The Lost Vision of the Founding Fathers

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  1. I think it’s evident, looking at all the controls to keep mass sentinment being quickly translated into law, that they were worried about what happens when power resides in a population that’s not terribly informed or educated. I think they also couldn’t have imagined the changes in how information is spread that have happened since the 18th century.
    During the VP debate, CNN ran a crawl with how positive or negative a group of uncommitted voters in Ohio felt about what the candidates were saying – in real time, word for word. I kept looking at it and thinking, is this supposed to be useful? Is this supposed to illustrate an intelligent way to make a decision?

  2. Good point, John. And I agree. The Industrial and Technology Revolutions have changed many things, and if the FFs could re-draft the Constitution today, there’d be a bit more strength to the safeguards they were looking for.
    So what do you think about the centralization of power in the Federal Government?

  3. With all due respect the Founding Fathers would vomit if they saw what our system has become. With an uninformed population, these politicians can run wild until they face an election. I saw the John Adams series and I literally shed tears because I am HUNGRY for that kind of leadership and vision. These people are only concerned about getting elected and staying elected. I wish someone would stand up to these two parties and call them out!

  4. Jefferson felt that the Constitution should be updated every 20 years or so. That idea would have taken care of a lot of the loopholes and ‘What they meant’ discussions going on today.
    Maybe we’d have nailed down the right to bare arms (or is it bear arms, or some other type of arms) by now.

  5. Oh, and I still want a third house that represents portions of the US public, rather then portions of a state. If a third party gets 10% of the country’s vote, then give them 10% of the seats in the third house. Let the fringe be heard, as well as the mainstream.

  6. I have been having the same feelings for all you reasons and more. In the middle of boston is a grave yard where Samuel Adams, john Hancock and other signers of the Declaration of Indenpence lay.The marker Samuel Adams is a small rumble rock with rock graffetti on top. I’ll post photo for’s sad the disrespect …..we are surely not the Nation they invisioned.

  7. Pan_theFrog – that “third house” you refer to is the House of Representatives. It was designed to represent the People, with members being elected directly (the Senate was designed to represent the States.) The idea was to set districts up along natural community boundaries – the idea of the type of diversity we have today (esp. in large urban areas) probably didn’t enter the Founding Fathers’ heads.

  8. Ed T. – The diversity is the reason I want a third house of Congress. I live in an area that is very conservative, very fundimentalist. I want a chance to get my voice heard, but as long as I and others like me make up less then 20% of the vote in our district… we might as well stay at home. Our vote is ignored, our voice unheard. The only voice that is heard is that of the mob, like the booming bass blasting out of a car covers the sound of the kid quietly playing a guitar. Is one better then the other? That is a matter of opinion… but it is one that can only be formed by those who can hear both sounds.
    We are no longer a world where it takes 6 months for news to travel across the nation. I spend as much time talking to people 1000+ miles away as I do 5 feet away. We are a Nation, as well as a collection of States.
    It is time we the people were given a National voice, as well as a local one.

  9. Pan — I’ve read that communities are becoming more homogenous with the increased political polarization, and people are doing shifting about around the country. It wouldn’t surprise me.
    My area is not diverse, politically, either… and there are places even less so. (Think San Francisco, for instance.)
    I’ve had similar conversations with Dear Husband, where I bemoaned the lack of voice in a similar way (though less poetically — well said!). But structurally, I think we’re in a box canyon.

  10. I think it’s tough to argue that SF is less politically diverse than Katy. To the left, no doubt, but you find a pretty wide range of opinions there (thus the incredibly contentious local politics).

  11. Maybe you’re right, John. But I looked at the candidates they have on the ballot in opposition to Nancy Pelosi there yesterday or the day before, and I was astounded by them. OTOH, at least they have several names on there, however alike some of them seem to me. I have only one name on my House of Representatives ballot.

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