"Americans Love A Winner!" — G.S. Patton
June 27, 2008, 02:54 PM
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A few years ago, I read a book by historian Bernard Bailyn, To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders. It contained a chapter on the wonderfulness of the Federalist Papers, as written by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay, comparing them to the Anti-Federalist Papers, written by a bunch of losers nobody has heard of since.

The Anti-Federalists would write, "If the Constitution is ratified,the federal government will grab the power to do X [or Y, or Z]." And Madison, Hamilton, or Jay would answer back, "Oh, no, that would never happen in a million years. It explicitly says right here in Article Whatever that only the states can do that."

But the funny thing is, Bailyn`s long list of about a dozen or more things the Anti-Federalists warned would happen if the Constitution were ratified ... they have all happened. They didn`t all happen right away. Many took until the Civil War, or the New Deal, or the Warren Court, or whatever. Still, when it comes to making long-run accurate predictions, the despised Anti-Federalists were right and the sainted Federalists were wrong.

But, nobody cares. People care about who won, not who turned out to be right.