Special to the Cape Charles Mirror by Paul Plante
Yes, people, “mislead,” that is indeed the word I intended to use no matter how disrespectful to Jemmy it might seem on the surface, where the “Jemmy” in question is James Madison, a Virginian and future U.S. president, who, writing as Publius, posted Federalist No. 10 “To the People of the State of New York” with the highly misleading title of “The Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection” in the New York Packet on Friday, November 23, 1787, and where “mislead” is taken as a verb meaning to “cause (someone) to have a wrong idea or impression about someone or something.”
And mislead us he did, the people of the State of New York, anyway, when he told us that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of faction, is enjoyed by the Union of the United States of America over the States composing it.
As subsequent history, and especially what is going on the United States of America right now clearly demonstrates, Jemmy was dead wrong about the federal government of the United States of America controlling the effects of faction, as opposed to making those effects worse, as is the case now, and as history shows, Jemmy has been dead wrong since Tommy Jefferson and John Adams were contending for the office of United States president in 1800.
But by then, it was already too late.
The die had been cast, because in Federalist No. 10, by selling the people of the State of New York a BILL OF GOODS, Jemmy Madison did succeed in getting the people of the State of New York to ratify the United States Constitution which has us now mired in the factionalism that Jemmy Madison told us it would prevent.
And that takes us to lunacy, where lunacy is taken to mean “extreme folly or eccentricity,” and yes indeed, people, lunacy, for how else can one describe these times we now find ourselves in here in the United States of America, where for our choices for imperial president, or empress, we are stuck with stuck with a choice, and a damn poor one it is, between a loud-mouthed blowhard with a perpetual bad hair day on the one hand, who if elected will render the United States of America into an environmental and industrial wasteland reminiscent of Giedi Prime under the rule of Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, with its bio-resources depleted and its environment fouled with industrial pollution, and on the other, a shallow-thinking, pathological liar with extremely poor judgment but a very high opinion of herself, notwithstanding, each put forth by a minority of the population of the United States of America, and both of whom are disliked and reviled by a majority of the American people, and with good reason.
If that is in any way rational, then I am a hippopotamus.
But enough of that speculation, for I am not a hippopotamus at all, and back to Jemmy Madison and Federalist No. 10, and the BILL OF GOODS Jemmy Madison sold the people of the State of New York on Friday, November 23, 1787.
In his favor, I think Jemmy started out with good if not noble intentions in Federalist 10, when he started it thusly, and so caught our attention, big time:
“AMONG the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.”
And let us face it, people, perhaps we people of the State of New York misled ourselves a bit when we took that to mean that the Constitution we now have in place was going to give us a us a “well constructed Union,” an advantage of which was to be its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.
Oh, how wrong we were to believe that crap, for crap is what it turned out to be with what is supposed to be our federal government mired in factionalism which has essentially shut down the proper functioning of our federal government and has given us a travesty instead.
But that is today.
Getting back to Jemmy Madison and Federalist No. 10 and the misleading of the people of the State of New York into ratifying something that has so obviously failed to break and control the violence of faction in the United States of America, Jemmy told us, indeed, warned us what woulod happen if we did not ratify the United States Constitution, as follows, to wit:
The instability, injustice, and confusion introduced into the public councils, have, in truth, been the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished.
We, of course, took that to mean that the United States Constitution we were being asked to ratify was actually designed so as to prevent and preclude instability, injustice, and confusion from being introduced into the public councils, those being the mortal diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished.
Silly us for believing that, is my thought, anyway, as I look around me and see instability, injustice, and confusion in our public councils, especially at the federal level.
Getting back to Jemmy misleading us, or perhaps we misleading ourselves, Jemmy told us as follows about the times then confronting the people of the United States of America under the Articles of Confederation Jemmy wanted to replace with the United States Constitution:
Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that 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.
How today that sounds, doesn’t it, especially the part about the public good being continually disregarded in the conflicts of the two continually feuding rival parties in America today, the worthless Republicans and equally worthless Democrats, neither of which enjoys the support of more than a minority of the population of the United States of America.
Talk about tyranny, alright.
But back to Jemmy Madison and faction, which Jemmy defines as follows:
By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.
Yes, people, that so defines the Republican and Democrat parties in the United States of America today, doesn’t it.
As to the causes of faction that the people of the State of New York were led to believe the United States Constitution would prevent, Jemmy gave is this in Federalist No. 10:
A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good.
Right you were there, alright, Jemmy Madison!
With respect to where we are in the United States of America today, with this mockery of a presidential election between the two-most disliked presidential candidates in this nation’s history confronting us, Jemmy predicted it would be that way as follows:
Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm.
Indeed, Jemmy had this to say about the political class in America we would be confronted with if we did not do as he wished, which to ratify the United States Constitution:
Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.
That, people is what the United States Constitution was supposed to prevent, or so we in our obvious naivete were led to believe.
And how wrong we were, as that is who we have in power in the United States of America today – both men and women of factious tempers, of local prejudices, and of sinister designs, who, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, which is to say, our votes, and then betray the interests of the people for those of their own faction.
In misleading the people of the State of New York, Jemmy Madison gave us this line of pure malarkey:
In the next place, as each representative will be chosen by a greater number of citizens in the large than in the small republic, it will be more difficult for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried; and the suffrages of the people being more free, will be more likely to centre in men who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters.
Did Jemmy himself believe that?
If he did, he obviously failed to consider, as did the people of the State of New York, the power that money would have in making it a veritable cake walk for unworthy candidates to practice with success the vicious arts by which elections are too often carried. to the exclusion of men and women who possess the most attractive merit and the most diffusive and established characters.
With respect to the United States Constitution, which is a failed experiment due to factionalism, Jemmy told us:
The influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, but will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other States.
Little did Jemmy Madison know, people, is my thought, as we find ourselves today confronted with control of our governments by the destructive factions known the Republican and Democrat parties in every level right on up to the top, where the president of the United States of America is the leader of a faction comprising a minority of the American people, as opposed to being the president for all the people.
And the only thing I can think is we brought it on ourselves.
As Jemmy Madison said, hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.
If only we had listened, but alas, people hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest, and so it goes, America.
When you look around you and wonder at the mess you are confronted with, comfort yourself with this one thought: we have no one to blame but ourselves!