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Old 08-18-2009, 03:38 PM
 
1,045 posts, read 1,150,689 times
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The founding fathers created a great document when they were framing the constitution. The idea of checks and balances was a brilliant idea. The idea of having competing institutions battle for power was well thought out. However, what the founding fathers did not plan for in the framework of the constitution was an effective checks and balance on the already established checks and balance. If the branches of government decide to start to work against one another to suppress the will of the people, it is the peoples responsibility to hold the government responsible to abide by the constitution, but the framers did not expect 300 years later the people would lazily go about their constitutional duties.

Executive Branch
Legislative Branch
Judicial Branch

What happens when they decide not to compete for power, but to equally share power amongst themselves?

The people left outside of this scope of power are common citizen

If these branches of government work together to expand their powers, what can citizens do? We can start to fight the government with force, but how would we win? The founders in my opinion really did not consider this possibility. If I'm wrong please show me the error of my ways.

What would be the next sort of government we'd create?

Clearly relying on the people to do their job has not worked.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:46 PM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,737,865 times
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I think the founders understood full well that the population would always contain its share of demagogues and their dopey, whiney followers. That's why these were placed at some distance from any actual levers of power, and so remote is where they should still remain...
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:50 PM
YAZ
 
Location: Phoenix,AZ
7,126 posts, read 12,084,343 times
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I think the framers had the idea that folks that were inclined to hold public office would have the attitude and ability to serve.

We have neither.

We're headin' towards Socialism.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:33 PM
 
1,045 posts, read 1,150,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YAZ View Post
I think the framers had the idea that folks that were inclined to hold public office would have the attitude and ability to serve.

We have neither.

We're headin' towards Socialism.

What do you mean we are heading towards socialism???

Aren't we already there?
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:38 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,359 posts, read 10,975,332 times
Reputation: 2445
Quote:
Originally Posted by YAZ View Post
I think the framers had the idea that folks that were inclined to hold public office would have the attitude and ability to serve.

We have neither.

We're headin' towards Socialism.
The Founding Fathers never intended public office to be a career, with the exception of the Judicial (Supreme Court). Their idea was that doctors, lawyers, private citizens etc would serve their country and then return to private life. The public service experience was meant to enrich the country, both from the seat of power and the community. I believe it was Jefferson who even states as much. I have no idea why they did not specify term limits other than to state 4 yrs/2 yrs for House/Senate. I'm certain they were aware that power could be abused, but I suppose that is where the power of the "people" comes in.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:47 PM
 
8,973 posts, read 15,106,010 times
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One thing that's always struck me was the 'naivete' of the Founding Fathers. While they went on at length, spelling out '6 ways from Sunday' the numerous rights and freedoms they envisioned in this 'new' society they were figuring out, they said VERY little about anyone having any DUTIES...not too much comment on 'responsibility', either...most of that was just sort of 'implied'.

Apparently, the Founding Fathers, in their enthusiasm for a society free of the tyranny of others, simply ASSUMED that decent people, suddenly set free to live under their own consciences, would instinctively "do the right thing", use "common sense", and realize that the responsibility for their future now rested with THEM.

Their 'formula' worked well..however, they failed to make allowances for those instances when society could no longer agree on what "the right thing" was, in order to "do" it.....when "common sense" became a subject of debate....and when "responsibility" was transferred from the 'self', to the 'system'.

I suppose we're all guilty, to one degree or another. A 'free society' living in 'liberty' is a heavy responsibility....and it's up to the members to make it work. Give that job over to others, and you risk losing your freedom.

Guess the Founding Fathers just 'assumed'....and we all know what happens when we assume.
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:58 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
1,883 posts, read 1,835,858 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
One thing that's always struck me was the 'naivete' of the Founding Fathers. While they went on at length, spelling out '6 ways from Sunday' the numerous rights and freedoms they envisioned in this 'new' society they were figuring out, they said VERY little about anyone having any DUTIES...not too much comment on 'responsibility', either...most of that was just sort of 'implied'.

Apparently, the Founding Fathers, in their enthusiasm for a society free of the tyranny of others, simply ASSUMED that decent people, suddenly set free to live under their own consciences, would instinctively "do the right thing", use "common sense", and realize that the responsibility for their future now rested with THEM.

Their 'formula' worked well..however, they failed to make allowances for those instances when society could no longer agree on what "the right thing" was, in order to "do" it.....when "common sense" became a subject of debate....and when "responsibility" was transferred from the 'self', to the 'system'.

I suppose we're all guilty, to one degree or another. A 'free society' living in 'liberty' is a heavy responsibility....and it's up to the members to make it work. Give that job over to others, and you risk losing your freedom.

Guess the Founding Fathers just 'assumed'....and we all know what happens when we assume.
It's called religion. If religion never existed, there would be no such thing as civil societies. The biggest bully on the block would rule. Everyone back then had a certain respect for God, they weren't assuming anything. All of this coming from a non religious person.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:28 PM
 
512 posts, read 768,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
One thing that's always struck me was the 'naivete' of the Founding Fathers. While they went on at length, spelling out '6 ways from Sunday' the numerous rights and freedoms they envisioned in this 'new' society they were figuring out, they said VERY little about anyone having any DUTIES...not too much comment on 'responsibility', either...most of that was just sort of 'implied'.

Apparently, the Founding Fathers, in their enthusiasm for a society free of the tyranny of others, simply ASSUMED that decent people, suddenly set free to live under their own consciences, would instinctively "do the right thing", use "common sense", and realize that the responsibility for their future now rested with THEM.

Their 'formula' worked well..however, they failed to make allowances for those instances when society could no longer agree on what "the right thing" was, in order to "do" it.....when "common sense" became a subject of debate....and when "responsibility" was transferred from the 'self', to the 'system'.

I suppose we're all guilty, to one degree or another. A 'free society' living in 'liberty' is a heavy responsibility....and it's up to the members to make it work. Give that job over to others, and you risk losing your freedom.

Guess the Founding Fathers just 'assumed'....and we all know what happens when we assume.
I agree with your train of thought here.

I wonder if the assumption on their part was because they'd just come out of a defining moment they ALL had to fight for. Generals, soldiers, farmers, lawyers, doctors, shopkeepers, homemakers, blacksmiths, etc. Everyone had to fight in one way or another, on our own ground (and I'm not talking just about blood and killing) for the revolution and resulting formation of our government to succeed, so it could possibly have been unfathomable to our founding fathers that we, as a people, would become so dependant on society. Remember, back then, many people who couldn't take care of themselves were taken care of by family, so those who truly needed to depend on someone were taken care of.

Also, people generally think we're smarter today then a couple hundred years ago. No. We're more well versed, more "educated", but not smarter. There's a difference. Most people today are too lazy to be smart. From lawyers and plantation owners to farmers and frontiersmen, they understood their and their family's responsibilities for a free nation to be free much more than most people understand them today.

I just know I'm gonna get hated on.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:22 PM
 
8,973 posts, read 15,106,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleoT View Post
I agree with your train of thought here.

I wonder if the assumption on their part was because they'd just come out of a defining moment they ALL had to fight for. Generals, soldiers, farmers, lawyers, doctors, shopkeepers, homemakers, blacksmiths, etc. Everyone had to fight in one way or another, on our own ground (and I'm not talking just about blood and killing) for the revolution and resulting formation of our government to succeed, so it could possibly have been unfathomable to our founding fathers that we, as a people, would become so dependant on society. Remember, back then, many people who couldn't take care of themselves were taken care of by family, so those who truly needed to depend on someone were taken care of.

Also, people generally think we're smarter today then a couple hundred years ago. No. We're more well versed, more "educated", but not smarter. There's a difference. Most people today are too lazy to be smart. From lawyers and plantation owners to farmers and frontiersmen, they understood their and their family's responsibilities for a free nation to be free much more than most people understand them today.

I just know I'm gonna get hated on.
I agree. In a nutshell, I think the "Founders" just took it for granted that DECENT PEOPLE didn't need to be 'told what to do'...that parents would care for their children, that spouses would 'stick up' for each other...that most people, most of the time, would simply 'do the right thing', or suffer the effects of guilt, embarrassment, public shame, social stigma, etc. Those few who didn't "get it", I suppose, would be 'pressured' by their neighbors to either 'behave'...or to leave. Imagine how the 'founders' would have regarded the phenomena of child molestation...or 'parole violators'....or even horse thieves. I think they PROBABLY just assumed they were writing their document for a group of sensible adults, with a strong sense of morals, an ability to separate right from wrong, and a good portion of plain common sense.

MOST of that is gone now. We've gone from being responsible for ourselves to looking to 'the authorities' to define right-and-wrong. We've gone from 'common sense' to 'zero tolerance'...and we've gone from 'scorning' societal wrong-doers, to "It's not up to ME to judge another". And for that luxury, we're paying a steep price. When is the last time you've seen anybody "publically shamed"? When is the last time we discussed a "Bad" person? Public shame now means getting an interview on TV and a book deal. And "bad" people aren't bad....they're that way because society MADE them that way.

The Founding Fathers had no way of imagining today's society.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:54 PM
 
76 posts, read 36,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post

MOST of that is gone now. We've gone from being responsible for ourselves to looking to 'the authorities' to define right-and-wrong. We've gone from 'common sense' to 'zero tolerance'...and we've gone from 'scorning' societal wrong-doers, to "It's not up to ME to judge another". And for that luxury, we're paying a steep price. When is the last time you've seen anybody "publically shamed"? When is the last time we discussed a "Bad" person? Public shame now means getting an interview on TV and a book deal. And "bad" people aren't bad....they're that way because society MADE them that way.

The Founding Fathers had no way of imagining today's society.
great and inciteful comment, much rep.

It seems like the notion of 'personal responsibility" is on the decline. Everybody wants to be taken care of by someone else. Alot of this has to do with major cultural shifts away for religion, work ethics and morality. I think it's exasperated by the media, film and television. It seems the damage is already done.
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