“The establishment of our new Government seemed to be the last great experiment for promoting human happiness.”
– George Washington, January 9, 1790
OK, class. Just shut up and listen today.
The scientific method…
(Shut up, Missy.)
(You can’t say that!)
(I just did. Get out of my classrooom.)
Ahem. The scientific method: observe, hypothesize, test, note result. Was it what you predicted? Others test your result; if they validate your finding, you may have found a truth. If someone falsifies your finding — that is, they ran the test and got a differing result — back to the drawing board.
Stripped to basics, that’s how we advance. You’re probably thinking scientifically and technologically…
(Hands down. I’m not taking questions.)
But the method works with pretty much anything. As Washington said, the shiny new American government was an experiment.
Specifically, the experiment to determine if a government, directed by the will of the people — the conglomerate of individuals making up the population — could be restricted to specific activities and jobs intended to protect the ability of individuals to conduct their own business without damaging others.
To that end, the convention delegates settled on a constitutional representative republic.
The Constitution was the guidelines within which government must operate. Largely fixed, it did allow for alterations if the vast majority of the population approved. As amended by the 9th and 10 amendments, government could do no more, and no less. No matter how many popular votes say otherwise, short of a constitutional amendment.
The delegates chose amongst many types of democracy that had appeared throughout history, and picked a representative republic, the republican form of government, in which the only popular vote is for House Representatives who would speak for those who elected them.
Digression: There are those who claim that a representative republic is an obsolete construct intended to compensate for the slow communications of the period. These people claim that, now that communication can be virtually instantaneous on a national scale, we must adopt direct, universal democracy in which everyone present in the country votes on everything.
The former is partially true. But it was far from the only reason, and possibly the least, for a representive republic. Proper legislation is difficult and time-consuming. One must determine if a law falls within the limits of the Constitution, whether it serves all or a favored segment of the population, whether it can even work. The legislators must determine how to fund and enforce the proposed law… within the restraints of the Constitution.
The framers thought that working people lacked the time and information resources to do all that. Thus, they opted to let the people choose those who were willing to take time away from their own personal business to work on their constituents’ behalf.
This still applies. The vast majority of individuals do not have the time, energy, and inclination to properly research issues, cause and effect, and costs. I would suggest that it is worse today, when people make decisions based on unsourced tweets and sound bites, than in the late 18th century.
The framers saw the potential for abuse, and so created what they hoped would be a system of “checks and balances.”
Congress became two chambers. One to represent specific groups of people, one to represent the interests of states (though that was later changed to make senators directly answerable to the people… in theory).
Congress was countered by the executive branch, a president who could look at a bill and say, “Oh, hell no.” And yet, if Congress were sufficiently motivated, they could override a capricious president’s ill-considered veto.
Watching over Congress and President would be the judicial branch. That was to become the arbiter of constitutionality; the voice who could decry, “No. We don’t care how people constituents, states, or bribers want this; the Constitution you agreed to says it’s out of bounds.”
The experiment was set, and allowed to run for 228 years. Could a system based on logic rein in individual self interest for the overall good? We have the result.
Congress abdicated its responsibility to properly consider laws to the executive branch’s unelected employees with their own agendas. Employees who redefine words like “trigger” in order to regulate things they have no authority to control.
Congress even abdicated its responsibility to declare war.
The Executive Branch, headed by the President, became a barely restrained despot wielding powers meant for Congress, and issuing “executive orders” (supposedly a tool to issue guidance to lower executive levels in implementing Congress’ laws) to make new fiat laws controlling the entire country.
The Judicial Branch failed the worst. It staged a coup to sieze the power to legislate. This was largely accomplished by inventing nonexistent Constitutional language. For instance, the Second Amendment was edited from
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary an obstruction to the security tyrannical goals of a free Police State, the right privilege of the some people to keep and bear some Arms, shall not be infringed recognized except to the extent that some branch of the government finds it convenient, until it changes its mind again.
While all of the original “Bill of Rights” was heavily edited in the infinitely mutable copies imagined by the courts, the Third, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments disappeared altogether.
The States, far from being constitutionally-agreed upon republican governments, routinely cede “authority” to uneducated, uninformed rabble with personal agendas. They call it referendum, a popular vote forbidden by the Constitution… until the unelected Courts skipped the whole formal amendment process to rewrite the basic document.
Rights became privileges subject to the whims of crazed dictatorial wannabes.
The People went insane on an endless supply of bread and circuses.
Beating up people with whom you disagree is “free speech.” Ideas that conflict with those of another group become “violence.”
Allosomes went out the window, and men become women, and vice versa. Or something. And it’s all subject to change without notice. States and cities are mandating by law that you preemptively know what pronoun someone might use (including those invented on the fly), and penalize you for guessing incorrectly. One group, despairing of the fact that no one really wants to be romantically involved with psychotic men with penises who think they’re women, want the government to mandate that sane heterosexual people date them, like it or not.
Plant food became pollution.
The Green Raw Deal, “financed” through Modern Monetary Theory (pay for everything with bushel baskets of Monopoly money, then control inflation by immediately stealing it back before it can be spent again) would legalize slavery.
Global warming must be occurring, because we edited the historical records to say so,
Inert chunks of plastic became machineguns. Fingers became triggers, then machinegun parts. Machineguns were banned from all but the wealthy.
Virginia Democrats want to legalize post-birth infanticide.
A eugenics project meant to control the Black population became the right of… the Black population.
Would-be presidents are competing in declaring how many gunowners they’ll kill or imprison, because the new 2nd Amendment says they can.
SWATting is legal in nineteen states, and the federal government is on the verge of making it national.
To save the environment, Dems and other “greens” want to strip-mine the planet, create a landscape of toxic sludge-lakes, and render the air unbreatheable in order to manufacture batteries and low energy-density “renewable” energy sources.
Gubernatorial candidates vote for themselves twice, and claim illegal aliens as their voting bloc. And the courts enforce it.
Psychos declare they want everyone over 55 eliminated, and call for a total ban on guns to enable the genocide.
Borders are racist, and so is screening immigrants for infectious diseases. We now have typhus, typhoid, and measles outbreaks. Epidemiologists are predicting bubonic plague in L.A.
Politicians routinely call for bans on nonexistent items. A bill filed in the House would make it a felony to commit a felony. A bill that passed the House makes it a crime of domestic violence to read the Twitter feed of someone you dated just once, even decades ago.
Heh. Maybe you folks should get off social media while you can.
The Constitutional architects wanted to see if “government of the people, by the people, for the people” could work. Sadly, in constructing their experiment, they didn’t take one variable into account: sanity.
It seems they blindly assumed that the mechanism of government would remain in the hands of the sane. But when social justice sociopaths — hellbent on paranoid schizophrenic dreams of ending imaginary conspiracies against them — took over the schools and mandated shared insanity…
(No? How many of you cheerfully filled out your Diversity Inventory and declared yourself unfairly privileged in English class this year? In English for fuck’s sake; not even Social Studies.)
When an entire generation was rendered bugfuck nuts, that’s all that was left to elect, to nominate to the courts, to employee in the federal bureaucracy. The remaining sane people refused to put themselves through the electoral circus-and-torture process of getting into office to save things. We’ve successfully applied the system of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether to the government of a nuclear-armed nation.
(It’s Poe. Look it up on your own time.)
The experiment in Democracy was somewhat less successful. Turns out it only works if the lunatics are kept in hospitals, not government service. And sure as hell aren’t allowed to vote themselves free everything funded by sucking each other’s jugular.
The Great Experiment failed. We’re screwed.
Shuts off projector, folds laptop, heads to the door.
(Mr. Bussjaeger! What about our final exam?)
(There is no final exam. You were here to learn something before it was too late, not to get a mark to boost your GPA.)
(You want a final exam? Fine. It begins immediately after you get your Social Justice Participation Diploma next week. It’s pass/fail, based on your personal survival, and that of the country. There is no curve.)
Closes door quietly behind him.
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