Exceptionalism : Blog : The Federalist Society: "Ours is the only nation on earth to define itself and the rights of its citizens based not on blood or land, but rather on adherence to a document: the Constitution. Moreover, that document was architected in large measure to protect those rights. Here I emphatically do not refer to the Bill of Rights – the first ten amendments – but rather to the structure of the government defined in the body of the Constitution, with powers of governance divided among the three branches, and, as to legislative powers, between the two Houses of Congress, so as to assure that interests would always be pitted against competing interests. That structure was put in place with explicit awareness, as Madison famously wrote in Federalist 51, that neither men outside government nor those inside it are angels, and thus governments are necessary to govern the former, and limits on government are necessary to control the latter; but as between the two, government is bottom up, not top down.
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