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23 June 2017

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Lars

Then there is this from the (TIME) history books:

"Standard civics-class accounts of the Electoral College rarely mention the real demon dooming direct national election in 1787 and 1803: slavery.

At the Philadelphia convention, the visionary Pennsylvanian James Wilson proposed direct national election of the president. But the savvy Virginian James Madison responded that such a system would prove unacceptable to the South: “The right of suffrage was much more diffusive [i.e., extensive] in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of Negroes.” In other words, in a direct election system, the North would outnumber the South, whose many slaves (more than half a million in all) of course could not vote. But the Electoral College—a prototype of which Madison proposed in this same speech—instead let each southern state count its slaves, albeit with a two-fifths discount, in computing its share of the overall count."

It was more than protecting Rhode Island or New Hampshire and the election system has still been corrupted by too much money.

richard sale

Excellent insights.

Richard

richard sale

To me, that is a nitpicking point that adds little insight. Yes, the Electoral College elected him.

Richard

richard sale

Tank you.

richad

richard sale

You wield a very dogmatic, authoritarian tone.
In what was do I not have a critical spirit?

Explain. I gather you like white identity politics.

And I am not going anywhere.

Richard

Mikey

On a positive note:

"Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment."

"A law found to discriminate based on viewpoint is an “egregious form of content discrimination,” which is “presumptively unconstitutional.” … A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/06/19/supreme-court-unanimously-reaffirms-there-is-no-hate-speech-exception-to-the-first-amendment/?utm_term=.da6b022bc8c9

richard sale

I think he was.

Richard

richard sale

Hear, hear.

Richard

Bobo

Richard

You like minnows I like cattle. We are all in a herd and are allowed to occasionally drift but eventually steered back into the pack. As we have reached a point in life we have more time to ponder what's to come of our nation, life or our world. Those are big things. Who is in office today is only temporary, I did vote for the winner but that is no honor badge. I still kick myself as when it came to the bottom of the ballot to select who to vote for Soil Conservation Board I was lost as I had not done my research so eerie, meanie.......won out. Put me in the Dumber class an Independant.
I look to our future with great hopes as this younger group has their act together better than we did as they see what we thought were obstacles as challenges to overcome. Just look at Musk, Bezos et al and their herds they have no time to waste. Great things are coming so either get up and join or sit back and enjoy as there is a purpose in all them electronic gadgets.
I greatly enjoyed your essay as I always need to read your work three times. The first I always get enraged, the second I dwell on its value and the third I better understand the intent.
BTW these political parties are evolving and may not be around in a generation or less.

fanto

Richard,
Thanks for your beautiful, clearly written thoughts. I feel like I had those thoughts, but could not put them in words. I feel that nothing else need to be said, but let me add here my personal reminiscences with the background of your essay.
The subject of leading a society, or politics, is very old. Plato’s Republic is a good start. So, humanistic education, including philosophy, ethics should be high on the list of priorities. Now, I may tell something about my old Dad, who was educated in the humanistic “Gymnasium” in Germany, and he finished it just in time to be a soldier in the WW1. (he knew the gas warfare up close and spent time in the trenches and dugouts, smoking and not thinking beyond the length of the cigarette…). He praised to heavens the excellent education he and his generation received. As a youngster I have queried him, how it was possible that the so wonderfully humanistically educated elite could allow the rise of the brutal Nazi regime and Hitler in particular. How was it possible for such well educated elite of his generation, to allow the rule of mob. Here my father was at a loss, and was saying, “…youngster, you don’t know what it was like, you did not live through it..., the educated people were not that many, the masses were stronger..., the poverty, the inflation after the war…, it is hard to explain to a person who did not live through it…”. He gave me a novel by Frank Thiess “Der Leibhaftige” (“The Devils Shadow” and “Design for living”) written in 1920’s. It is fascinating how history seems to repeat itself, because the novel describes very same events as we see today, including drugs, sex, political murders, society in downward spiral. Thiess was not liked by Nazis and his books were burned. Your description is so accurate, of young people who seem to know it all better, the need to assimilate with the trend, the need to conform are all over the world, but some societies are “worse” than others, it seems to me.

turcopolier

lars

I understand that as a left leaning immigrant to the US who basically has no "skin in the game" of American history, you have no sympathy for the losing side in the War Between the States. the editors of Time history books (whatever that is) are preaching to the choir for you. But, there are other points of view, often held by people who live around you and who deeply resent the insult now daily heaped on the ancestors who they belive fought to preserve constitutional government in a country created to establish a government of limited purposes and powers. Do you have any sympathy for those Americans or do you just think them bsckward racists? Do you favor the destruction of the memory of the Confederate side in the WBS? pl

richard sale

Thank you.

Richard

richard sale

Throughout history, passions and reason have been at war. Reason is always weak in the face of passion which is why civilizations collapse.

Richard

Babak Makkinejad

I think that civilizations die when their ideology informing the minds of its inhabitants no longer reigns supreme.
In the Wesrern Fortress, in Ltin America the Enlightenment Tradition still reigns supreme (in the minds of men) - while a much-diminished Catholic Church serenly waits for its opportunity to step in things go south.
This pressnt moment is imbued not by impending doom but rather with Hubris informed with a profound sense of Judement about men and the affairs of men.
IN MY OPINION.

Babak Makkinejad

Correction:

Meant to say:

"...Hubris informed with a profound absence of Judgement about men and the affairs of men."

Peter AU

Critical capacity.
Is this something that is suppressed in higher education. Many people in professional positions that should require a high IQ seem to lack this trait.

Lars

Maybe, for the reasons that you claim, we immigrants could be more objective about American history? There should not be any doubts that the Confederacy lost their insurrection and now seem to be losing stature in the public square.

It should be obvious that slavery played a large part in starting that insurrection and the legacy of it plays a part in what is happening now.

I am aware that for many, American history is more mythical than factual. As has been pointed out occasionally in these pages, that can create some considerable dysfunction to the detriment of the nation.

turcopolier

lars

How truly arrogant and condescending. This is especially sad coming from a Swede whose mother country oppressed both the Finns and Norwegians. Southerners will dispute the notion that secession was an "insurrection" since the constitution mentions nowhere then or now that the Union was indissoluble. pl

Lars

Since then, Sweden has set a world record: It has been over 200 years since Swedish soldiers killed anyone in combat, unless sanctioned by the UN. Comparatively, the Finns and the Norwegian were not all that oppressed.

It may be disputed by some that it was not a insurrection, even if it sure looks like it was. Just as the American Revolution, was not quite one. It was also an insurrection, with the losers mainly retreating to Canada.

turcopolier

lars

The WBS looks like an insurrection if you don't care what the "deal" was in creating the US and have a nationalist view of what resulted. As for whether or nor the Norwegians and Finns were oppressed, the oppressors always believe that the "little people" were better off under imperial rule. We believe that about the Filipinos (those of us who know the islands were once US possessions) The British believed that about the Irish, Indians, etc. I suppose you know that there were several hundred Swedish volunteers in the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking. pl

Lars

The Constitution refers to the "United" States of America. As I said, if you compare with other historical examples, including those you mention, Sweden did not suppress much and those volunteers were not wearing Swedish uniforms, nor were there many of them.

My Dad was about as conservative as they come, but after spending 6 months studying in Germany in 1937, he came back very anti-Nazi. My Danish grandmother was active in the resistance and after a relative married Hermann Göring, the rest of that family changed their last name.

turcopolier

lars

"The Constitution refers to the "United" States of America." That does no imply indissolubility. It denotes a condition after ratification. Who cares if some of your fellow Swedes were anti-Nazi. The country was not sufficiently ant-Nazi to join the fight against the Nazis. Were Swedish volunteers treated as criminals after the war? your assertion that you Swedes do not think you oppressed your colonial subjects is pathetic. pl

Fred

Lars,

I guess Lincoln had it wrong in 1863 when he gave that speech in my birthplace and said America was conceived in liberty”. If only those yankee soldiers, like my ancestor, had known that legacy guilt is forever and that they and their posterity would be forever tarnished with sin by those without it – the one class of people who never shared any of the burdens of creating and sustaining the Republic and thus have no inheritance of guilt to be imposed on them: the new immigrant Americans.

optimax

"There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them." - George Orwell

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