After an unequivocal experience of the inefficiency of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force.
—Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1 (1787)
Let there be no misunderstanding the [British electorate] can regain that status [as an independent nation state], that future, if they will. There is a gratifyingly neurotic tone creeping into the voices of those who proclaim, with an insistency which belies conviction, that the future national status of the United Kingdom—or rather its permanent loss of national status—was settled once and for all by the referendum in 1975. The owners of those voices would fain deny or forget the Government’s official statement, made at that time that after the referendum “continued British membership will depend upon the continuing assent of Parliament.” For all the anguish of the Europeanists, it becomes more evident with every passing month that the issue of Britain inside or outside the Common Market is not just one live issue among many but is the central political issue of coming years to which all roads in politics lead back.
The battle over Britain’s national existence and parliamentary independence is a battle which will be fought through to the bitter end, however long it lasts. It is a battle in which no quarter will be asked and none will be given. It is a battle in the course of which all other political lines and links will continue to be overrun and broken, as it surges one way or the other. It is a battle in which the bitterest foes of the past will stand together and the closest of old alliances be destroyed. I say these things in no spirit of bravado. They are cold and sober deductions from fact, the fact that the fight is about the continued existence of the nation itself, an issue to which by definition all other political issues and causes whatsoever must be subordinated, as to the greater which subsumes the less.
In wartime, conservatives and socialists—nay tories and communists—sank their past differences and postponed their future divergent ambitions to fight together for the survival of the political nation itself. It is so again. The lesson which has been taught to the British electorate since it made its grave but recoverable mistake is that in small things and in great things alike there is no future for the British people which they will find tolerable except as a sovereign, self-governing nation state.
. . . .
The battle for and against the survival of the British nation will be fought again upon that battlefield . . . this time it must be won.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SethBTillman ( @SethBTillman )
My prior post: Seth Barrett Tillman, Tillman Responding to Washington Post Op-Ed: Gregory L. Diskant--Obama can appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if the Senate does nothing, The New Reform Club (Apr. 13, 2016, 12:05 PM)