Pamphlet Debates in 140 characters…

Started another plastic canvas tissue box cover – 2 sides done and working on the 3rd side.  This one is for my friend, Marrietta, in AZ, who is an expert quilter, talented maker of beadwork jewelry, all around creative needle-worker, and the maker of fantastic potholders:wp-1475350243889.jpg

I used bolder colors than the picture with the pattern, because, unlike me, she’s not a “pink person.  I love pink, it’s one of my favorite colors.  True story – decades ago we were discussing repainting the living room walls and since my husband defers to me on decorating and because he’s color-blind, I sold him on painting the living room walls a lovely rose color.  It wasn’t bubblegum pink, but a more dignified pink color.  I told him “rose” is not “pink”.  As he painted, he kept saying, “Are you sure this isn’t pink?”  I kept a straight face and said, “NO, it’s “rose”!”  All the pictures and decorations on the walls popped with that rose color in the background and it sure beat that standard off-white color the walls were originally.  The next time we painted the walls, he insisted it was his turn to pick the color and it was back to boring – English eggshell was the name of that blah off-white color.

On to politics – the Left’s push to discredit the electoral college continues.  A big component of their talking points is that the electoral college is racist and a remnant of slavery.  Well, since The Constitution was written when slavery was legal, not only in the South, but also in the North too, abolishing slavery was not a central issue to the debates on The Constitution. Sure, there was a budding abolitionist movement in the late 1700s, but the overarching goal of the framers of The Constitution was to unite the States and create a federal framework.

I grew up in PA and as my husband always says, “They’re a bunch of Quakers!” (although my family was Lutheran/Reformed).  PA was where the first abolitionist society in America,  Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, formed in 1775.  It was founded by Quakers, in fact, Thomas Paine, one of America’s greatest “Domestic Propagandists” (to borrow President Obama’s terminology), was a founding member of the group.

William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was a Quaker and to get a feel for Quaker moral conscience, you can read his work, Some Fruits of Solitude.

The British colonial experience in early America was an amazing lab of real-life experiments in various governmental forms and societal orders.  Supreme Court Justice, John Marshall, who largely defined America’s Supreme Court, took on the task of writing a biography of George Washington, which resulted in a 5-volume set, titled, The Life of George Washington.  The first volume goes into finely detailed history of the explorations in government in early America.  To understand how at the end of the 1700s, Americans were forging ahead with a revolutionary new government, the history of the colonial governmental experiments will give you a broader view.  Here is a free online copy of Volume 1.

Now, on to the electoral college debate.  Since most states had legal slavery, not just Southern states, although some abolitionist sentiments were percolating in colonial America, when the founders, who had forged together The Articles of Confederation as a government framework during the American Revolution, met in 1787 to draft The Constitution of the United States, their intent was to draft an entirely new governmental framework – a constitutional federal republic.

The Articles of Confederation were felt to be in need of improvement.  One of the key failings in the articles, was the same failing of many previous mutual defense agreements between states throughout the 1700s, it did nothing to provide for a unified defense.  In many agreements between states, in previous decades, requests by one state for militias from another state to assist in military defense needs, were ignored, tardy or insufficient to repel attacks. States often didn’t live up to their pledged defense agreements.  The early American frontier was a battle front, with attacks from French and Indians in the north and Spanish and more Indians in the south.  The founders had just fought the Revolutionary War, so the intent of drafting The Constitution was to create a stronger union and a national defense structure.

How the framers of The Constitution sold their revolutionary new governmental framework was through Pamphlet Debates, which were a common form of political debate in colonial times.  The most famous pamphlet debates on The Constitution are called The Federalist Papers, where three writers, John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison, using pen names, energetically set forth to sell America on The Constitution they were writing.  Other Americans argued mightily against their radical new form of government, some in its entirety, and some only argued against certain aspects of it.

In today’s factionalized America, President Obama referred to people supporting the electoral college online as “Domestic Propagandists”, using a tone you’d expect to be reserved for calling people “domestic terrorists”. Online, anytime anyone posts an opposing viewpoint or makes mincemeat of an opposing viewpoint, the person is labeled a “troll”.  It’s time for more people to make their case, in a vigorous national debate, if they want to amend The Constitution.  Some flim-flam, spin-cycle media blitz in a hyped “crisis” mode won’t work for the Dems, who are pushing this only to delegitimize Trump’s winning the presidency.

The electoral college was designed to promote states sovereignty and afford proportional representation among states, so that less populated states would not be marginalized by more populous states.  This idea that the founders were all enthused about “popular votes” is nonsense, since some states only allowed land-owners to vote.  Slaves were used only to pad the census numbers to give southern states more power and women were not allowed to vote at all. The idea to promote states soverignty, the concept of federalism,  is encapsulated in the 10th Amendment to The Constitution:

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Conservative Review put out a Twitter video called, “You Do You”, which in an entertaining manner explains federalism:

The thing about America, that should hearten all Americans, is we live in a country where we are free to have opposing views.  We are free to criticize our government and elected officials, without fear of reprisals too.

So, if the Left wants to abolish the electoral college, let the free, open, spirited debate begin.

Decided to update this post with a link to an October LB post: America: Our Ordered Liberty Roots, in which I mentioned British charters:

To understand America’s founding, it’s important to look at who the first settlers in America were and how the American colonies were set-up and developed. Originally the British colonies, who later broke off from England and the British crown, operated under proprietary colonies, royal charters, or charters:

“A charter is a document that gave colonies the legal rights to exist. A charter is a document, bestowing certain rights on a town, city, university or an institution. Colonial Charters were empowered when the king gave a grant of exclusive powers for the governance of land to proprietors or a settlement company. The charters defined the relationship of the colony to the mother country, free from involvement from the Crown. For the trading companies, charters vested the powers of government in the company in England. The officers would determine the administration, laws, and ordinances for the colony, but only as conforming to the laws of England. Proprietary charters gave governing authority to the proprietor, who determined the form of government, chose the officers, and made laws, subject to the advice and consent of the freemen. All colonial charters guaranteed to the colonists the vague rights and privileges of Englishmen, which would later cause trouble during the revolutionary era. In the second half of the seventeenth century, the Crown looked upon charters as obstacles to colonial control, substituting the royal province for corporations and proprietary governments.”

The American colonies, in essence,  were business ventures, set-up to operate under a British legal structure, but the charter-holder had control of appointing whom would administer the law within the colony.  In some colonies, the crown directly appointed an administrator for the colony.  The colonial administrators varied widely in leadership ability, legal knowledge, experience and also administrative talent. However, the actual American settlers who embarked on setting up the colonies (business ventures) were almost exclusively Christians of various denominations and their Christian faith defined every aspect of their communities.


Filed under American History, Culture Wars, General Interest, The Constitution, The Media

4 responses to “Pamphlet Debates in 140 characters…

  1. Sam Topeka

    I do not care for the term “states rights”. I believe state sovereignty is more accurate. The term rights applies to individuals and groups of individuals.

  2. At least your ‘phone can do tricks. I only recently took the crank off the side of mine.I am not ready for a ‘smart ‘phone,’ though, because, first of all, i do not want an appliance smarter than me, and, secondly, the keyboard disappears when i am still trying to enter, for example, a code or set of numbers, in the course of a call.Texting? That’s for the younger generation.

    A Happy and Holy Christmas to you and to all the little Belles.

  3. Merry Christmas Michael:-) I got a smart phone about a year ago, but if you think you have problems, both my husband & I had problems answering a call trying to touch the little green circle on the screen and swipe it. My son showed me how to set it so that we can press the button on the bottom to answer calls. Yes, we were too stupid to answer phone calls on a “smart phone”. My husband got lost in the computer age and is in worse shape than me, plus he can’t remember stuff, so he fiddles with his phone and then messes stuff up all the time – deleted all his contacts, somehow, recently. Good thing our one son is a software engineer and patiently comes to fix the things that are beyond my capabilities (which are not much better than my husband’s).

    I still recoil from the tech industry ethos, which I learned having two sons throughout the gaming advances in the 80s & 90s. Each new system created a “must-have” attitude from our sons. My husband always caved to their demands, but I kept saying, “Why do they need a new gaming system, when this one still works fine?” Cell phones & computers are more of the same. I was taught to use things until they break or wear-out and need replacing. It goes against my frugal, conservation-minded country folk upbringing. The same upbringing that taught me, you’re supposed to take care of your stuff because you can’t afford to replace everything.

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