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Posted at 7:35 PM ET, 04/20/2010

Ironies at a rally for the Constitution

By washingtonpost.com editors

By David Williams
Lincoln, Va.

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.

Irony, indeed!

By washingtonpost.com editors  | April 20, 2010; 7:35 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Virginia, guns  
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Comments

The man DID say, with a straight face, that he had to destroy the village in order to save it.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | April 20, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I think you and I have a different definition of the word "irony". The protesters are unabashedly anti-federalist, pro bill-of-rights foremost. In fact, it's safe to say that their understanding of the Constitution IS only the bill of rights. Consequently, any similarities between them and Shay's rebels are quite explicit and yes, intentional. OBVIOUSLY!

Posted by: Wallenstein | April 21, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Todays angry mobs have nothing in common with our ancestors, because they haven't lost anything.

Posted by: jckdoors | April 23, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

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