“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition,” by Kelly Gneiting
You see it everywhere—band aid solutions for gaping wounds, and temporary patches for shredded cloth. It’s as if decision-makers suddenly became aware of problems, and in their tireless and hurried vie for public approval, money, or power, submit graffiti solutions when the American people need a Van Gogh.
I’ve heard and read the words of many on the subject of “how we got here” or “the mistakes that have led us down the path to despotism.” It was the Federal Reserve, the 14th Amendment, the 16th & 17th Amendments; it was socialism, apathy, greed, a lust for power, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, or Barack Obama’s Obamacare, etc., etc., etc.
Indeed America today is unrecognizable to a 306 year-old Benjamin Franklin, still living among us in spirit. Franklin was one of many Founding Fathers who warned of the potential oppression & despotism that resulted from the “loves” of men. Said he during the Constitutional Convention, 1887:
“Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice—the love of power and the love of money. Separately, each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but, when united in view of the same object, they have, in many minds, the most violent effects. Place before the eyes of such men a post of honor, that shall, at the same time, be a place of profit, and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it.”
And so it would seem that underneath the creation of the Federal Reserve, underneath the 17th Amendment, underneath the redistribution of wealth, greed, and lust for power lies one word: ambition. Ambition of men is the “base of the fire” when policy-makers suggest merely aiming at the flames.
The definition of ambition is, “A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.” (Wikipedia – Dictionary) And so how does one go about keeping in check the ambitions of men who seek power, especially in light of the vast financial means they have to work with? James Madison had the solution. Said he in The Federalist Papers: No 51:
“Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.
“The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary… [yet] A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government [of realistic America].”
So let’s use the example of two people. The first energetically throws his hat in the ring—he wants to be Idaho’s Governor. His education and slick way of speaking come to his aid, and before you know it, he’s running as a candidate for the Republican Party in the upcoming primaries.
Millions of people fall into this category, today and in the past 17 decades of elections. No one asked this person to run for office. Alternately, everything this person achieves is from his own ambition and the ambition of others who closely align themselves to and support this man—many times with millions of dollars to spend!
The second was asked a year ago to run for office by a close friend and neighbor. He doesn’t want to run for office. He’d rather stay at home and tend to his family’s concerns, but a powerful spirit of DUTY speaks to his soul, and he constantly finds himself coming up short in telling his friend, “no, thanks.”
Furthermore, this man is wise, honorable, and educated, especially in American history and the 1776 era. He remembers George Washington’s words when accepting his position as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Armies:
“…with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the Command… I feel great distress from a consciousness [of] my abilities… [I] may not be equal to the extensive and important Trust: However, as the Congress desires I will enter upon the momentous duty, and exert every power I possess in their service for the support of the glorious Cause.”
In the course of weeks, and as this man’s prayers ascend to heaven, the spirit of George Washington enters his heart. He HAD been asked, not by congress, but by his friend. His contemplations coupled with intense spiritual grapplings convince him to “enter upon the momentous duty, and exert every power [he] possess in their service for the support of the glorious Cause.”
Months later, humbly, this man licks a stamp and places it on the envelope addressed to the Secretary of State. Inside is his application and the required signatures for his independent candidacy—the office of Idaho State Governor.
Now the question is: which one do you vote for?
The problem with America is that for 170 years we have accepted and voted within a group of candidates, of which the vast majority resembles the story of the first person. Ambition [of the people] has lost to the ambition [of the candidates], and a descent into tyranny has been the result.
To again emphasize the solution, James Madison said in his quote above, “The interest of the man must be connected…” and “A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government.”
The Independent American Party proposes a RESTORATION of the ambition of the people. Let’s tip the angle of that fire-hose downward, and point it at the base of the fire, instead of the flames!
YOU can be involved in seeking out public servants who resemble George Washington. Without hesitation I say, THEY ARE OUT THERE, but they have NOT been asked to serve! The Ambition of the people to diligently seek out honest and wise men and women will reverse the curse!
Begin by signing the Independence Pledge! Benjamin Franklin eagerly longs to see liberty reign in America again. He is anxiously watching from heaven, and rooting for “the people’s” ambition to win the fight for liberty over tyranny, and for America to be restored to its Founding principles.
I welcome your thoughts below.