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Does the United States have a check against..

MrBrooks
Posts: 831
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7/4/2012 2:37:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The U.S Government is structured in a way that provides for checks and balances, and a separation of powers. These checks and balances do not just apply to the government itself, but they also seek to balance the will of the majority against the rights of the individual; this is why it is so difficult to pass a new amendment to the constitution, and why it is especially difficult to edit or revoke any of the original ten amendments.

Until the 20th century Congress was structured so that we would have Senators that were not elected directly by the people and served longer terms, and so that we would have the House, which would be proportionate to the population of each state and more adequately reflect the will of the majority-this is evidenced by the shorter terms, and direct elections.

The question I put forward here is this: with the 17 Amendment, and the addition of recall elections to many state constitutions, does the U.S Government have an adequate check against a tyranny of the majority? And furthermore, are the rights of the individual and the will of the majority in harmony in modern day America?
Agent_Orange
Posts: 2,252
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7/4/2012 3:13:02 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Not really. Our founding fathers wanted a Republic in order to avoid the "mob rules". We ended up becoming a Democratic Republic anyway.

The only check against the mob would be the Supreme Court. If a law is popular but deemed unconstitutional, it will be struck down.
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darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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7/4/2012 3:15:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
It's not as If the senators beforehaand were completely removed from the mob rule process.

Senators -> Elected by the state governments -> state governments elected by.....oh.
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MrBrooks
Posts: 831
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7/4/2012 3:28:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/4/2012 3:15:04 PM, darkkermit wrote:
It's not as If the senators beforehaand were completely removed from the mob rule process.

Senators -> Elected by the state governments -> state governments elected by.....oh

I believe the point was to distance the Senate from the people, not to completly remove them from public sentiment. On an unrelated note, the 17th Amendment also threw the balance of power between federal and state governments out of wake.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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7/4/2012 3:33:16 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/4/2012 3:28:38 PM, MrBrooks wrote:
At 7/4/2012 3:15:04 PM, darkkermit wrote:
It's not as If the senators beforehaand were completely removed from the mob rule process.

Senators -> Elected by the state governments -> state governments elected by.....oh

I believe the point was to distance the Senate from the people, not to completly remove them from public sentiment. On an unrelated note, the 17th Amendment also threw the balance of power between federal and state governments out of wake.

well the whole point of the state governments voting for senators were so the the state governments would have more power. I don't buy the whole "avoid mob rule" principle. Don't see how someone being elected by someone else who is elected would avoid it.

The senate provides an unequal representation, but again don't see the benefit of it.
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MrBrooks
Posts: 831
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7/4/2012 3:47:43 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/4/2012 3:33:16 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 7/4/2012 3:28:38 PM, MrBrooks wrote:
At 7/4/2012 3:15:04 PM, darkkermit wrote:
It's not as If the senators beforehand were completely removed from the mob rule process.

Senators -> Elected by the state governments -> state governments elected by.....oh

I believe the point was to distance the Senate from the people, not to completely remove them from public sentiment. On an unrelated note, the 17th Amendment also threw the balance of power between federal and state governments out of wake.

well the whole point of the state governments voting for senators were so the the state governments would have more power. I don't buy the whole "avoid mob rule" principle. Don't see how someone being elected by someone else who is elected would avoid it.

The senate provides an unequal representation, but again don't see the benefit of it.

The benefit of being removed from the people is that you can take controversial actions w/o having to worry about the popular vote. Look at what happened in Wisconsin; the governor tried to weaken public unions and he had to face a recall election.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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7/4/2012 3:53:51 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/4/2012 3:47:43 PM, MrBrooks wrote:
At 7/4/2012 3:33:16 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 7/4/2012 3:28:38 PM, MrBrooks wrote:
At 7/4/2012 3:15:04 PM, darkkermit wrote:
It's not as If the senators beforehand were completely removed from the mob rule process.

Senators -> Elected by the state governments -> state governments elected by.....oh

I believe the point was to distance the Senate from the people, not to completely remove them from public sentiment. On an unrelated note, the 17th Amendment also threw the balance of power between federal and state governments out of wake.

well the whole point of the state governments voting for senators were so the the state governments would have more power. I don't buy the whole "avoid mob rule" principle. Don't see how someone being elected by someone else who is elected would avoid it.

The senate provides an unequal representation, but again don't see the benefit of it.

The benefit of being removed from the people is that you can take controversial actions w/o having to worry about the popular vote. Look at what happened in Wisconsin; the governor tried to weaken public unions and he had to face a recall election.

Except they aren't "removed" from the people. You even said so yourself. They do have to worry about controversial actions because the state government can boot he/she out. And the citizens can boot out the state government. So public opinion matters quite a bit.
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RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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7/4/2012 3:57:31 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
There is no check if everyone decide to ignore the checks. For example, the powers of the federal government are listed in the Constitution. That's now inoperative. Rights to private property are now pretty much gone. The latest ruling on Obamacare gives the government unlimited ability to punish you for not behaving as they wish. Obama successfully nullified an immigration law.

First Amendment rights are under attack, but still holding. If Obama gets another term, I think they'll find ways to get rid of conservative talk radio.
MrBrooks
Posts: 831
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7/4/2012 3:58:08 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Except they aren't "removed" from the people. You even said so yourself. They do have to worry about controversial actions because the state government can boot he/she out. And the citizens can boot out the state government. So public opinion matters quite a bit.

They are removed from the people to an extent. The people have to vote for the state legislator, the state legislators have to vote for a senator. It adds a barrier between the people and the Senate; thus they are removed from the people.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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7/5/2012 9:07:56 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/4/2012 3:53:51 PM, darkkermit wrote:

Except they aren't "removed" from the people. You even said so yourself. They do have to worry about controversial actions because the state government can boot he/she out. And the citizens can boot out the state government. So public opinion matters quite a bit.

So once 51% of the voters get government entitlements, they will vote to increase the flow of free money to themselves from the 49% that are paying the bills. That's a fatal flaw in democracy. The cure is to get everyone sober for a whole week and enact constitutional prohibitions that serve as checks against it.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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7/5/2012 10:59:46 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/5/2012 9:07:56 AM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 7/4/2012 3:53:51 PM, darkkermit wrote:

Except they aren't "removed" from the people. You even said so yourself. They do have to worry about controversial actions because the state government can boot he/she out. And the citizens can boot out the state government. So public opinion matters quite a bit.

So once 51% of the voters get government entitlements, they will vote to increase the flow of free money to themselves from the 49% that are paying the bills. That's a fatal flaw in democracy. The cure is to get everyone sober for a whole week and enact constitutional prohibitions that serve as checks against it.

That's definitely a possibility, however we'd also have to assume that the citizens are selfish, greedy bastards who only care about their self interest and that the politicians will listen to the will of the people all the time.

Now the first one isn't true. Many Americans believe in property rights and getting what they earned. Could this change in the future, of course.

The second one, politicians don't always listen to the will of the people because they realize or at least have experts, that realize how stupid they are. And If you end up voting for all their stupid policies and sh1t happens then the public will kick you out of office. Of course, this can be remedied by blaming someone or something else for the problems and not your stupid policy. And If the policy won't cause problems right away, then your free to kick the can down the road to the next sucker who comes into office, and the people can just blame that guy.

George W. Bush got much of the blame for the financial crisis, even though a lot of it was Clinton's fault. Obama got a bunch of blame for the debt problems, even though a lot of it was Bush's fault.
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darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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7/5/2012 11:08:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/4/2012 3:58:08 PM, MrBrooks wrote:
Except they aren't "removed" from the people. You even said so yourself. They do have to worry about controversial actions because the state government can boot he/she out. And the citizens can boot out the state government. So public opinion matters quite a bit.

They are removed from the people to an extent. The people have to vote for the state legislator, the state legislators have to vote for a senator. It adds a barrier between the people and the Senate; thus they are removed from the people.

a barrier in sense of what? How does the barrier change their voting incentives? What are their new voting incentives now that the barrier is gone?
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DanT
Posts: 5,693
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7/5/2012 12:27:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/4/2012 2:37:25 PM, MrBrooks wrote:
The U.S Government is structured in a way that provides for checks and balances, and a separation of powers. These checks and balances do not just apply to the government itself, but they also seek to balance the will of the majority against the rights of the individual; this is why it is so difficult to pass a new amendment to the constitution, and why it is especially difficult to edit or revoke any of the original ten amendments.

Until the 20th century Congress was structured so that we would have Senators that were not elected directly by the people and served longer terms, and so that we would have the House, which would be proportionate to the population of each state and more adequately reflect the will of the majority-this is evidenced by the shorter terms, and direct elections.

The question I put forward here is this: with the 17 Amendment, and the addition of recall elections to many state constitutions, does the U.S Government have an adequate check against a tyranny of the majority? And furthermore, are the rights of the individual and the will of the majority in harmony in modern day America?

I have always said that the 17th amendment is one of the most, if not the most dangerous amendments to the constitution in regards to the liberty of the people.
The most dangerous amendments are the 16th-18th amendments. The 18th amendment has been revoked, now we need to revoke the other 2. Even though the 8th amendment has been revoked, we still have prohibitions, only this time on drugs.

To understand why the 17th amendment was instituted you must understand the political atmosphere of the time. Woodrow Wilson was just elected into office, and democrats were just given control over both houses of congress. Wilson was not only in favor of making the US more democratic, but also he was in favor of a parliamentary system in which the executive and legislative was mixed. Wilson also favored party responsibility over responsibility to the people as a whole.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Agent_Orange
Posts: 2,252
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7/5/2012 1:12:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 7/4/2012 3:57:31 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
There is no check if everyone decide to ignore the checks. For example, the powers of the federal government are listed in the Constitution. That's now inoperative. Rights to private property are now pretty much gone. The latest ruling on Obamacare gives the government unlimited ability to punish you for not behaving as they wish. Obama successfully nullified an immigration law.

First Amendment rights are under attack, but still holding. If Obama gets another term, I think they'll find ways to get rid of conservative talk radio.

What? Why? Conservative talk radio only manages to hurt conservatives.
#BlackLivesMatter