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The Founders’ guide to ‘Knock Down, Drag Out’ fighting

scene from the signing of the Constitution
"The Signing of the Constitution of the United States in 1787" by Howard Chandler Christy, 1940
Aaron Alexander Zubia

Reflecting on the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump protesters, Aaron Alexander Zubia writes an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal. Zubia, a postdoctoral fellow with the Tocqueville Program in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Furman University, says we can learn much from our Founding Fathers who in 1787-1788 were embroiled in heated debates over the ratification of the Constitution.

To manage passions during ratification, Zubia writes, “[The Federalists] opted not to suppress passions but to channel them toward common leaders (like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin) and a common cause (ratification).” Fast-forward to present day, the statement begs a question or two – “Who are our common leaders today? Who demands enough respect and admiration to quell the ordinary diversity of opinions?” Zubia asks.

Zubia holds a master’s and doctorate in political science from Columbia University, a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s in marketing from the University of Texas at El Paso. His work has appeared in Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy. He has also written for National Review Online, Washington Examiner, and Public Discourse.


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