By Sanford Levinson
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Extra resources for An Argument Open to All: Reading "The Federalist" in the 21st Century
But in 1999, only New Mexico had a greater percentage of its citizens living in poverty than New York did. indb 31 8/18/15 6:25:18 PM 32 Something Must Be Done to Save the Union capita federal expenditures than do the large, urban states in which most Americans actually live. Paradoxically or not, one ﬁnds that the greatest political opposition to federal spending and the concomitant support for a leaner, meaner national government comes from the states who are the beneﬁciaries of redistributive policies of “taxing and spending” rather than the states that might wish to describe themselves as benefactors (or, perhaps, victims).
But perhaps Publius’s arguments are very much worth attending to today. How, though, can we have a truly mature conversation about the dangers he points to if we regard the military as composed almost entirely of “heroes” and stand ever ready to accuse its critics of being insufﬁciently supportive of our troops, naively inattentive to the dangers facing the country, and, therefore, a presumed threat to national security? indb 37 8/18/15 6:25:19 PM This page intentionally left blank f e der a l i st 9 The New (and Improved) Science of Politics W ith his emphasis on the pervasiveness of conﬂict and the dire consequences attached to failure to ratify the proposed constitution, Publius is scarcely a fount of general optimism.
Publius noted, for example, the considerable advantages the United Kingdom enjoyed over a mere alliance among England, Wales, and Scotland. ” If the Constitution were not ratiﬁed and America were ultimately divided into “three or four independent governments—what armies could they raise and pay—what ﬂeets could they ever hope to have? ” Even worse, perhaps, was the danger that one of these separate countries—perhaps called New England, Atlantica, and Dixie—would be “ﬂattered into neutrality” should an attack by a European adversary occur, perhaps because of “specious promises or .