Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Federalist Papers in Big Sky Montana

(Montana is called Big Sky Country for a reason)

 "Let Americans disdain to be the instruments of European greatness!  Let the thirteen States, bound together in a strict and indissoluble Union, concur in erecting one great American system."  -Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
(Driving the lush fields and vast prairies here gives you a feeling of holy inspired majesty.)

 "Why has government been instituted at all?  Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint."  -Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
(Endless rolling hills and vistas under an enormous canvas sky.  It's awe inspiring.)

 "Has it been found that bodies of men act with more rectitude or greater disinterestedness than individuals?  -Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
(But of course, as breathtaking as this landscape is, and we came here to ponder the spectacular views of our country, but we also came here to read.  I've spent my life crouched on library floors or crammed upside-down and sideways on unforgiving reading chairs, straining my eyes under desk lamps or flashlights under the bed covers as a boy... but now, with my daughters, I want them to experience the same joy of reading amid the glorious landscape of our amazing country.  I want them to read in the great outdoors, to become lost in books and close their eyes and imagine, and when they open them, they are surrounded with further feast of the senses.)

 "When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation."  -Hamilton, The Federalist Papers
(The Federalist Papers, sprawled out in thunderous quotes and magnificent prose, lended itself brilliantly to this barren landscape.  Read a little, pull over... catch our breath.  Read a little, pull over... spy a family of deer or an elk or a pack of coyotes in the distance howling.  We are howling too.  You may not agree with everything Alexander Hamilton idealized, but reading these essays here are inspiring as the landscape itself.)

"Men often oppose a thing, merely because they have had no agency in planning..."  -Hamilton, The Federalist Papers

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