On September 1, 1983, the airwaves were abuzz with reports that a Korean Airlines flight that had either been shot down or forced down off the east coast of the Soviet Union. The New York Times noted that day: “Early reports said the plane ... had been forced down by Soviet Air Force planes and that all 240 passengers and 29 crew members were believed to be safe.”
On this day in 1787, the delegates at the Constitutional Convention debated state sovereignty and militias. Their thinking is very relevant to today.
On August 15, 2014, Texas Governor Rick Perry was indicted by a Travis County grand jury for allegedly misusing the veto power granted to him by the state constitution. And on August 15, 1787, it was that very power — the power of the executive to negate acts of the legislature — that occupied the delegates’ time at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
When the Committee of Detail reported its recommended constitution to the Philadelphia Convention on August 6, 1787, many of the delegates were “amazed” at the “radical departure” from the Articles of Confederation.
John Adams signed the Sedition Act 216 years ago this week. Have we learned nothing from that egregious violation of the Constitution?
An English admirer of America once described a different kind of American exceptionalism, one based on something far less common and more inspiring than an ability and willingness to use force against other nations to bend them to our will.
On July 5, 1787, James Madison warned against the discord that comes from compromise for its own sake.
There are many lessons for our current political situation to be learned from the colonial declarations of independence.