Ironies at a rally for the Constitution
By David Williams
It is most ironic that the “armed and angry” protesters at the “Restore the Constitution” rally [“Armed and angry, and demonstrating on the capital’s edge,” news story, April 19] are heirs not of the elite Federalists who created the Constitution in 1787 but of the grass-roots anti-federalists who passionately opposed the efforts of James Madison and others to create a strong central government.
Madison and the other Founders were reacting to such mob anarchy as Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts in the 1780s. They feared that the confederation created after the Revolution was too weak.
In the end, enough of the anti-federalists were mollified by the promise of a bill of rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, that would set some limits on the power of the central government. Yet the spirit of those who opposed the Constitution lives on in people who say they are rallying to restore it.
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