Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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New Book: The Complete Letters from an Ohio Farmer

The Ashbrook Center has collected all 80 weekly letters from an Ohio Farmer into one edition, A Constitutional Conversation: The Complete Letters from an Ohio Farmer. Copies are available in print through Amazon as well as in digital format through Kindle, iBooks, and Nook.

The letters were written under the nom de plume Ohio Farmer. For the first time, the contributors of the Ohio Farmer letters have been identified. The contributors are Peter W. Schramm, Christopher Flannery, Robert Alt, Roger Beckett, Steven F. Hayward, Gordon Lloyd, Mackubin T. Owens, Michael Schwarz, Jeffery Sikkenga, David Tucker, and William Voegeli.

The American people have started a historic conversation—about the foundations, purposes, and scope of our government. In a spontaneous movement they rose to challenge long-established orthodoxies, and a sustained exertion of their sovereign power is changing the direction in which the country is heading. Thousands of independent groups of private citizens gathered in thousands of public squares across the land. Through all the diverse ideas expressed in these gatherings, one theme shone clearly: the federal government has, over the last several decades, stepped further and further outside the bounds of the Constitution.

How did our government get to this point? What would constitutional government look like? What paths are available to the people and their representatives for returning to constitutional self-government?

The Ohio Farmer is not one person, but a group of citizens seeking to preserve constitutional self-government in America. The Farmer’s letters are written in the tradition of the Federalists and Antifederalists in the American founding who wrote newspaper articles debating the new form of government proposed in the Constitution of 1787.

The Ohio Farmer is not primarily concerned with immediate policy questions, though he necessarily discusses them; he hopes to refine and enlarge the public’s view of the larger political principles implicit in our policy debates. He is a friend to all who love this country and wish it well; he is searching for that common ground that can unite all reasonable parties who wish to maintain America’s glorious tradition of constitutional self-government.

The Ohio Farmer is a project of the Ashbrook Center.

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