It’s on the radio. It’s on the TV. It’s probably coming up regularly in your social media these days. I’m talking about impeachment. I am certain everyone reading this has some kind of opinion on the current impeachment debate, including “I am sick of hearing about it.” But I am excited myself about one aspect of it.
I heard the names of James Madison on the radio!
They mentioned Alexander Hamilton’s essay in The Federalist Papers on impeachment!
I even heard one current senator mention James Iredell. JAMES IREDELL, PEOPLE! Only super-nerds like me have heard of that person, unless you are from North Carolina where I imagine all the children learn about his dedication to Federalist causes and membership on the first US Supreme Court.
Of course most of you do know that James Madison is the Father of the Constitution, not because he wrote it, but because he took really good notes that have survived for more than two hundred years (a lesson many AP students could learn in the importance of good notes!). Today’s senate is hearing his name again in reference to his writings, also part of The Federalist Papers, which shaped arguments for one understanding of what is ̶ and is not ̶ an impeachable offense.
There might be even more people today who have heard of Alexander Hamilton due to the wildly successful musical of the same name based on Ron Chernow’s deeply detailed tome. Hamilton’s name is being invoked in today’s senate for the same reasons as Madison’s: his constitutional interpretation on impeachment. Hamilton was at the Constitutional Convention with Madison and Iredell, so their thoughts on the meaning of impeachment bear repeating during today’s constitutional matter.
As someone who believes in the US Constitution deeply, it’s been pretty cool for me to hear the words “US Constitution” so frequently, even though it’s part of a serious issue. I think our nation would be stronger and more united if we infused more of the Constitution into our daily lives. Then people would know why it is important, and how it is a large part of making us all Americans.
As you are inundated by partisan politics over the next few weeks, I hope you are able to look beyond it. I hope you are able to learn how our founding document, gives us the rights to have those partisan debates in a free country anyway.