Last year, when the news broke about the deplorable treatment of our veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, I was heartsick. As a Vietnam-era Women's Army Corps veteran, very few things are as reprehensible to me as the mistreatment of our returning combat soldiers. I was least impressed with the lack of resources and representation for wounded veterans, and as the story unfolded, the evidence - once again - pointed to the ineptness of the current administration.
In his 221-year-old contribution to The Federalist (paper number 69), Alexander Hamilton expounds on our proposed constitution's powers of the president and the legislature. He compares the extremely tightened span of control the president would have as commander in chief to that of the British king. While the king had entire command of the military at all times, the president's power would be limited and divided with the legislature.
According to Hamilton, the president's role "would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military ... as the first General ... ." The declaration of war and the "raising and regulating of fleets and armies" were to be under the strict purview of the legislature. Hamilton wrote this explanation in 1787 to assure our newly formed country that the proposed constitution was sufficient in its division of powers to both protect and defend without the trappings of monarchy.
Now, more than two centuries later, the current administration's expanded control of the militia seems to mirror exactly what Hamilton cautioned against. Now, more than ever, it is vitally important for the legislature to reclaim its constitutional obligations, especially where the "regulating of fleets and armies" is concerned. For it is under this banner that the treatment and care of our veterans resides. Now is the time to elect a representative to Congress who will carry that banner and make it fly. My vote goes to John Thrasher. Now.