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Glenn's new book, “The Original Argument: The Federalists’ Case for the Constitution, Adapted for the 21stCentury”, arrives in stores tomorrow! Realizing that most Americans have not read the original Federalist Papers papers, Glenn has updated a wide selection of them into modern English for modern readers.
“What is the ‘original argument’? What is, what is the thing that people set their clocks to? What was it that they set their compass to? What was true north? What does it even mean to be a capitalist system? Has capitalism failed or have we failed it? Has our republic failed? Has our Constitution failed or have we failed it? I contend that we have failed it. But I contend that it is salvageable. It is still something that we can grab onto and we can cherish and we can restore,” Glenn explained.
“This is the Federalist Papers, the collection of the writings from our founders put in today’s language and then also explained on why it’s important and what they were trying to do and what our government means and what does ‑‑ why have a Constitution? Remember, they had to make the case to the American people. Something that is not happening now. Nobody is saying to you ‑‑ they are saying capitalism has failed and they are saying the Constitution is old and dusty, but they are not making a case for what to replace it with. They are just saying it’s old and dusty and it’s no longer relevant. Well, what are you replacing it with? What does the system look like?”
“See, we had a failed system before. It was under the Articles of Confederation. It failed. It didn’t work,” Glenn explained.
The Federalist Papers, the eighteenth-century collection of political essays pseudonymously authored by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay defined, defended and shaped the Constitution.
The Papers laid bare the “original argument” over questions that are as relevant and urgent today as they were at the birth of our nation. Questions like: How should power be divided between the states and the federal government? What is the remedy if the government becomes too tyrannical? What is the proper use of military force? And the most central question of the entire American Experiment: Is man really capable of ruling himself?
“Under the watchful eye of George Washington, they rewrote the Articles of Confederation, threw them out and wrote a new Constitution, but they had to sell it to the people. The people had to ratify it. Each and every state. It was in slow dribs and drabs where they just tore it apart and before you knew it, they fundamentally transformed the Articles of Confederation. They took the Articles of Confederation and said it doesn’t work; here’s what does. And these were articles in the newspaper written by our founders and they said, this is why this part of this Constitution is important, and the faith they had in the American people, it was just profound,” Glenn said.