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Thread: The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)

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    The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)

    From the Guardian:
    The 100 best nonfiction books: No 81 - The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ - 1788

    Excerpt -
    Addressing a debate that reverberates to the present day, Hamilton and Madison made a brilliant and powerful case for “the UNION”. In essay no 9 (the words are Hamilton’s) we see their breadth of wisdom and learning: “It is impossible to read the history of the petty republics of Greece and Italy without feeling sensations of horror and disgust at the distractions with which they were continually agitated, and at the rapid successions of revolutions by which they were kept in a state of perpetual vibration between the extremes of tyranny and anarchy.”

    To this, Jay added his own voice, in another powerful essay: “Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of government; and it is equally undeniable that whenever and however it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights, in order to vest it with requisite powers.”

    In such a situation, said Jay, Americans had to ask themselves the one question that would eventually morph into the debate about states’ rights: “Whether it would conduce more to the interests of the people that they should be one nation, under one federal government, than that they should divide themselves into separate confederacies…”

    Who knows how many Americans ever fully engaged with the complex and enthralling ideas embodied in this remarkable, and strangely passionate, text? At the time, these essays were avidly consumed by voters and readers in New York, to whom they were addressed. Hamilton seems to have encouraged the reprinting of his work in newspapers outside New York State and in several other states where the ratification debate was raging.

    In reality, they appeared irregularly outside New York, and in other parts of the country, where they were often overshadowed by local writers addressing local issues, a phenomenon that persists. In the long run, what was really influential, as many have pointed out, was the rhetorical dignity and decorum expressed in these polemical pages. “Publius” was learned, wise, tolerant and, above all, rational. He was a figure of the Enlightenment who believed in secular society and secular government. And perhaps he wasn’t wrong.

    The US constitution is still going strong, in some ways now more so than ever. Despite the ugliest rhetoric ever witnessed within the Union, America is not “broken”, though possibly not in the best of health. That it should draw any political breath at all, in the current circumstances, is due significantly to the writings of men such as Hamilton, Madison and Jay.
    In the present public "debate", it seems that we have forgot the reasons why - subsequent to the defeat of the British monarchy - the states had some difficulty in agreeing to combine into one nation under a central government. It was particularly the southern-states who were preoccupied with their lack of population vis-a-vis the north. Which, ipso facto, gave them less political power in which to maneuver.

    The only way to appease them was to "manipulate" the popular-vote by means of the Electoral College, which lead to this historical fact: Five times in the history of the United States a democratic popular-vote was overturned by the Electoral College.

    This fact alone is a travesty of democratic rule!

    For true democracy to reign in our republic of states, we must "grow up" to the fact that ONLY THE POPULAR VOTE decides the presidency. Just like it decides elections to the Legislature and all public offices within the states ...

    NB: And the fact that it will be difficult to overturn the 12th Amendment to bring Truly Complete Democracy to America is simply a "given", and not a reason not to do so. We are simply correcting an historical mistake that is an obstacle to true democracy.
    Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them; then neither persons nor property will be safe. (Frederick Douglass)

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    Re: The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)

    From Time Magazine (2016) : The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists

    Excerpt:
    One Founding-era argument for the Electoral College stemmed from the fact that ordinary Americans across a vast continent would lack sufficient information to choose directly and intelligently among leading presidential candidates.

    This objection rang true in the 1780s, when life was far more local. But the early emergence of national presidential parties rendered the objection obsolete by linking presidential candidates to slates of local candidates and national platforms, which explained to voters who stood for what.

    Although the Philadelphia framers did not anticipate the rise of a system of national presidential parties, the 12th Amendment—proposed in 1803 and ratified a year later— was framed with such a party system in mind, in the aftermath of the election of 1800-01. In that election, two rudimentary presidential parties—Federalists led by John Adams and Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson—took shape and squared off.

    Enter the 12th Amendment, which allowed each party to designate one candidate for president and a separate candidate for vice president. The amendment’s modifications of the electoral process transformed the Framers’ framework, enabling future presidential elections to be openly populist and partisan affairs featuring two competing tickets.

    Standard civics-class accounts of the Electoral College rarely mention the real demon dooming direct national election in 1787 and 1803: slavery. [Who were counted but not allowed to vote!]

    Thus, at the time the Twelfth Amendment tinkered with the Electoral College system rather than tossing it, the system’s pro-slavery bias was hardly a secret. Indeed, in the floor debate over the amendment in late 1803, Massachusetts Congressman Samuel Thatcher complained that “The representation of slaves adds thirteen members to this House in the present Congress, and eighteen Electors of President and Vice President at the next election.” But Thatcher’s complaint went unredressed. Once again, the North caved to the South by refusing to insist on direct national election.
    This bit of history is unfortunate, but the Civil War and freeing the slaves (thus making them citizens and having the right to vote) did not change the unbalanced voting of the Electoral College, which looks like this:


    It's high-time we changed it ...
    Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them; then neither persons nor property will be safe. (Frederick Douglass)

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    Re: The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)

    This is the dumbest argument I've ever read for abolishing the Electoral College, especially considering that you didn't actually present one.
    It's not "tolerance" if you already approve of what you purport to "tolerate."

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    Re: The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lafayette View Post
    From the Guardian:
    The 100 best nonfiction books: No 81 - The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ - 1788

    Excerpt -


    In the present public "debate", it seems that we have forgot the reasons why - subsequent to the defeat of the British monarchy - the states had some difficulty in agreeing to combine into one nation under a central government. It was particularly the southern-states who were preoccupied with their lack of population vis-a-vis the north. Which, ipso facto, gave them less political power in which to maneuver.

    The only way to appease them was to "manipulate" the popular-vote by means of the Electoral College, which lead to this historical fact: Five times in the history of the United States a democratic popular-vote was overturned by the Electoral College.

    This fact alone is a travesty of democratic rule!

    For true democracy to reign in our republic of states, we must "grow up" to the fact that ONLY THE POPULAR VOTE decides the presidency. Just like it decides elections to the Legislature and all public offices within the states ...

    NB: And the fact that it will be difficult to overturn the 12th Amendment to bring Truly Complete Democracy to America is simply a "given", and not a reason not to do so. We are simply correcting an historical mistake that is an obstacle to true democracy.
    It is fine to remind of the papers. They were a good read.

    It is wrong, however, to believe that the "only way to appease them was to "manipulate" the popular-vote by means of the Electoral College". There are many mechanisms required for a democratic system, if it is not a purely theoretical society. That is one of the things one sees immediately, when one studies how democratic constitutions are constructed and how the various checks and balances work together in an integrated system of civic organization. I realize that that is a more complex argument, than the daily populist can bare, but to want to remove one element from a large and complex whole is not as easily argued, unless one wants to do mischief to the country.

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    Re: The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    This is the dumbest argument I've ever read for abolishing the Electoral College, especially considering that you didn't actually present one.
    Imagine if the following scenario were the way sports operated.

    Dad takes Junior to a basketball game and its the kids first actual live game. They live in Michigan and are watching the Pistons.

    Here is the scoring for each quarter.

    1st quarter: Lakers 24 - Pistons 23
    2nd quarter Lakers 25 - Detroit 24
    3rd quarter Lakers 31 - Detroit 29
    4th quarter Pistons 36 - Lakers 21

    Final score Pistons 112 - Lakers 101

    As they leave the arena Junior is beaming from ear to ear since the home team won. Dad is not so happy nor are most of the exiting Detroit fans.

    Junior: That was a great game Dad. I am glad Detroit won.
    Dad: Well they did outscore the Lakers son, but we lost the game.
    Junior: No Dad - we won 112 to 101. We scored the most points.
    Dad: Well son, the league changed the rules to make sure every quarter was hard fought. They put in a system where the winner of each quarter gets one point and the one who scores the most points in the game gets an additional point. Since Los Angeles won three quarters they earned three points and Detroit who won only one quarter and the most points in the game got only two points. So the Lakers win three points to two.
    Son: Thats stupid. Every kid knows that when you get the most points you win. Adults are really dumb.
    Dad: Well son, did I ever tell you about the Electoral College?
    __________________________________________________ _
    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers

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    Re: The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lafayette View Post
    From the Guardian:
    The 100 best nonfiction books: No 81 - The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ - 1788

    Excerpt -


    In the present public "debate", it seems that we have forgot the reasons why - subsequent to the defeat of the British monarchy - the states had some difficulty in agreeing to combine into one nation under a central government. It was particularly the southern-states who were preoccupied with their lack of population vis-a-vis the north. Which, ipso facto, gave them less political power in which to maneuver.

    The only way to appease them was to "manipulate" the popular-vote by means of the Electoral College, which lead to this historical fact: Five times in the history of the United States a democratic popular-vote was overturned by the Electoral College.

    This fact alone is a travesty of democratic rule!

    For true democracy to reign in our republic of states, we must "grow up" to the fact that ONLY THE POPULAR VOTE decides the presidency. Just like it decides elections to the Legislature and all public offices within the states ...

    NB: And the fact that it will be difficult to overturn the 12th Amendment to bring Truly Complete Democracy to America is simply a "given", and not a reason not to do so. We are simply correcting an historical mistake that is an obstacle to true democracy.
    The problem is that the True Democracy you exhort is the true end of the Federal Republic.

    You are asking that the country be divided immediately into at least two sub countries.

    How in the world does the excerpt from the Federalist Papers support your thesis?
    I am not of the mind that a man is either of science or of religion. At his best and his worst, man exists in the misty glimmering where the falling angel meets the rising ape. That he chooses a direction from that point defines him as human.

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    Re: The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Imagine if the following scenario were the way sports operated.

    Dad takes Junior to a basketball game and its the kids first actual live game. They live in Michigan and are watching the Pistons.

    Here is the scoring for each quarter.

    1st quarter: Lakers 24 - Pistons 23
    2nd quarter Lakers 25 - Detroit 24
    3rd quarter Lakers 31 - Detroit 29
    4th quarter Pistons 36 - Lakers 21

    Final score Pistons 112 - Lakers 101

    As they leave the arena Junior is beaming from ear to ear since the home team won. Dad is not so happy nor are most of the exiting Detroit fans.

    Junior: That was a great game Dad. I am glad Detroit won.
    Dad: Well they did outscore the Lakers son, but we lost the game.
    Junior: No Dad - we won 112 to 101. We scored the most points.
    Dad: Well son, the league changed the rules to make sure every quarter was hard fought. They put in a system where the winner of each quarter gets one point and the one who scores the most points in the game gets an additional point. Since Los Angeles won three quarters they earned three points and Detroit who won only one quarter and the most points in the game got only two points. So the Lakers win three points to two.
    Son: Thats stupid. Every kid knows that when you get the most points you win. Adults are really dumb.
    Dad: Well son, did I ever tell you about the Electoral College?

    Still struggling to accept the giant Hillary loss. Your silly basketball story means nothing. Absolutely nothing!
    You just have to accept the fact and move on with your life. Trump won! Now repeat after me Trump won!
    This is an all-out assault on Trump and the election result.
    It’s no longer about Russian collusion, if it ever was.


    William A. Jacobson, Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell Law School.

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    Re: The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)

    Quote Originally Posted by Common Sense 1 View Post
    Still struggling to accept the giant Hillary loss. Your silly basketball story means nothing. Absolutely nothing!
    You just have to accept the fact and move on with your life. Trump won! Now repeat after me Trump won!
    Is there some disability which prevents you from discussing the issue on its merits and resorting to childish personal sniping?
    __________________________________________________ _
    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers

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    Re: The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)

    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    Imagine if the following scenario were the way sports operated.

    Dad takes Junior to a basketball game and its the kids first actual live game. They live in Michigan and are watching the Pistons.

    Here is the scoring for each quarter.

    1st quarter: Lakers 24 - Pistons 23
    2nd quarter Lakers 25 - Detroit 24
    3rd quarter Lakers 31 - Detroit 29
    4th quarter Pistons 36 - Lakers 21

    Final score Pistons 112 - Lakers 101

    As they leave the arena Junior is beaming from ear to ear since the home team won. Dad is not so happy nor are most of the exiting Detroit fans.

    Junior: That was a great game Dad. I am glad Detroit won.
    Dad: Well they did outscore the Lakers son, but we lost the game.
    Junior: No Dad - we won 112 to 101. We scored the most points.
    Dad: Well son, the league changed the rules to make sure every quarter was hard fought. They put in a system where the winner of each quarter gets one point and the one who scores the most points in the game gets an additional point. Since Los Angeles won three quarters they earned three points and Detroit who won only one quarter and the most points in the game got only two points. So the Lakers win three points to two.
    Son: Thats stupid. Every kid knows that when you get the most points you win. Adults are really dumb.
    Dad: Well son, did I ever tell you about the Electoral College?
    The intent of the Electoral College is to represent the Presidential preference of the various states, not the individual people.

    The needs and goals of the people in Wyoming are vastly different than the needs and goals of the people of New York.

    You would also put out of work the State level government employees. If you think the BMV works slowly now, just imagine it as run by the IRS.

    To do what you seem to prefer will require a Constitutional Convention.

    Federal - definition of federal by The Free Dictionary

    <snip>
    Fed·er·al (fĕd′ər-əl, fĕd′rəl)
    adj.
    1. Of, relating to, or being a form of government in which a union of states recognizes the sovereignty of a central authority while retaining certain residual powers of government.
    2. Of or constituting a form of government in which sovereign power is divided between a central authority and a number of constituent political units.
    3. Of or relating to the central government of a federation as distinct from the governments of its member units.
    4. Favorable to or advocating federation: The senator's federal leanings were well known.
    5. Relating to or formed by a treaty or compact between constituent political units.
    <snip>
    Last edited by code1211; 08-21-17 at 08:24 AM.
    I am not of the mind that a man is either of science or of religion. At his best and his worst, man exists in the misty glimmering where the falling angel meets the rising ape. That he chooses a direction from that point defines him as human.

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    Re: The Federalist Papers by ‘Publius’ (1788)

    Quote Originally Posted by code1211 View Post
    The intent of the Electoral College is to represent the Presidential preference of the various states, not the individual people.

    The needs and goals of the people in Wyoming are vastly different than the needs and goals of the people of New York.

    To do what you seem to prefer will require a Constitutional Convention.

    Federal - definition of federal by The Free Dictionary

    <snip>
    Fed·er·al (fĕd′ər-əl, fĕd′rəl)
    adj.
    1. Of, relating to, or being a form of government in which a union of states recognizes the sovereignty of a central authority while retaining certain residual powers of government.
    2. Of or constituting a form of government in which sovereign power is divided between a central authority and a number of constituent political units.
    3. Of or relating to the central government of a federation as distinct from the governments of its member units.
    4. Favorable to or advocating federation: The senator's federal leanings were well known.
    5. Relating to or formed by a treaty or compact between constituent political units.
    <snip>
    It is NOT 1787 anymore. Once upon a time in a land that realistically no longer exists, people were born in one place, grew up in that same place, worked and lived in that same place, married and had kids in that same place, and then died in that same place. That was the general rule although there were exceptions. Lots and lots of people - most people actually - did not go more than 100 miles from the place they were born ever.

    And those people identified with those places and called themselves Virginians or New Yorkers or Georgians or Pennsylvanians and their state was their identity. But a century went past and then another and now people are born in Michigan and move to Indiana where they go to school, and then go to college in Mississippi and take jobs over forty years in Texas and then Oregon and then Idaho and finally in Ohio. And they met somebody and fell in love with a person with a whole different history of their own. And if they are lucky they can retire in sunny Florida or Arizona. And their three kids were born in two different states and when thy got older they went to colleges in Massachusetts and Illinois and one even went to Michigan. And they married people with different histories as well.

    So today we are no longer a Massachusetts man or a Virginian or an Oklahoman. Today we are Americans. We are one nation. We are one people. And the President is President for all regardless of the community or residence.

    As I said, its not 1787 any longer and the mechanism that may have worked then is badly out of date.
    __________________________________________________ _
    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.... John Rogers

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