Sunday, February 17, 2008

Auxiliary Precautions

In the event of creating a Constitution for the newly reformed colonies of the United States of America, James Madison and two other elite authors of the precious document wrote several persuasive letters to the colonists, with hopes of establishing in their minds a more refined way of looking at government. These letters, better known as the Federalist Papers, warned the people of the disastrous effects of a monarchial society and the dangers of handing too much power to the constituting body. To avoid such a "liberty trap", these men set up protections against tyranny and built them into the Constitution itself.  The solution to the threat of another overly controlled nation were what Madison called "auxiliary precautions." I couldn't help but draw an interesting parallel...and after further study it made more and more sense. How does one know how much power to give to another without that party taking full advantage? Does there exist any happy medium? Is it even possible to balance control with faith in the virtue of mankind? Partially broken in my stubborn pride, half dead and unfeeling to any other man's supposed devotion, and deterred in all effort to to hand over trust that has seen one too many critical minds, I can say that such precautions would do me some good. 

"Experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions." 
-James Madison, Federalist Paper 51

Auxiliary Precautions

"If men were angels"-
This would not be necessary.
But the pages of my sorely blemished past
Never bore the record of such astral marks.
In cases of "men over men"
Certain rights are set to each party-
Trust sketches her finest lines
Between the sunken and the brave-
And for each exists a set of laws-
Checked and balanced.
In order for integrity to preside-
Each quietly commands the other
With kind, temperate hands...
Only before the day that indulgence
Has satisfied it's ravenous hunger-
Until fingers tighten their gentle grip-
Sufficient power hastily handed over 
Seems only fair to the upper.

Still-I must propose an inquiry of 
The most honorable intent:
When is it too much?
How do you give just enough
Without him retrieving a leash worn
Of black and blue-
Releasing his instinctive undertaking-
Punching the system's volition-
Striking the very core
Of a healing heart's beholder?
Must he ever abuse such faith?
Credence has simply become
Hollowed-
Liberty undermined...
This fool's paradise is crippled-
All because somewhere in the dream of 
Creating a "more perfect union",
We forgot auxiliary precautions.

Father Madison knew the pattern-
His agenda wrote one sacred history
Of such a struggling pair-
Each wrestled over the other's head
In the gradual rushing waters of democracy-
Gasping for a voice- 
Both golden and tended. 
"Is it not possible to give to each department
An equal power of self-defense?"
Thus are individual duties assigned-
Separate, but equal.
Or is it enough to fortify 
My own heart's defects-
Left by the savage hand of 
Men- over me?


2 comments:

sarahbeth said...

I really liked that...it was like a history lesson I actually understood. : ) And I drew my own parallels...how much leverage and power do you give the one you love? When can you tell if this power is too much? Is that why I feel so helpless and unarmed? Or is it a good thing to be unarmed and defenseless...I have no idea...but anyways, I liked it. : ) And I much enjoyed our conversation today! Love you

-G said...

My little sister is growing up.

I don't know what to say... this is just really great. "Seperate not equal".. Yours is the upper hand.

Interestingly enough, I attended a lecture this morning in which a Utah congressman was expressing his belief that the state government should have more power in issues that the federal government currently has jurisdiction over. Life is weird sometimes.

Let me know if you ever need some judicial review.