The Peoples Constitution: Presidential Power and Its Limits

Patriots fought the America Revolution for many reasons, not least of which was an intense desire to escape the rule of a distant king—George III. In fact, Americans were so opposed to the idea of a king that they didn’t include an independent president in the government created under our first constitution—the Articles of Confederation. However, it soon became apparent that a government without a president or comparable leader was insufficient for the needs of the new and growing America. Many, including James Madison and Alexander Hamilton (see for example the Federalist Papers #70) came to believe that a strong president was needed to “take the reins of government,” enforce the laws, and help steer the country forward. With its many flaws, the Articles of Confederation lasted less than 10 years before being replaced by our current Constitution.

Read more

Vance: Context Matters

Those of us living in Loudoun County in the past two decades have been witnesses to and participants in unprecedented change shaped by massive growth in population and wealth. In the face of rapid urbanization and suburban sprawl, we continue to make heroic efforts to preserve Loudoun’s rich history, conserve important landmarks and landscapes and retain a semblance of its heritage. But landmarks and landscapes are merely old buildings or places, or pretty views easily dismissed, torn down or flattened unless succeeding generations have awareness of their significance, contextual meaning and influence on their present.

Read more

History Lesson: The Unison-Bloomfield School

One hundred years ago, Loudoun was a predominantly agricultural county whose people lived in small towns and villages. In most of those locations, life revolved around their schools. In western Loudoun in 1916, a modern, and quite impressive, two-story, eight-room schoolhouse was built at the highest point on Bloomfield Road. It was situated about halfway between the villages of Unison and Bloomfield so that children from both places could walk to school.

Read more

Parenting with Purpose: Calming the Anxious Child

All kids get stressed and worried at times. They might have butterflies before school, a new activity or sport, or even going over to a friend’s house. For most kids, these anxieties are short term and situational. But for many kids, these fleeting worries can turn into a significant problem. In this column, I will share some ideas to help children who are dealing with anxieties.

Read more

The People’s Constitution: The Secret Sauce

America is an exceptional country. While we still have important problems to overcome, America remains the leader of the free world, and immigrants continue to risk everything for a chance to create a new life in America. Why? What is the “secret sauce” of America’s stunning success over the centuries? While there are many factors, the Constitution plays a central role in America’s well-being. Throughout our history three key features of the Constitution, working together, have served as guardrails on the road to prosperity: democracy, individual rights and the rule of law.

Read more