Through My Eyes

the thoughts and musings of Justin Thorp; the 21 year old college of God...friend...boyfriend...and internet geek

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Lincoln Conf: Herman Belz - Construction of The Executive Power

Statesmanship is right political action, political deliberation, and judgement for the right of the community. It is always situated in certain circumstances. The circumstances don't answer the question. You need good judgement and prudence. There are specific moral and theological virtues that need for statesmanship.

The idea of statesmanship comes from ancient times, from the modern moral marvel of utilitarianism. Right's based ethics is modern. Virtue-based ethics is ancient. Statesmanship is ancient.

Can we have statesmanship in the modern world? Statesmanship must be modern. It needs to be compatible with technology. It has modern analogs. There are surrogates for statesmanship. One might be the executive power or presidential vision. The presidents take that vision and set out a course of action.

One thing that comes in when statesmanship goes out is partisanship. Partisanship is confusing. Are the feelings of a political party that of a whole community? Or just a part of the community? Are the two party agreed on principals? Parties seem to divide the people or the nation.

Was Lincoln a statesman or a party man/partisan? It's one thing for someone to be bi-partisan but a lot of people use bi-partisanship to put the other side down. Was Lincoln a bipartisan statesman or a Republican statesman?

He was a Republican statesman.

Popular power can not govern. It's an impulse. It's not reasonable. Popular power can be part of government. It can be directed and channeled. It can not generate authority. You need to have power. Power does not come out of the barrel of a gun.

In a partisan system, where we are trying to extend and limit popular power.

The excercise of reason under the constitution is statesmanship. Modern constitutions are made and not discovered in natural laws and ancient norms. What are constitutions made of? Our constitution was made of a lot of things. The construction didn't stop after the constitution was ratified.

The two problems of constitutional construction is the nature of the union and the meaning of republican government. Constitutional construction deals with political nature. Constitutional interpretation deals with question of a judiciary nature.


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