Dave Benner speaks regularly in Minnesota on topics related to the United States Constitution, founding principles, and United States history. He has spoken to audiences of many different sizes, taught a diverse array of age groups, and is a frequent guest speaker on local television and radio shows. His areas of focus include the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, Nullification, State Ratification Conventions of 1787-1790, and Constitutional Antecedents. Dave writes articles for The Tenth Amendment Center and the Abbeville Institute. He also contributes writings to several local publications. Dave published a book entitled Compact of the Republic: The League of States and the Constitution.
Dave is an unwavering advocate and defender of the compact view of the Constitution as espoused by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. He recognizes that the Constitution was not ratified by “one people,” but by several distinctly sovereign entities through state ratification, which gave the Constitution legally binding status. Dave actively denies and refutes modern understandings of the Constitution made long after the ratification conventions, which claim that the Constitution is a “living document” that grants the federal government a vast reservoir of “implied” powers.
Dave believes strongly that the Constitution was not written and implemented in a whimsical fashion, but instead through a particularly laborious and exhaustive understanding of the British experience that the founders lived under and observed. That generation recognized the usurpation of power by tyrannical kings through treacherous means, and understood the historical processes used to stop it and constrain a ruling authority. It is only through an avid understanding of approximately 800 years of the British and American experience that we can understand the framework of the United States Constitution.
Dave considers himself as Jeffersonian at heart and teaches about the dangers of an overreaching centralized authority, viewing the states as the “surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies.” Dave is an opponent of perpetual debt, centralized banking, and fiat currency, and uses constitutional arguments in support of these positions.
Dave was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has lived most of his life in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Dave has a Bachelor’s Degree in History Education from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. He currently lives in Roseville, Minnesota.
Dave is the author of Compact of the Republic: The League of States and the Constitution, a historical narrative that promises to be the definitive defense of the compact theory and throws a proverbial wrench into contemporary legal thought.
A few books Dave recognizes as compelling influences include Virginia’s American Revolution by Kevin Gutzman, Government by Judiciary by Raoul Berger, The Founding Fathers Guide to the Constitution by Brion McClanahan, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Tom Woods.
In his free time, Dave enjoys reading, NFL football, Chinese language studies, music, and movies.
Dave’s favorite quote is that of Thomas Jefferson: “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”