is designed to ensure that the president represents all Americans: The majority and the minority, urban communities, rural communities, big states, small states, and every region.
The Constitution, as solid as it is, ultimately relies on those who make and execute the laws to do so faithfully and with good intention.
This project reminds me of the day I arrived at West Point as a cadet, when I was issued a copy of the 85 essays penned by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.
In his renowned 1785 pamphlet "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments," James Madison described religious liberty as not only "a right towards men" but also "a duty towards the Creator," and a "duty ... precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society."