By Colin Smith
A coalition of Anti-federalists hoisted up the Gadsden Flag on the Kalamazoo College flagpole two weeks ago. It read “Don’t Tread on Me,” and proudly displayed the iconic rattlesnake. These stalwart statesmen wax sealed a letter of grievances they sent via pigeon to the editor of The Index, voicing their opposition to the ratification of the United States Constitution. They signed their names as Brutus, Centinel, Federal Farmer, and Cato.
Cato, unlike the other Anti-Federalists, doesn’t keep his identity hidden. He reveals himself as George Clinton. But clearly he’s not the George Clinton who served as Vice President under both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, because he died two hundred years ago. Rather, he’s the godfather of all things funk. Clinton said, “We’re standing for one nation under a groove.”
These veiled writers oppose a Constitution without a Bill of Rights, fearing a tyranny of the majority. A few specific qualms included: the emergence of a monarch through an
“Energetic Executive,” as proposed by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 70, too much power taken away from the State governments, and a lack of a Bill of Rights.
Clinton summarized their stances when he said, “I wanna testify: power taken away from the States would be funked up. You gotta free your mind, and your ass will follow, dig? Tear the roof off the sucker and give up that funk.”
Brutus said it was only over 230 years ago when the United States declared independence from Britain, and, “to ratify this Constitution would be to enforce monarchal rule that we just declared freedom from.” He also continued to cite recent “tyrannical” legislation, namely, the respective Alien and the Sedition Acts.
The other Anti-Federalists claimed the Federalist Party led by President John Adams handled the XYZ affair poorly—no, this is not to be confused with having one’s fly down. “But, keep in mind Adams also forget to double check his breeches’ buttons!” reminded Brutus.
In this letter to the editor, the four statesmen reminded the Articles of Confederation would have worked with just a bit more time. To gain voters—free white men who own at least $132 in property—they are printing off their works as The Anti-Federalist Papers and will be distributing them throughout campus this week.