Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Maybe We Should Be More Like the Gouveneur

"Gouveneur Morris's political quiescence during this period ...[the first decade of the nineteenth century]... sprang from a cheery pessimism. He thought the affairs of the nation were in the hands of incompetent men with bad principles, and this made him easy of mind and light of heart." Richard Brookhiser thus describes the State of the Founding Father who penned the Constitution in his book Gentlemen Revolutionary.

Some who don't like the outcome of America's last exercise in Democracy conducted November 04,'04 are trying to move to Canada. Others are ranting or seeking therapy for election selection trauma. These people (and all of us) could take a page from the Gouvenuer's book. His was a time when the Vice-President Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in duel over politics. Politicians were bludgeoned with walking sticks on the floor of Congress. The Gouvenuer (sort of like the Donald [trump] kept his equilibrium by trusting in the people and providence. He had faith in the new Democracy which was the U.S.A..

Two Hundred years later we can see that this Founding Father's faith was not missplaced. The "incompetent men with bad principles" such as Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison managed to muddle through without wrecking the country. Shouldn't we have more faith in our political institutions, our Constitution and our people. Right now my side is winning but I grew up in a country that was controlled by a Democratic Congress for forty years. President JFK and v.p. LBJ were put in office by the phantom voters of Mayor Richard Daily's Chicago, or so some of my parent's more partisan friends maintained.

I assume that I will see the day when the Democrat's are back on top at least for the short run maybe put in office by the phantom voters of Seattle Washington or Milwaukee Wisconsin*. When that happens I plan on taking my lead from the Govenuer. Maybe the Dems would like to try it today.

* as reported today in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"Citywide, for instance, there were 277,535 votes cast in the election, yet only 269,212 people recorded in the computer as voting, a gap of about 8,300.

The 7,000 figure has been used, since the 1,300 registration cards that couldn't be processed have not had voter names entered into the computer system."

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