Anti-Federalists such as Patrick Henry, George Mason and Richard Henry Lee who fervently opposed the ratification of the Constitution have been proven right.
Their main concern was that an elite few would use the coercive power of the federal government in Washington to override the rights of citizens and the states.
Washington has won. Open your eyes to see what is happening all around us. There are progressive socialists in elective office who want to use the coercive power of the federal government to force you to think and believe as they do. They want to control what you say (cancel culture), what you do (mask mandates, school closures) and how you think (wokeism) every day.
Everything the Anti-Federalists worried about in 1789 has come to pass.
Progressive socialist liberal Democrats such as Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Elizabeth Warren believe in their heart that only smart “enlightened” leaders such as themselves should make decisions for everyone, rather than leaving it up to each person to make for themselves.
In his great book, “James Madison: America’s First Politician,” scholar Jay Cost laid out many of the objections of the Anti-Federalists to giving any elected leader broad powers under the new Constitution sent to the states for ratification in 1787.
Anti-Federalists did not want to vote to set up a government that had any of the trappings of a monarchy in America. They were concerned a wealthy oligarchy would form to rubber-stamp presidential decisions. What they could not have imagined instead was the rise of a self-appointed socialist “aristocracy” hell-bent on undoing every personal freedom and check-and-balance principle established in the Constitution. Marx and Engels didn’t write The Communist Manifesto until 1848 during the Industrial Revolution, which gave rise to our current crop of socialist mindbenders.
Anti-Federalists worried that the president would appoint bureaucrats and judges on a partisan political basis instead of objectively following the rule of law. One only needs to look at the politicization of the FBI, CIA and the IRS under Presidents Obama and Biden to see the danger of having our national agencies run by people with political agendas to agree that the Anti-Federalists were correct.
The Anti-Federalists at the Pennsylvania ratification convention called the dual sovereignty of the federal/state structure a “solecism [contradiction] in politics” where “one or the other would necessarily triumph in the fullness of dominion.” Again, one only needs to look at the enthusiastic Democratic support of the vast expansion of federal spending in BBB and federal expropriation of state election laws to see that Henry, Mason, Lee et.al. were once again right to be “concerned.”
The Anti-Federalists would be aghast at how liberal expansionists of the welfare state have abused the “necessary and proper” clause of the Constitution. New York Congressman Melancton Smith, writing as “Brutus,” said it gave the federal government “unlimited power,” which has been proven time and again. Brutus also worried about the expansive taxing authority of the Constitution to “provide for the common defense and general welfare,” which meant Congress could tax anything and everything “at their pleasure.” This also has been proven over and over in the past 233 years.
In their wildest nightmare, none of the founders — Anti-Federalist and Federalist alike — would have believed Americans of our generation would elect fiscally ignorant people to serve in Congress and the White House to pass legislation which would balloon our national debt to $29 trillion in peacetime. They spent the better part of their adult lives paying off the debts of the states and the new government accumulated during the Revolution, so the American dollar would be worth something instead of being worthless like the Continental currency.
Just like the Anti-Federalists who defeated Terry McAuliffe in Virginia when he said he didn’t want parents to have any say in their child’s education, Anti-Federalists across North Carolina and the nation must turn out in droves this fall to vote against anyone who campaigns on a platform of more spending, more regulation, more restrictions on free speech and more penalties on producers of economic growth.
Joe Biden thinks he is a Federalist like FDR or LBJ. He is ruling more like Mad King George III.
We all are Anti-Federalists this year. We have to be.
Frank Hill is director of the Institute for Public Trust and opinion editor at North State Journal.
This article first appeared in the North State Journal on Jan. 19 and is reprinted with permission.