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Pursuing Mosiah’s and Madison’s Commonsense Principle

TitlePursuing Mosiah’s and Madison’s Commonsense Principle
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsAllred, Keith
JournalBYU Studies Quarterly
KeywordsKing Mosiah; Politics; Tribalism; U.S. Constitution; United States History

It is hard not to despair over the dysfunction in American politics today. The chaos created by the partisan rancor is continually before us. Angry tweets, bitter protests, and personal attacks are increasingly the norm, while civil discourse about sound policy is rare. No republic ever effectively managed its challenges this way.

As is so often the case in turbulent times, the application of core principles can be a source of hope by providing practical guidance for how we can get to a better place. The contours of our current political crisis make a principle of good government found both in the Book of Mormon and at the heart of the Constitution more relevant than ever. The idea can be called the “Commonsense Principle,” because it is based on one of the definitions of the term common sense as the “collective sense or judgment of humankind or of a community.”