Why the IRS Needs to Read Federalists No. 10

By Alex Gonzalez

The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection–Federalists No.  10

I am ardent supporter of our Founding Documents for the simple reason that, unlike political parties that often change positions on issues by region or generationally, our Founding Documents are consistently strong; our Constitution creates a system of government that has its origins in Popular Democracy and Republican forms of government that allows and protects freedom of expression, freedoms enshrined in our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Such protections and freedom are equally extended to small political opposing groups–“factions”–and the dominant popular parties controlling the majority in Congress. But there is no better comprehension of Freedoms and the Constitution without an understanding of the Federalists Papers. The Federalists Papers is a discussion by those who drafted Constitution about what it means.  And there is no better political argument for the protection of Tea Party groups from an intrusive IRS than the Federalists No. 10.

In the Federalists No. 10, James Madison argued that “factions”, opposing political groups, are necessary for the preservation of Liberty. And even if these “factions” have a tendency to break and control the revolt–the source of their strength–they are essential for Liberty and the preservation of unity–the nation.

Further, though instability and confusion–when introduced to public by a “faction, ”is a “mortal disease” under which constitutional government perished–the political Liberty of this “faction” cannot be cut off from the public political discourse.  So when we, self-identified “Establishment Republicans” complain that Tea Party groups do not reflect the views of the majority of the GOP, we negate to recognize the fact that these Tea Party groups bring a good balance to the political discourse because their activism keeps the leadership of the Party on a notice. Consequently, Tea Party activism is  necessary for a healthy American Democracy and healthy responsive Republican Party.

On the second Paragraph of Federalists No. 10 Madison argues that:

By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.  There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.

Therefore, if the government, the IRS in this case, thought of Tea Party as “faction” that sought to create political instability as the means to control the revolt–which is form of gaining power through confusion–the cure was worse than the disease.

The curing of the “mischiefs” could be one removing the causes completely, or two controlling its effect.  The IRS opted the former, controlling its “causes.”

However, by attempting to suppress the Tea Party’ causes, the IRS was simultaneously destroying Liberty itself, as Madison explains:

There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests. It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

Abolishing the Liberty of a “faction,” the suppression of political groups, is the suppression of liberty itself because “factions” are to democracy what “air is to fire.” Thus, political groups, or “factions,” sustain Democracy and Liberty. Hence, a “faction”–no matter how destructive—-and liberty complement each other, and the role of government is to protect such liberties, not to harass them.

The second expedient is as impracticable as the first would be unwise. As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government–James Madison. The Federalists 10.

Thus, best protection for Democracy and political groups is their own liberty–freedom or expression and assembly. And  Tea Party groups are essential to Liberty, Democracy, and balance of powers within the GOP.

Men are prone to fallibility by their own self-love, bias judgment and opinions;  and their passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other, and thus cancelling each other out while the interests of the community are protected by the majority made of other “factions” who have overlapping interests in protecting the Common Good and the Community , the nation. So let the Tea Partiers be who they want to be, let their passions be their own judge, but do not intrude in their Liberty, our Liberty.

Alex Gonzalez  is a political Analyst and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote!  He received a Bachelors Degree and a Masters’ Degree, with emphasis in American politics,  from San Francisco State University.
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