Wednesday, November 11, 2015

If you don't know where you've been...

After the FPF Training class over the weekend, we drove out to Montpelier on Monday morning before heading back to the airport.

When the father of our fourth president built this home in the 1760s, this was out back of beyond. The French and Indian Wars, our branch office of the worldwide Seven Years' War, were still raging at the time; an airy, open manse was out of place in a region more populated with palisaded log blockhouses.

This is the view from the front porch of James Madison's crib. Looking out over this expanse from the library window over the front door, little Jimmy Madison sweated out the Virginia Plan which, through tireless lobbying and shrewd politicking, served as the nucleus of the Constitution of the United States of America.

He did this by using his ability to read and write a half-dozen languages to pore over the written records of previous attempts at self-governance, noting where they'd gone wrong and trying to compensate for them.

At the time, he was 37 years old; nearly a dozen years my junior.

The tour of the house deposits you into the back yard, where this life-size bronze statue of James and Dolley awaits.

I couldn't help but whisper, after snapping my photos, "It was the Interstate Commerce Clause, Jimmy; that's what packed it in. Oh, and it's a good thing you're sitting down, because you are going to $#!+ yourself when I tell you about the 17th Amendment..."

Still, whatever faults it may have, the U.S. Constitution has kept the wheels on for better than two centuries. That's a pretty good run, and it's not done yet...