Monday, July 13, 2009

“Who’s running the Asylum? The Change We Deserve.”by John Alexander Madison
July 13, 2009

The word ‘polymath’ comes from a Greek word meaning "having learned much"… a person whose expertise fills a significant number of subject areas, someone who is very knowledgeable. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were polymaths and others of their era, by any definition, possessed ‘brilliant’ minds.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), at the ripe old age of 23, bought Pennsylvania Gazette in 1729. Four years later he founded Poor Richard’s Almanac, and later he was a signer of the Constitution. He was named United States Minister to France, Minister to Sweden, and 1st Postmaster General of the United States. He invented the lightening rod, the Franklyn stove, the flexible urinary catheter, and bifocal glasses.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), succeeded Franklin as Minister to France…and at the age 33 he drafted the Declaration of Independence. (That’s good news for Josh Penry in his run for Colorado Governor.) Jefferson achieved distinction as a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, inventor, and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed forty-nine Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

George Washington
(1732-1799), at the age 43, was appointed by the Continental Congress as commander-in-chief of the American revolutionary forces in 1775. Later he became the “Father of our Nation,” for serving as our first President from 1789-1797. Enough said.

John Jay (1745-1829), at age 34, served for several years as a Commissioner to Spain and later Paris. At age 44 he was appointed Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1789 and thereafter Governor of New York in 1795. He was a committed nationalist and, indeed, the opinion he rendered in Chisholm v. Georgia provoked the adoption of the states rights-oriented Eleventh Amendment. He was Secretary of Foreign Affairs and President of the Continental Congress. He was a proponent of emancipation and succeeded in freeing all New York slaves in 1799.

Alexander Hamilton (1755/1757-1804) was the 1st United States Secretary of the Treasury, and first member elected to the Constitutional Convention. Hamilton recruited John Jay and James Madison to write a defense of the proposed Constitution, now known as the Federalist Papers, and made the largest contribution to that effort, writing 51 of 85 essays published (Madison wrote 29, Jay only five). Hamilton's essays and arguments were influential in New York state, and elsewhere, during the debates over ratification. The Federalist Papers are more often cited than any other primary source by jurists, lawyers, historians and political scientists as the major contemporary interpretation of the Constitution. He died at the age of 47 or 49.

James Madison (1751-1836) was the 4th President of the United States and first president to have served as a member of Congress. As a leader in the 1st United States Congress, he drafted many basic laws and was responsible for the first ten amendments to the Constitution and became known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights.” He was Thomas Jefferson’s Secretary of State and guided the Louisiana Purchase acquisition.

Using a boxing analogy Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Jay, Hamilton and Madison can only be defined as heavyweights.

To be fair, equal time must be granted to those who many believe will go down as lightweights in the annals of American history. Fast forward 200+ years to the era of the 44th President of the United States who is surrounded by lightweights, more commonly referred to as “enablers.”

Senator Robert Bryd (West Virginia) at the age of 92 can list as his greatest accomplishment that fact that he has been in Congress for 50 years. He’s been there too long.

Senator Edward Kennedy (Massachusetts) at the age of 77 is best-known for his failed advocacy of health care for all, provided by the United States government…he has been in Congress for 47 years. He’s been there too long.

Senator Barbara Boxer (69) and Senator Diane Feinstein (79) have represented California in Congress for 16 and 17 years respectively. Boxer is best known for her advocacy of abortion rights, her anti Second Amendment, anti- gun rights stance, and her brother marrying one of Hillary Rodham’s brothers in a White House ceremony. Feinstein became San Francisco’s female mayor (1979) and is among the 5 wealthiest members of the U.S. Senate, along with being among the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate. They are too liberal and they’ve been there too long.

Senator Chris Dodd (Connecticut) has been in Congress since 1975 and the Senate for 27 years. High on his list of accomplishments he can claim being a former boyfriend of Bianca Jagger and Carrie Fisher (of “Star Wars” princess fame). Wow. As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee he was intimately involved with the Countrywide Mortgage debacle. He refuses to release records about Countrywide’s support. Should we note that insurance giant AFLAC, among others, gave his campaign just short of $1 million? In February 2009 Kevin Rennie, a columnist at the Hartford Courant, ran an op-ed concerning Dodd's acquisition of his vacation home in Ireland. The article alleged that Dodd's former partner in buying the home had ties to disgraced Bear Stearns principal Edward Downe, Jr. who has since been convicted of insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission. And now for the good news. A 2008 poll of Connecticut voters suggested Dodd would have difficulty winning re-election in 2010, with 46% viewing his job performance as fair or poor. A 2009 poll by Quinnipiac University found a majority of Connecticut voters would vote to replace Dodd in the 2010 election. Yea.

Senator Harry Reid (Nevada) has been in politics for 42 years including 17 years in Congress. Reid succeeded Tom Daschle as minority leader in 2005, and gained notoriety for his confrontational approach in dealing with the Republican majority and President George W. Bush. So much for civility. He became majority leader after the 2006 elections. Reid opposed a Constitutional amendment to make English the national language of the United States. In June 2009, Reid announced his intention to enact a new guest worker program as part of a comprehensive immigration reform bill, an effort which would over time create more “rights” for non-citizens.

President Barrack Obama (a/k/a Barry Soetero, citizen of the world). Chicago politician. Enough said. For better or worse, all of the above have more experience than the 44th President of the United States who, it has been reported, has created more debt for our country than all previous presidents combined in less than 180 days in office while trying to destroy our free-market economy. Other early and recent ‘achievements’ include creating basic (U.S.) Constitutional rights for enemy combatants of our country and unjustified dining and shopping trips to England and Italy for his family.

Enough is enough. In Washington, D.C. the inmates are running the asylum.

And that means it is high time to replace Byrd, Kennedy, Boxer, Feinstein, Dodd, Reid and the like. Let’s not forget liberal Senators Mark Udall and Mark Bennet (Colorado). And, in order to not hurt their feelings, we should add the twin 85 year old Daniels, Senators Inouye and Akaka from Hawaii, who have served 47 and 19 years respectively in the U.S. Senate; Senator Barbara Mikulski (Maryland) who at 73 has been in Congress for 32 years; Maine Senators Olympia Snowe (30 years in Congress) and Susan Collins, shameless defenders of W. Jefferson Clinton during impeachment hearings who believe perjury does not warrant removal from office. (On the other side of the Capitol there are too many to count, but I feel compelled to mention 28-years and counting Congressman Barney Frank, whose finger prints are all over our financial collapse?)

The enablers include all of the above and others who support President Obama’s “Blame America-First Worldwide Tour.” Our President is apologizing to the world for America causing global warming, the worldwide economics crisis, illiteracy, the bird flu virus (a pandemic, really?), and for being a world leader in promoting abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse, and many other forms of debauchery. Shame on you, Mr. President. And shame on us for buying your rhetoric last fall.

Surely, we can agree with our President in at least one area. “It is time for a change…change we can believe in.” It is time to take back America, beginning in Washington, D.C., then Denver, Colorado. Or, is it already too late?

EPILOGUE…What is happening around the world today?

I am reminded of the 1959 movie classic “The Mouse That Roared,” starring Peter Sellers as Prime Minister Count Mountjoy, as the Grand Dutchess Gloriana, and as the bumbling military officer, Tully Bascombe.

The economy of this small (15 square mile) European duchy of Grand Fenwick is threatened when an American manufacturer comes up with an imitation of Fenwick's sole export, its fabled wine. The crafty prime minister comes up with a plan: Grand Fenwick will declare war on the United States. The Grand Duchess enquires: how can meek little Grand Fenwick win a war with the powerful United States? Mountjoy explains that the plan is to lose the war, then rely upon American foreign aid to replenish Grand Fenwick's treasury. (from

Does this sound familiar? Military dictators of socialistic governments repress their citizens and threaten to develop nuclear weapons in order to extort foreign aid from the United States for decades into the future. Grand Fenwick may have been a fictitious duchy but Burma, China, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iraq, Laos, Libya, North Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and others are our reality.

In a March 19, 2007 article for Real Clear Politics, Michael Barone wrote… “there are faults in our past. But Americans and the English-speaking peoples have been far more often the lifters of oppression than the oppressors.”

1 comment:

  1. A good column Mr. Madison, also enjoyed your last. I am of an age to appreciate the images you created. Bd Bop, The Fonz, etc.

    Robert Harkins