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InsiderOnline Blog: November 2004

Lessons in American Democracy

Tara Ross just lays it out for the Electoral College haters, here. The Founders never intended a direct democracy, and what they gave us is infinitely better:

Despite (Founders') strong statements against democracy, the Founders were also strong advocates for self-government, and they often spoke of the need to allow the will of the people to operate in the new government that they were crafting. "Notwithstanding the oppressions & injustice experienced among us from democracy," Virginia delegate George Mason declared, "the genius of the people must be consulted."32 James Madison agreed, speaking of the "honorable determination which animates every votary of freedom to rest all our political experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government."

Their fierce opposition to simple democracy ran headlong into their determination to allow the people to govern themselves--and they knew that voters in small states would need to be free to govern themselves, just as would citizens in large states. The Founders reconciled these seemingly conflicting needs by creating a republican government, organized on federalist principles, in which minorities would be given many opportunities to make themselves heard.

Read it and print it for your friends who cry foul over the Electoral College, though I have a feeling there will be fewer this year than in 2000.

Posted on 11/04/04 02:07 PM by Mary Katherine Ham

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