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JEQuidam
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Only 23% believe fed government has consent of the governed

Post by JEQuidam »

Rasmussen poll: “Only 23% believe the federal government today has the consent of the governed. Sixty percent (60%) do not think this is the case, while another 17% are undecided.” Also: “Just 17% believe most congressmen get reelected because of the good job they do representing their constituents.”

Nothing surprising there. Here is what is more interesting to me: “The Political Class, however, strongly disagrees. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of those in the Political Class believe the government does have the consent of the governed.” I wonder if that is delusion or arrogance.

Rasmussen poll: Just 23% Say Federal Government Has Consent of the Governed (May 13, 2011)

BTW, same story as last year: Only 21% Say US Gov. Has Consent of the Governed

This is so frustrating for me because everyone sees the problem, but so few people realize that the solution is much smaller electoral districts.
Pseudolus
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Re: Only 23% believe fed government has consent of the gover

Post by Pseudolus »

JEQuidam wrote:This is so frustrating for me because everyone sees the problem, but so few people realize that the solution is much smaller electoral districts.
I can understand your frustration, but you are making a difference. When I first stumbled on your site, I laughed aloud because I thought the idea sounded so ludicrous. As I kept reading, I realized--although it sounds crazy at first--it's actually a brilliant solution. Now, I'm one of your staunchest supporters. I talk about the benefits of greater representation all the time. And in time, the people will be convinced and will be swayed.

As Thomas Paine said, "We have it in our power to begin the world over again."
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JEQuidam
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Re: Only 23% believe fed government has consent of the gover

Post by JEQuidam »

Pseudolus wrote:When I first stumbled on your site, I laughed aloud because I thought the idea sounded so ludicrous. As I kept reading, I realized--although it sounds crazy at first--it's actually a brilliant solution. Now, I'm one of your staunchest supporters.
Thank you for those words of encouragement!

It is a brilliant solution. That's why the creators of the Bill of Rights intended it to be the First Amendment. Had the wording of Article the first not been sabotaged in the waning hours of the first Congress, it would have been ratified and our beautiful republic would not be in the peril it is today.

Imagine how many other concepts in the Constitution and Bill of Rights would have been considered "ludicrous" by the Founders' contemporaries, especially in Europe. The Founders' radical notions were considered quite dangerous and, in many parts of the world, they still are viewed as dangerous (by tyrants). The missing piece of the puzzle, this one last dangerous idea, has yet to be implemented: Establish a maximum population size for congressional districts.
Pseudolus
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Re: Only 23% believe fed government has consent of the gover

Post by Pseudolus »

JEQuidam wrote: Thank you for those words of encouragement!
You're very welcome. I express them with wholehearted sincerity.
JEQuidam wrote:Had the wording of Article the first not been sabotaged in the waning hours of the first Congress, it would have been ratified and our beautiful republic would not be in the peril it is today.
Do we have any idea why, after the discovery of the error and subsequent failure of the first amendment, the Framers didn't correct the amendment's wording and resubmit it for a new vote?
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JEQuidam
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Re: Only 23% believe fed government has consent of the gover

Post by JEQuidam »

Pseudolus wrote:Do we have any idea why, after the discovery of the error and subsequent failure of the first amendment, the Framers didn't correct the amendment's wording and resubmit it for a new vote?
My theory: once it was realized, it would have been embarrassing that the very first amendment inscribed in the historic Bill of Rights document contained a fundamental mathematical error (a defect that was not in the earlier version drafted by the House). It was then hidden away in history's attic, figuratively speaking. There is a huge amount of scholarly work on everything else in the Bill of Rights, but nothing about Article the first (except for TTO's report). How does one explain that? It's a huge blind spot in our understanding of our own history.

Everything I could find on the subject is provided in this TTO report: The Minimum and Maximum Size of the U. S. House of Representatives. The pdf can be downloaded from that page. It is comprehensive and well footnoted. A brief summary of this subject is also provided in Section 3 of Taking Back Our Republic.

This forum is devoted to Article the first, but not much discussion there so far.
Pseudolus
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Re: Only 23% believe fed government has consent of the gover

Post by Pseudolus »

JEQuidam wrote:My theory: once it was realized, it would have been embarrassing that the very first amendment inscribed in the historic Bill of Rights document contained a fundamental mathematical error (a defect that was not in the earlier version drafted by the House). It was then hidden away in history's attic, figuratively speaking. There is a huge amount of scholarly work on everything else in the Bill of Rights, but nothing about Article the first (except for TTO's report). How does one explain that? It's a huge blind spot in our understanding of our own history.
Even if it's just a matter of embarrassment, there must be letters from Madison about this. Someone has to have them. If we could find a letter by Madison saying something like:

  • When I ponder on that failed attempt, my face flushes with embarrassment that so important an amendment could be sullied with an error so glaring. Even now I fear were we to reintroduce the bill in proper form, our adversaries in Legislature would expose the original flaw to such a degree as to question the whole document and, in that manner, tear our fragile Republic apart. I can only hope in time the wisdom of the whole will be proved, and that in time the inheritors of our efforts will realize the importance of securing representation in numbers equivalent to that which was first proposed. It is imperative to democracy that the common man have an inlet to government not through nobility of name but through the influence of ideas and the persuasion of a handshake to his neighbors.
Have you tried reaching out to historians to see if such a letter exists?
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JEQuidam
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Re: Only 23% believe fed government has consent of the gover

Post by JEQuidam »

Pseudolus wrote:Have you tried reaching out to historians to see if such a letter exists?
I've spent many hours in the Library of Congress, other libraries, and examining other sources. I've tracked down every footnote I can. I've made numerous phone calls. Unfortunately, I never found anything that blatant. An appendix of the report identified above lists every historical work I could find where Article the first was discussed. There are a few more in the footnotes throughout the document. You should download that report if only to glance through it.

I dream of the day when scholars will pick up where I left off and take up this very interesting area of inquiry.
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