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Author Topic: The American Constitution  (Read 58584 times)

RSL

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2019, 02:30:33 pm »

Bye Alan. Stay reluctant.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2019, 02:57:03 pm »

... Once again I'm insulted and pushed out...

Seriously!? You find insulting that I called you "an educated man" and that "you surely know"!?

You made a deliberately nonsensical statement, you were called out on it, and now you are finding refuge in the righteous indignation?

Redcrown

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2019, 03:21:23 pm »

Quote
The U.S. Constitution, and its Bill of Rights, is the most beatiful document in the history of the mankind.

I first read "beatiful" as a purposeful play on words, trying to say the Constitution is often and easily "beat." Now I'm not sure since no one else picked up on that. So maybe it was just a typo?
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2019, 03:25:06 pm »

I first read "beatiful" as a purposeful play on words, trying to say the Constitution is often and easily "beat." Now I'm not sure since no one else picked up on that. So maybe it was just a typo?

Thanks for pointing out, corrected. That's what happens when one types on a phone early in the morning ;)

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2019, 03:43:38 pm »

I suspect Alan isn't sure about the difference between a democracy and a constitutional republic.

Well, whatever it is, it is not a democracy. You seem to be proud of that, I wouldn't.
Whether it can be called a constitutional republic is open for debate (and there is a difference between the intended structure and the actual structure).

Cheers,
Bart
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Rob C

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2019, 03:56:02 pm »

Thanks for pointing out, corrected. That's what happens when one types on a phone early in the morning ;)

You have my absolute sympathy; here, on LuLa I can correct later if nobody picks up and sets in amber, but on another - now the only other photography site I visit - once flown, done! (My love is the small iPad.)

Yes I know one can enlarge the screen image, but that introduces all sorts of other inconveniences.

That said, where previously the computer ruled, now it's relegated to a couple of checks a day; the tv is only watched twice a day for the news which fits perfectly with my times for the eye drops, so as I can't see anything for ten minutes, it acts as a radio. If the Beeb has some good music on Friday nights, I watch that on tv. Otherwise, the iPad is undisputed king.

I use the cellphone almost not at all.

Rob

RSL

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2019, 04:01:07 pm »

Well, whatever it is, it is not a democracy. You seem to be proud of that, I wouldn't.
Whether it can be called a constitutional republic is open for debate (and there is a difference between the intended structure and the actual structure).

Cheers,
Bart

Really, Bart? Exactly what is that difference?

You're right. What we have surely (and thank Heaven) is not a democracy. The founders were pretty smart people and they were able to avoid the kind of thing we saw shortly after the founding of the US in the French revolution. The French had a real democracy, where a majority could vote to kill people who disagreed with them. On rumbled the tumbrils and down came the guillotine.

After the convention someone asked Ben Franklin: "What kind of government have you given us?" Ben replied: "A republic, if you can keep it." As it turned out the US Constitution gave us the most successful form of government the world has ever seen -- a government that, incidentally, saved Europe from destruction and enslavement twice. Now we have people who are trying desperately to make sure we don't keep our Republic.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2019, 04:16:37 pm »

... a real democracy, where a majority could vote to kill people who disagreed with them...

Indeed.

Some of the newly minted socialists/communists were still peeing in their diapers when the Berlin wall fell, so they can be forgiven (no, not really) for not realizing that the word bolshevik - a synonym for the Soviets - means a member of the majority.

Chris Kern

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2019, 05:09:56 pm »

just a tiny effort to give the subject its own space without causing yet more confusion, distraction, misunderstanding and downright fake infomation

Yer absolutely right: we norteamericanos deserve our own space on this forum for confusion, distraction, misunderstanding, and downright fake information.

Robert Roaldi

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2019, 05:49:00 pm »

The French had a real democracy, where a majority could vote to kill people who disagreed with them.

That might be a mis-characterization of what happened.
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RSL

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #30 on: May 31, 2019, 05:52:27 pm »

Only slightly, Robert. They stood by as the "leaders" executed those who'd been indicted by their neighbors.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #31 on: May 31, 2019, 06:57:43 pm »

That might be a mis-characterization of what happened.

Perhaps this will help the, again, sadly misinformed to understand that the French Revolution is not synonymous with democracy as we know it today:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTTvKwCylFY

or, at a slightly lower tempo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBn7iWzrKoI

Cheers,
Bart
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RSL

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #32 on: May 31, 2019, 07:47:38 pm »

Yes, Bart, democracy “as we know it today” is different from democracy during the French revolution, but as long as a majority has absolute power things can change rapidly. At bottom, a pure democracy is also a potential mob.
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BobShaw

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #33 on: May 31, 2019, 08:08:03 pm »

To me the most interesting thing about the Constitution is that for the first time in human history our predecessors established a republic based on a founding document – an anchor -- upon which subsequent U.S. law has been based.
Yep. it anchored the US in 1776.
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David Sutton

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2019, 10:17:09 pm »

Perhaps I'm getting more cynical in my dotage, but it seems that constitutions and bills of rights, while fine aspirational (and inspirational) documents, are increasingly becoming works of fiction. Was it always that way?
By this I mean that in many countries the constitution is simply ignored by the rich, by corporations, and by governments when it gets in the way of their power. I include all of North and South America, and much of Europe. Can't speak for Asia or the Middle East.
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Rob C

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2019, 04:29:35 am »

Perhaps I'm getting more cynical in my dotage, but it seems that constitutions and bills of rights, while fine aspirational (and inspirational) documents, are increasingly becoming works of fiction. Was it always that way?
By this I mean that in many countries the constitution is simply ignored by the rich, by corporations, and by governments when it gets in the way of their power. I include all of North and South America, and much of Europe. Can't speak for Asia or the Middle East.


That's an acutely accurate observation.

Regarding the French Revolution - mobs and street violence have always been associated with that country. Even its students were revolting in 1968. ;-)

It's the only land I know where mobs can close the motorways and the police and/or army do not clear them the hell out of the way. I know about that first-hand, having been diverted from one such motorway onto a series of interminable little roads through beautiful farmlands, where our queue of cars was pretty much parked. Ann and I had a little fit of mutual hysterics sitting there, immobile in our automobile, looking at a row of cows that had wandered across the field to the fence to look at us looking back at them. Sadly, if not ironically, the expressions on their faces were incredibly wise ones.

It doesn't matter what you call a political system when crowds of people go nuts together. The only difference is in whether or not they get machine-gunned into submission.

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2019, 05:52:38 am »

Yes, Bart, democracy “as we know it today” is different from democracy during the French revolution, but as long as a majority has absolute power things can change rapidly. At bottom, a pure democracy is also a potential mob.

You're still not getting it. The French Revolution had little to do with democracy, rather more with the lack of it. The people took the draining of the swamp into their own hands, they wanted food, and not be the only ones who paid taxes.

There are some parallels that could be drawn with the current situation in the USA. The first 'estate' and the 'second estate' as they were called in France are more or less 'elected' amongst themselves, and pay very little if any taxes. Only those with financial backing from the second estate can be successfully nominated for office. Then the 'third estate', that is paying all the taxes and who have to run multiple jobs to even earn a living wage, may attempt to pick one of these figureheads.

Maybe the (ab)use of guns (e.g. yesterday's Virginia Beach shooting) is an indication of the mob taking control into their own hands?
I prefer a Democracy that aims to avoid such things by allowing more people to shape their own future, in a mutually beneficial way.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 09:08:05 am by Bart_van_der_Wolf »
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RSL

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2019, 08:15:26 am »

True, about the French revolution, Bart, but in relation to what I said, irrelevant. Didn’t matter what the people “wanted.” The fact is that they cheered the tumbrils as they rattled toward the guillotine. There’s always an ignorant mob waiting to pounce when they’re stirred up by political stirrers. Again: Salem witch trials and southern lynchings, to name just two of many examples. That's true democracy at work.

In the US, the top 1% of earners pays 37.3% of income taxes. The bottom 90% pays only 20.0%. I guess you’d see the top 1% as the “second estate,” which contributes to the “first estate,” the political elite, which we call the “deep state,” or “the establishment.” Thing is, it often doesn’t work. See our last presidential election. Thanks to the electoral college, the vast funding available to the left (roughly 330 million more than on the right) simply couldn’t get the job done across the states. It got it done in places like New York and California, but couldn’t corrupt the whole country.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 09:44:34 am by RSL »
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Alan Klein

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #38 on: June 01, 2019, 08:56:38 am »

It is not inconceivable that President Trump could be re-elected in 2020 and lose the popular vote by a much greater margin than in 2016.  Do you not think that this would lead to a catastrophic result?  The Electoral College section of the Constitution was written for a specific time and place.  It will never be overturned by an amendment because the smaller states would never allow their 'power' of vote to be diminished.  I think by 2050 (vaguely remembering this date), 70% of the Senators will represent 30% of the American populace.  This sounds more like a recipe for minority rule than majority.  I can only see the legislative process getting worse than better.

Senators do not represent the people.  That's an argument from those who want to do away with the Electoral College and argue that it's time has come and gone.  Senators represent the individual States.  Remember we are a Federal Republic made up of sovereign states that have equal value, position and rights.  Two senators per state whether your 50 million strong California or 600,000 peopled Wyoming.  Just like there is one vote per country in the UN General Assembly whether you're 1.4 billion China or little Jamaica.  If you were let's say Jamaican, would you join an organization where your country did not have equal standing to all the other countries?  Yes, I know about the Security Council.  But the General Assembly is the answer to that just as Senators are the answer to the House of Representatives.

 

So it's the House of Representatives who represent the people and it is apportioned by the number of people in the districts in each state.  For example 53 in California and 1 in Wyoming.  But the Senate represents each sovereign State equally among the 50 states.

Alan Klein

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #39 on: June 01, 2019, 09:10:12 am »

Yes, Bart, democracy “as we know it today” is different from democracy during the French revolution, but as long as a majority has absolute power things can change rapidly. At bottom, a pure democracy is also a potential mob.
Which the American Founders understood, hence the Bill of Rights to protect us from ourselves.
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