Skip to comments.FReeper Book Club: The Debate over the Constitution, Centinel #1
Posted on 02/01/2010 7:56:26 AM PST by Publius
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I've worked through this argument several times and abandoned this premise. It would take more effort to bribe so many officials, but the bribes would be much smaller and therefore more difficult to discover. For one thing, there would be 10,000 possible sources of corruption to investigate. I return to the belief that the Congress should have more members not because of the economy of bribery. The economy of scale in the current system makes it unworkable. How can one person represent half a million people living in up to twenty different towns?
The suggestion is ridiculous. It also costs a fortune to run a legitimate campaign against the incumbent. Politicians quickly learn the value of photo ops and speechifying. It gets their names out, and people rarely question the validity of the news story. The challenger has to create these media exposures for himself. This takes time and money, which eliminates many potentially good candidates. He has to convince more than 250,000 people that he is the right person for the job.
If the district contains less people, it is easier to do this. The district is not one of the gerrymandered abortions we currently use, so the people actually have things in common. If the district only has 30,000 people, or 50,000 (my preferred number) then it's much easier to reach them. You'd be surprised how many hands you can shake standing outside Wal-Mart on a Saturday morning. I can do that, even driving my little Chevy and working full time. You can do it, too. Even if our campaigns rely on BS, we have to stand in front of a group of people and smile while we deliver that BS. If we deliver enough BS, our neighbor BilltheDrill might also decide that he can run for the office against both of us.
Is that not the situation we currently find ourselves in?
Do we not have currently a single "same hands" group very much in control of all three branches of our government?
I believe we do and the "same hands" group I speak of is lawyers.
You cannot properly represent the people when they do not understand the proper processes of government.
As has been known for thousands of years, once the people recognize they have power, they will do all they can to gain riches from the treasury.
I read Bryan as saying, not that property ought to be RE-distributed, but merely that a fairly equal distribution of property is a necessary precondition for free government to flourish. In other words, upon seeing vast disparities of property in a nation, he would not be optimistic that a republic could thrive there.
I agree that was the intention of Bryans statement about wealth in relation to a new form of government. I'm assuming that real property (land) was what he was considering.
One way to become wealthy at that time was to acquire land at low cost and immediately cut the timber off to be burnt on site. The ashes from the burnt hardwoods (potash) could be sold at a price that would cover the cost of the land and also the labor involved. The land could then be used for farming or pasture. Even the most destitute man, if he was industrious enough and physically able, could become a landowner in a fairly short period of time.
Verse 16 and 17..native wisdom or “common sense” does tend to reside with the people.
See Daniel Boone and how he was taken to task by a constituent regarding the government getting involved in settling money upon a man who had died in service of his country.
According to Boone, while it was a worthy and noble cause, it was not the proper place of government to do such.
How many times have so called “experts” said one thing, then, 10 years later, after further study, reversed themselves?
It looks to me like Bryan has no problem with elites being in government, but, he understood having a government of just elites would tend to distance government from the people.
When one class of people runs government, government is going to reflect the biases of that class.
BTT for night shift.
I agree that business is a big impediment at whatever scale the republic is. However, a countervailing situation would be that the individuals would see the effects of this open border policy in a very real sense and the people who are suffering under this would be right there to do something about it. They would also be in a better position to do something real about the problem. About the best I can do right now is confirm that people who are coming in to do my yard or construction work are legal. If not, I don't do business with them, hoping to starve the beast.
I would say lawyers and bankers/financiers. Lawyers seem to lapse into case law discussions where the average common sense person's eyes would glaze over and would revert the discussion to where it needs to be - the Constitution. I think equally privileged and elitist are the bankers. If I were president, I'd certainly want to break up this lovefest amongst Goldman Sachs, the government, and the Fed. I was struck when Michelle Bachman asked Tim Geithner to tell her where in the Constitution it said he had the right to do (whatever it was he was doing). He acted as if he had never heard of the document. Scary.
That seems to work when the representatives are insulated from the constituents. I propose to remove that insulation.
Remember how they insulated themselves during their town hall meetings? They ridiculed those who believed in fiscal restraint and the proper role of our government.
Gee....just like the Nazis ridiculed the Jews.
What I am speaking of, and what Madison was talking about as well, is any group with similar interests gaining control of all three branches of government.
Look closely at all three branches of our government today and see what group you think that might be.
That is one of my favorite words.
I know someone who is simultaneously obsequious, abstruse, and pedantic. He is overly fawning when addressing others, speaks in a highly professorial manner, and focuses on minute detail and technicality when discussing topics.
But he's a nice guy.
I think the problem with today's "elites" is that they see themselves as trans-national, which was probably not the case in the 18th century.
Look at the reaction by elites to the Iraq wars. They refused to show patriotism, wear flag lapel pins, even said they would not inform American military if they became aware of impending ambush.
The People, on the other hand, seem to have much more nationalistic pride in their country, and are not ashamed to openly express it, and even rejoice in it. It is from the aggregated People that we get a collective concious of what it means to be American, and why a national identity is important.
Being ruled only by people who cannot or will not articulate an American exceptionalism would lead to an erasure of ties to America's history, and the temporal responsibilities between "antiquity" and "posterity," as Paine and others often cited.
That’s a good obsevation. There is a little too much Oxford and Sorbonne, and too little Georgia Tech.
Fascinating history about whiskey and how tax makes people relocate businesses.
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