Wednesday, January 6, 2010

James Madison - Statesman and Prophet?

James Madison may have seen the coming of the progressive Messiah.  In his statements on Vices of the Political System of the United States as he worked to reform the Articles of Confederation, James Madison showed prophetic insight.

Here is some of what Madison said.

Representative appointments are sought from 3 motives.  1) Ambition.  2) Personal interest.  3) Public good.  Unhappily the two first are proved by experience to be most prevalent.  Hence the candidates who feel them, particularly the seond, are most industrious and most successful in pursuing their object:  and forming often a majority in the legislative councils, with interested views, contrary to the interest and views of their constituents, join in a perfidious sacrifice of the latter to the former.

A succeeding election it might be supposed, would displace the offenders and repair the misschief.  But how easily are base and selfish measures, masked by pretexts of public good and apparent expediency?  How frequentlly will a repetition of the same arts and industry which succeeded in the first instance, again prevail on the unwarry to misplace their confidence?

How frequently too will the honest but unenlightened representative be the dupe of a favorite leader, veiling his selfish views under the professions of public good, and varnishing his sophistical arguments with the glowing colors of popular eloquence?

Gee, that last bit really sounds prophetic to me.

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