I wish there were a stronger sentiment expressed in the buttons! "Like" is too tepid. This is superb. "It was all quite an elegant system of paths and tripwires, really." Just perfect. Thank you for this one tonight!

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I read this newsletter right after watching a terrific talk by David McCullough on YouTube about 1776, the people (favored with good luck and good weather) who persisted to start our country, and the urgent need for Americans to know our history. Perfect timing, and a wonderful newsletter today. 235 years - and we're still working on making our Constitution and country better.

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Sep 18, 2022·edited Sep 18, 2022

Heather makes her usual presentation on the elegant and very aspirational foundings of our republic. Built as it was on a theory of checks and balances. We are now living through an Age of Corruption where those checks and balances are being tested to their limits. At this point, I think Merrick Garland holds the constitutional key. Both the legislative and executive branches appear enfeebled. It’s up to the attorney general to lead the damage control team and to begin to restore constitutional stability. This in an environment where the lower courts and, for God’s sake, the U.S Supreme Court itself, have been infested with ideologues. No easy task. Godspeed Mr. Garland.

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Sep 18, 2022·edited Sep 18, 2022

I agree with Prime Minister Gladstone that the Constitution was the finest working political document ever crafted. It came when the new American government was sinking under the unworkable Articles of Confederation that required unanimity from all 13 states.

Some of the compromises required to obtain this constitution were humongous. However, the result was a government and country constructed on checks and balances between the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary.

For nearly 250 years it had served our country well, with amendments that rendered an 18th document more in concert with changes both in our country and core values of greater equality.

The purported ‘originalists,’ including a current majority on the Stench Court, violate both the spirit and the substance of this ‘living Constitution.’

In my lifetime, the greatest damage to the Constitution has occurred in recent years, especially in the past few years. The actions of ex-president Trump and his sycophants violate the Federalist Papers, which are our best insight into the inner meaning of the Constitution. The Federalist Society, which has worked relentlessly to undermine the non political nature of the Constitution envisaged by the Founders, has been a prime catalyst for our current constitutional crisis.

I wholeheartedly support Heather’s call that we restore our constitutional government. When a former president incites a Capitol Hill insurrection in an effort to prevent the constitutional election of his successor, when many in Congress violate their oath to honor the Constitution, when men seek to control a woman’s body, when the right to vote increasingly is becoming a Republican sanctioned privilege, it is time for American citizens to band together to restore a functioning constitutional government.



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Have we finally reached the point where the flaws of the Constitution, whatever Benjamin Franklin thought they might be are now being exploited by a reactionary political party and its reactionary Supreme Court? How would one repair what has been lost -- Pass the John Lewis and Voting Rights Act, increase the Supreme Court to 13 Justices, eliminate the Shadow Docket, make sure nominations for Justice are done in a non-partisan manner, go to the popular vote for the offices of President and Vice President eliminating the Electoral College, have term limits for Senators and Representatives, have a new function of the executive to assure fair maps for Congressional Districts, institute humane immigration reform, have a path to citizenship for Dreamers, reform our justice system to be truly equitable with no one above the law, make education a right not a debtor's prison, have Congress make Roe the law of the land, reform the two party system through ranked choice voting so no party can become a super majority with absolute power over a state or nation, make it clear who guarantees a true representative democratic republic and how, preserve and protect our natural resources, make sure there is liberty (as in unalienable rights determined by the People directly) and justice for all, measure our republic and its government by a Well - Being Index where all legislation must show how it improves the well-being of ALL citizens. We, the People, all of us this time for a more perfect union.

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A lift Up again with this letter!

Keep Hope Alive ! This is what our graduate school of social work lead Professor declared, and often invited our whole class to say in unison and with “vigor” or “commitment” to our vision for our beleaguered clients and their families.

I’m tired but hopeful tonite. I’m praying everyone votes…and I’m urging everyone to TALK w friends & neighbors & coworkers, etc to ENCOURAGE them to vote. Let’s DO this …

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We the people...may it never be destroyed from those within the republic who seek power and wealth. 🙏🙏🙏. Thx, Professor! Your elegant crafting of our history never ceases to inspire.

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Thank you for so perfectly summarizing what our "perfectly imperfect" Founding Fathers created. Their attempt to prevent a tyrant from ever ruling America was well thought out, especially since it allowed for Amendments (demonstrating their belief in "life-long learning and improvement"). But I doubt they could have ever imagines a well-financed element within America would wage a many decades long effort (starting with Barry Goldwater's loss) to take control of America without caring who won the popular vote.

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The one mistake they made was to assume only good and honest men (and women now) would participate in government.

And as we have learned every day since June 15, 2015, "assume" really does make an "ass' of "u" and "me."

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Just a heads up, in case you didn't know already about Victor Orban's organized system of corruption, just what Tucker and the Murdoch's envision as "good government"--

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — After his headline performance at Hungary’s Sziget Festival last month, pop star Justin Bieber held a grandiose party for his staff in a luxurious countryside setting — a 19th century castle owned by the son-in-law of the country’s prime minister.

The castle, to the critics of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, is emblematic of the corruption, nepotism and largesse of which the populist leader and his government have been accused for years — the kinds of behavior which now threaten to cost Hungary billions in European Union funding.

Standing beside the iron gates of Schossberger Castle this week, an independent Hungarian lawmaker who has made a name for himself as an anti-corruption crusader snapped pictures of the structure and its expansive manicured grounds.

A former member of Orban’s ruling Fidesz party, Akos Hadhazy left the nationalist-populist party in 2013 after becoming aware of what he describes as a clientelistic system of unchecked corruption taking shape in the Central European nation.

“When Fidesz came to power, I saw more and more that a very serious organization was beginning to develop throughout the country, whose main task was to steal as much of the European Union’s money as possible,” Hadhazy told The Associated Press.

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Thank you for this letter which provides an excellent analysis of how our Constitution came to be. I do hope that we vote for those who honor their oaths.

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About a month ago I went to a baseball game. I love baseball and I hadn’t seen a live game in several years.

I am a Boomer. As many Boomers did in the 60s, I protested the war in Viet Nam and saw my patriotism waver as I confronted my feelings about what my government was doing in my name. I have had pride in my country and shame in acts my government and individuals who purported to speak on behalf of the people of my country have committed. Over the years, just as Benjamin Franklin (of whom I have always had a great affinity for, he and I both hailing from Philadelphia) had recognized the wisdom in changing his mind with more and better information, not to mention with the benefit of years, I, too have done the same. Embarrassed by my bad attitudes toward men and women in the armed forces, I have tried to support, as best as I can, veteran’s associations to help those who have given their best to our country and ended up the less for their service. I’ve tried in many other ways to “keep my faith” with my country, by exercising my franchise at every opportunity, by participating in local and regional governmental activities that help improve our local and state citizens and environment specifically and in general.

So, last month, as happens at the beginning of all baseball games, we all were asked to stand, salute the flags and sing our national Anthem. Since I was a child I have always thought America the Beautiful was a much more appropriate song than The Star Spangled Banner. But, when I sang, “Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner still wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” I got choked up and cried a bit - just as I am while writing this now.

I am a Democrat. I am proud to say I am a progressive who loves my country and my progressive values are because I want the best for my fellow countrymen. I welcome immigrants to our country because they are the lifeblood - the transfusion of fresh blood - in the veins of our country’s vital system that keeps the heart and soul of our marvelous American Experiment moving forward!

I get tired and discouraged by the assault on our Constitution by authoritarian anti-constitutionalists who believe theirs is the only way because they get to make the rules, and what the rest of us want be damned, until I am reminded about the many long and fraught attempts to finally write and sign the original Constitution which was meant to be amended because the Framers knew they had not thought of everything and that circumstances would change and so the Constitution must change, too.

Heather Cox Richardson, our fearless mentor who says what needs to be said, who reminds ME that there have been days darker than today is such an important voice added to our national discourse. She is the beacon, that shining light that directs us to the path we need to follow if we are going to keep our “Land of the free and home of the brave” just that!

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Thank you thank you. So elegant, and so encouraging. I pray we are worthy of this history.

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“Congress would …provide for the … general Welfare of the United States.” Thought no Originalist, ever.

“For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.” Said no Originalist, ever.

“I can not help expressing a wish that every member of the Convention who may still have objections to it, would with me, on this occasion doubt a little of his own infallibility—and to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.” Did no Originalist, ever.

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In school (many years ago for me) they made the founding of this nation sound so simple but as I keep finding out, everything is complicated.

Also, the description of the way the country was going, under the Articles of Confederation, sounds like what some people currently wish for. I don't think they have considered the results of rolling back the federal government, kind of like what happened with Brexit.

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My Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather, on my mother's side, Daniel Carroll, was a minor Founding Father who was, also, at Constitutional Convention and Second Continental Congress and signed the Articles and the Constitution as a delegate from Maryland.

I wrote minor because I really can't find much written about him. Madison mentions he was there and cites nothings that he said or did. His cousin, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, is much more noted. He was in the First Congress, he owned most of the land the became Washington, D.C. The Capitol is built on the site of his mansion. He was a friend of George Washington, but didn't sign the Declaration because he was out of town raising money for his army.

He was one of the three Commissioner of the Federal City in charge of designing Washington, D.C. but died before much of the city was built.

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