There are things in the Constitution that have been overtaken by events, by time. Declaration of war is one of them. There are things no longer relevant to a modern society. Why declare war if you don't have to? We are saying to the President, use your judgment. So, to demand that we declare war is to strengthen something to death. You have got a hammerlock on this situation, and it is not called for. Inappropriate, anachronistic, it isn't done anymore. -- Henry Hyde, October 3, 2002, during debate in the House of Representatives on H.J. Res. 114, "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq," in response to Representative Ron Paul's motion to declare war on Iraq
Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. . . . [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and . . . degeneracy of manners and of morals. . . . No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. . . .
[It should be well understood] that the powers proposed to be surrendered [by the Third Congress] to the Executive were those which the Constitution has most jealously appropriated to the Legislature. . . .
The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war . . . the power of raising armies . . . the power of creating offices. . . .
A delegation of such powers [to the President] would have struck, not only at the fabric of our Constitution, but at the foundation of all well organized and well checked governments.
The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it, is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted.
The separation of the power of raising armies from the power of commanding them, is intended to prevent the raising of armies for the sake of commanding them.
The separation of the power of creating offices from that of filling them, is an essential guard against the temptation to create offices for the sake of gratifying favorites or multiplying dependents. -- James Madison, 1793
In seasons of tumult and discord bad men have the most power; mental and moral excellence require peace and quietness.
The worst crimes were dared by a few, willed by more and tolerated by all. -- Publius Cornelius Tacitus