In trying to think through the challenges to our democratic system that I have been blogging about this week, I re-read some of the Federalist Papers, which were written by several of our nation’s founders–James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay–who themselves were thinking through how our Constitution would work.
Central to their argument is Federalist No. 10 by Madison. I was struck by how well it anticipated and addressed issues and problems we are having to deal with today: polarization, conflicting ideologies, political involvement of religion, diversity. And his insights also have application to smaller questions, such as whether a president can pardon himself.