|© 2012 M. E. J. Newman|
Checks and BalanceYou don't have a right to vote for President!
Art 2. Sect 1. Clause 2: Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
"The Congress would have two houses: the state-based Senate and the population-based House of Representatives. Meanwhile, the President would be elected by a mixture of the two modes." James Madison.
In Federalist #10 he argued "the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties; and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice, and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority".
Succumbing to the whims of populism, the electoral college is now awarded based on popular vote in 48 of the 50 states. So much for that check.
The Senate now stands at 53-45 with 2 independents. Prior to the 17th amendment turning the senate from the representatives of the states to effectively a 'super' house of populism, senators were appointed by the state legislatures. A good map of the legislatures political breakdown can be found here: http://www.governing.com/blogs/by-the-numbers/state-legislature-house-senate-seat-totals-and-party-control.html
As shown on the map linked above, there are 31 Republican controlled legislatures, 17 Democrat, and 2 split legislatures.
One can assume that if Senators were still appointed by legislatures, the make up would be 36D-64R, quite a difference from the popularly (or populistly) elected 53D-45R. So much for that check.
Although congressional seats are apportioned based on population, the congressional districts are apportioned geographically. This geographical apportionment is what explains the house makeup of 194D - 233R. The House remains the last existing check against populist tyranny.
As Jersey pointed out so astutely a week ago, the people in the cities don't give a rats ass what the rest of us think.
"If you Flyoverland cons think people from the NYC area give a rat's ass what you think about anything that goes on where we're from, or what our gun laws should be, or how FEMA handles Sandy, you're as naive as you are hick." Jersey McJones.
We don't all live in cities and populist democracy will only represent the urban population centers, as Jersey implies... the rest of us can just screw off, and THAT folks is the problem. Unfortunately, the other side of the urban bourgeoisie is that they are perfectly willing to dictate what goes on where we're from, or what our gun laws should be, etc., all for our own naive, hick good of course.
The preservation of the Republic necessitates, well, the preservation of the Republic as a republic. Under a populist urban dominated democracy the good people of Flyoverland will eventually rebel against the chaffing yoke of the city-states. The problem must be fixed before then.
Since I first wrote this article the following story has appeared in the news:
While meaningless in the big picture, it does indicate a restless undercurrent of seccesionism, and the list of states may surprise you. People, at least some people in 20 states are so seriously pissed off at the Federal Government that they are willing to go to, or at least voice this extreme.