In its ongoing attempt to take over the “tea party” movement the Republican Party recently dragged out Dick Armey, who promptly placed his right foot directly into his mouth by claiming that all those statist liberals out there do not support the ideas in The Federalist Papers. A member of the audience who I suspect has read my book, Hamilton’s Curse, asked Armey how the tea party movement could support The Federalist Papers when their chief proponent, Alexander Hamilton, was such a statist. And he was, of course: He advocated a permanent president who would appoint all the governors, who would in turn have veto power over all state legislation, thereby destroying state sovereignty and centralizing all political power; he was the founding father of constitutional subversion who invented the idea of “implied powers” of the Constitution along with the perversion of the General Welfare and Commerce Clauses; and he was a British-style mercantilist on economic policy, favoring protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare, a large public debt, heavy taxation, central banking, and central planning in general.
This is not surprising. The Jeffersonian, states’ rights view of the Constitution has been all but whitewashed from American history, and continues to be whitewashed by such GOP/neocon propaganda organs as the Claremont Institute, which runs conferences and other programs on Hamilton’s Federalist Papers and the centralizing nationalist view of government that they promote. Claremont is also known for its charming policy of waging campaigns of character assassination against anyone who dares to resurrect the Jeffersonian decentralist, states’ rights philosophy (Their biggest joke is to claim that Lincoln was a “Jeffersonian”!). A couple of decades of conservative political activists have been mis-educated by them, and Armey is apparently one of them. (Thanks to Lew and Bob Murphy for bringing the Armey episode to my attention).
Cross-Posted from the LewRockwell.com Blog