By Dick Hall-Sizemore
Being retired and staying at home, I have now embarked on a long-planned project—reading the debates of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, as reported by James Madison and a few others.
I have only just started, but it is fascinating already. Many of the issues they discussed and debated are still being tossed around today, including on this blog. One speech I read recently particularly fascinated me.
The subject was whether the members of the first house of Congress should be elected directly by the people. Elbridge Gerry of Massachussetts (he of gerrymandering fame) was opposed to the direct election. Part of his argument, as reported by Madison, went this way:
“The people do not want virtue; but are the dupes of pretended patriots. In Massts. it has been fully confirmed by experience that they are daily misled into the most baneful measures and opinions by the false reports circulated by designing men, and which no one on the spot can refute.”
Elbridge Gerry was obviously a man ahead of his time; he foresaw the rise of social media and warned against it.There are currently no comments highlighted.