In Defense of the Constitution refutes modern critics of the Constitution who assail it as “reactionary” or “undemocratic.” The author argues that modern disciples of Progressivism are determined to centralize political control in Washington, D.C., to achieve their goal of an egalitarian national society. Furthermore, he contends, Progressive interpreters of the Constitution subtly distort fundamental principles of the Constitution for the precise purpose of achieving their egalitarian goals. It is in their distrust of self-government and representative institutions that Progressivists advocate, albeit indirectly, an elitist regime based on the power of the Supreme Court?or judicial supremacy. Key elements and issues in this transformation of the original republic into an egalitarian mass society are thoroughly examined.
“The American experience with self-government has long been the object of admiration by foreign observers. Principally for this reason students have pored over the records, debates, and pronouncements of our founding period with an eye to discovering the principles, theories, and beliefs that undergird the system and seem to have contributed to its success. Their interest has been more than academic. A belief, still widely held and for good reason, is that certain principles embodied in our constitutional framework are exportable, that underdeveloped nations, or nations embarking on the enterprise of deliberately creating governments, may benefit from our experience by incorporating certain of our principles into their political design.”
George W. Carey
George W. Carey teaches American government and American political theory at Georgetown University, where he is Professor of Government. His works include The Federalist: Design for a Constitutional Republic (1989) and The Basic Symbols of the American Political Tradition (1970, with the late Willmoore Kendall), both of which explore in depth the fundamental values and underlying principles of the American political order. Professor Carey is also the coeditor of two books: A Second Federalist: Congress Creates a Government (1967, with Charles S. Hyneman), and the first student edition of The Federalist (1990, with James McClellan). He has served on the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1982-88), and since 1970 he has edited The Political Science Reviewer, an annual journal devoted to article-length reviews of leading works in political science and related disciplines.