A senator does not represent the viewpoints of his constituency proportionally, because a Senator from NC represents a different number of citizens than a Senator from Montana or Delaware.
But a Senator does represent his constituency, which are the people of his state. Those are the people who elected him, and it is those people to whom he should be beholden. He is there in the Senate to make sure that the interests of his state, and its people, are represented.
The way the bicameral legislature was originally set up, and how it was intended to work, was that the members of the House of Representatives were to be the people's "direct" representatives in Congress, while the senators were there to look after the interests of their states. Senators were originally elected by their state legislatures, and were more or less there to represent and protect the interests of their state governments more directly than those of the people of their states.
As a senator influences federal legislation, therefore his proportional representation should reflect proportionality vis a vis the whole population of the United States, not just his state.
Were that the case, he would cease to be a Senator, and instead become a Representative (i.e., a member of the House of Representatives.) Their functions are different, and the two houses of the legislature function differently. There really is (or was) a reason for their having been set up that way. They are there to make sure that the more populous states don't just run the show without the less populous states having a real say in matters.
If you base your argument in a fashion like "I am right, because the constitution says so", then we better stop the discussion.
Well, like it or not, that is the way the government works (or doesn't work,) because that is what the Constitution says, and those were the concerns that the Constitution addressed when it was written. There is method to the madness. It's been watered down and rendered pretty much ineffective over the course of the last two-hundred odd years, but that's how it was set up.
Because the constitution says what it creators wanted it to say or not to say, not more and not less.
The Constitution very plainly lays out the structure of the government. It's not just random chance that the legislature is bicameral, and that the government is laid out in three distinct branches. Don't believe me? Take a look at the way the House of Representatives and the Senate are defined in that document.
It's a mere legal construct of laws, which I can criticize.
Criticize all you want. It's a free country. You have that right (well, at least here you do.)
Your founding fathers might be very wise, but they were no gods and their laws are not written in stone.
Yes, they were very wise. They founded a nation based upon a few precepts, and I won't bother enumerating them here, since you probably don't give a damn anyway. They had just fought a war for Independence, and were bound and determined to construct a government which would secure to the citizens of the nation it served the liberties they viewed as sacrosanct. They did a pretty good job, though there are a few things they could have done better.
They were not gods, this is true. They were men. But, given the historical period in which they lived, and their involvement in events of that period, they were qualified and entrusted to create this nation and draft a framework for its governance.
And obviously their words were not written in stone. They were written on paper. Stone would have been too unwieldy.
You are not a slave vis a vis of your founding fathers.
Correct, to a point. In relation to the nation my founding fathers wrought, and the liberties they strove to secure to me and the rest of this nation's citizenry, I might be considered a slave. But, it is true that I am not shackled by them, and not so unthinking as to consider them beyond question. There are some very real problems with the document they drafted, but they were wise enough to provide a process by which that document could be altered, and the nature of governance altered by that process of amendment.
They realized that the document they wrote would not suffice for the centuries and (God willing) eons to come. They realized there would be some adjustment necessary. That's the reason they put in the Amendment process.
You are allowed to accept their mistakes and make up for them.
I don't have a problem with altering the governance of this nation, so long as it is done properly. If we passed a Constitutional Amendment that said "The government shall broadcast pornography on VHF channel 2 at 8:00AM every Sunday," then I would probably support it, because the Amendment was made in the proper fashion. That would be an exceedingly stupid amendment to our government's framework, but it would have been done properly. I might not like it, and would certainly criticize it as a waste of time, but I would defend it if asked to do so.
However, if Congress decides that it wants to spend my money to do this without a Constitutional Amendment granting the government the power to specifically do that, I would not support it. It would truly be a waste of time and money, then.
I consider the farcical issue of government-funded pornography to be on the same level as, say, government-funded welfare.
I don't discuss with people who think that because the constitution says so, that's the end of discussion.
When talking about the basic structure of the government, and proportional representation therein, the Constitution IS the final word. Without question. Wish it to be otherwise, but until the document is itself amended, it will not be otherwise. Personally, I think the Constitution didn't go far enough when setting out rules for the selection of Senators. I think it should probably have been a Constitutional mandate that state legislatures selected the Senators (rather than by direct, popular election.)
For me it's the beginning of the discussion actually.
Fine. But unless you can sponsor and complete an Amendment which fundamentally rearranges the government, Senators will still represent their states, rather than a proportional chunk of the nation's populace.
So, to be frank, I don't like your arguments much. They always end with saying something is right because the constitution says so.
Well, take the time to read the document, and pay special attention to Article V (the Amendment process,) as those are the guidelines you will need to follow to change the way things work. The Constitution is flexible that way. I'd rather we amended the Constitution when we want to fundamentally reorganize our system of governance instead of skirting it like we do. Hell, our representatives hardly even pay lip service to that document any more.
Fine. I even don't believe in the bible, so guess how little respect I have for a legal construct which doesn't seem to work the way I think it should.
Fine. But foolish. The Constitution was written by real people, whose histories and actions may be researched, and whose views on issues may be known by reading their other writings and personal correspondence. Think about the reasons the document was written the way it was written, and why things are organized the way that they are organized. I'll be the first to say the thing isn't perfect, but it's not too shabby for a bunch of dead white guys.
Also, while you can see the physical manifestation of the words in that document glittering before you like a giant cesspool, in the form of the government of the United States, there is no physical manifestation of God you can point to and say, "God." Belief in the teachings and events in the Bible as evidence for the existence of God, who has no physical manifestation, is clearly not even in the same league of credulity as believing that a government based upon the words contained in that document we so lovingly refer to as the Constitution exists.
One has a physical manifestation (and infestation,) and the other does not.
Or, perhaps you'd like to try a different analogy.
At any rate, whether or not the government is organized in the way in which you think it should be organized is irrelevant. It is basically organized the way the founding fathers thought it should be organized. They wrote it down, and that has provided the framework for the leviathanic government that annoys us all so much.
With regards to redrawing the boundaries of congressional districts, I thank you for your information, as it confirmed my belief that the changes in boundaries reflect a necessity to adapt population growth or loss to construct districts with equal number of citizens to make a congressman's election to represent proportionally his constituency vis a vis the whole U.S. population.
My pleasure. The House of Representatives works that way. The Senate is not the House of Representatives. It has its own section in Article I, and is meant to perform a different task than the House of Representatives.
What I tried to refer to was the redistricting of the boundaries with the intent to construct congressional districts to reflect a majority of citizens affiliated with a specific race. Such kind of manoeuvres reflect the intent to help a minority to get a candidate of "their own" elected.
That is an unfortunate twist of jurisprudence. What is, in my opinion, a horrible decision by the Supreme Court. That practice was started not so long ago, and the Supreme Court ruled it acceptable. So, instead of having essentially colorblind, fair representation in logically-drawn districts, we have a bunch of simpering, whining, race-baiting and gerrymandering so blacks and other minorities can have "equal representation."
I, personally, would vote for a black man to represent me if he and I thought the same way about the issues. I don't see color as a benefit or detriment, and don't base my decisions upon that.
Would that others, especially blacks, would think likewise.
I do understand the need for that "help" in this country. But I detest that there is a need for that in the first place.
There is no need for it, and it only serves to divide us further. As I said, I don't care about color. Only ideology. Though Alan Keyes' ideas about some things were distressing, I would have certainly voted for him before I would have even considered voting for Al Gore. Most white people that I know feel the same way (regarding importance of skin color, not about Keyes specifically.) Most blacks I know think only a black person can represent their interests, even when they agree ideologically with a white guy.
All this racial division and strife should have died down by now, but the media and characters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton keep the issue alive. Not because it does anything good for black folks, who are rapidly entering the middle class and drawing close to parity economically with their white peers, but because it empowers them politically and gives them an issue with which to bludgeon others.
Yes, racism exists. But, it's not being put to bed by guys like Jackson and Sharpton and Farakhan. Those guys are as bad as David Duke and Tom Metzger, in that they play upon the fears of an ignorant minority to lend credence and volume to their pabulum.
Why is it that only a black person is able to represent black's interests and why is it that people believe only women can represent women's interest. If one accepts that as a given, it's already a sign of having given up on any "blind justice" to be possible.
Do you hear angels singing? We agree again.
With regards to women's choice not to have kids, I can only say that your opinion reflects some very low respect about the woman's natural biological role and that role's importance for society.
Indeed, you are wrong. I have the utmost respect for women and their biology and the role they play in the sustenance and success of the human race.
But, I realize that some people want to have their cake and eat it, too. It's just not possible. Either you forego involvement in your family for the single-minded pursuit of a career, or you loosen your grip on a career a bit so that you can be involved with, and enjoy, your family.
The same thing goes for men, though women here tend to be more nurturing than men (as I suspect it is in most of the rest of the world.) Women generally are more involved with the domestic part of child-rearing, while men are generally more involved with provision. When a happy balance between these goals can be found, a family works very well.
Slavish devotion to a career, spending long hours in the office, necessarily lessens the time one can spend with his or her family, and consequently the amount of satisfaction and other intangible, infungible rewards one derives from it. I'm not opposed to being "Mr. Mom", staying home and taking care of (and educating) the kids if that's how things work out best.
Likewise, time spent away from work, caring for the kids, is time not spent pursuing one's career. You look for intangible rewards from nurturing your kids, and you're likely to find them. Satisfaction in one's family is, to me, more important than financial success and satisfaction in one's career. But, others' priorities differ.
Some women disagree with me, and have a nanny watch the rugrats while they and their husbands work. Not a great way to raise good kids, but whatever works.
If you think that the need for reproduction is in any way comparable to the need to "make a career" or is of similar importance, you make a big mistake.
Why? Is it not true that you can choose whether or not to reproduce? And is it not true that you can choose whether or not to pursue a career?
Is it not also true that it is impossible to be in two places at once, and that time spent at work generally means time spent away from the kids, and vice versa?
Is it not also true that in order for you to propel yourself forward in your career, you will need to devote some time to it? So, if you have kids, and therefore less time to devote to developing your career, is it not only logical that you won't advance in your career as quickly as you might if you did not have kids?
And, is it not also true that in order for you to raise a stable, well-adjusted, well-balanced family, you will need to devote some time to it? And if you have a career, and therefore less time for a family, does it not also make sense that you might miss out on something in your family life?
I advocate finding a balance. Don't expect to be a CEO of a company if you have kids and are devoted enough to them that you are unwilling to put in the grueling hours necessary to that end. Also, don't expect to have good, well-adjusted, well-mannered, intelligent, respectful kids if you don't spend any time with them.
If all women would choose not to reproduce, it would be a desaster for mankind.
Indeed. A hell of a lot less fun, too.
If all women would choose not to make a career it wouldn't have much effect on mankind at all.
Agreed. The world would still chug along if women didn't work. If men didn't work, and stayed home with the kids, I suspect that women would probably take up the slack.
Currently, women require men for reproduction (at least, by conventional means.) It's a good tradeoff. If men decided not to reproduce (not bloody likely,) it would be equally disastrous for humanity.
Most of the women in this world don't make a carreer but they make a living for survival.
Yeah. In the balance, if you are married, a lot of the time it doesn't make any economic sense for the woman to work. Figure money spent on gas, food, and babysitting, and some women are lucky to pull down $50 per week in discretionary funds. Of course, if "keeping up with the Jones'" is your game, you'll probably not be satisfied no matter how much money you make.
So, the whole issue is fuzzied up from your side anyhow.
Not as much as you might like to pretend. I happen to be a realist, though, and know that it is at least difficult to work and care properly for children simultaneously. Childcare by itself is a full-time job. Stack serious pursuit of a career atop that (especially with young children, and with older children, too, if you decide to do the right thing for them and teach them at home,) and you have a recipe for a very frazzled parent.
Feminists have done a lot to promote rights for women with regards to getting access to pursue careers similar to men, feminists have failed completely to promote the idea that reproduction and raising kids have an equally important value for society and therefore needs to be protected as well.
Correct. Fortunately, though, lots of young women in this generation are waking up to this realization. When feminism is about equal rights, and equal pay for equal labor, I'm all for it. When it degenerates into man-hating and blaming white male oppressors for all the evils that have ever happened since the dawn of time, I stop listening.
The U.S. is amazingly backwards in this regards.
How is Europe any better? If the answer involves some kind of socialistic government program claptrap, then I won't accept it as better. If it's societal, or due to different attitudes, I'm listening.
There is no such thing as a choice between either kids with no career or no kids but a career. I would never accept that men impose on me to choose between those two options exclusively.
Nor would anyone expect you to do so. Just realize that there is a tradeoff, and work to find the balance that's right for you.
Well, I am tired. Your arguments about "blind justice" is fine, but only if current laws would be "racially blind" as well. And they are not.
Au contraire. The laws are colorblind. There are no longer any laws which say that something is okay for one race, but not for another (unless you want to get "Affirmative Action" involved here.)
It's the enforcement of the laws which seems to have a problem.
I lay the problem in equal parts at the feet of government, minorities, and whites. If government would get out of the picture, minorities and whites could probably figure out the rest on their own. The changes that have taken place so far have not been revolutionary, but rather evolutionary, and we're not done yet. Blacks are now entering the middle (and higher) classes in increasing numbers, and as they do so, they are becoming more and more accepted, and the issue of skin color less and less noticed.
What I find sad, though, is the insistence of some blacks that those who work hard and succeed are somehow "selling out" their race, when there could be nothing further from the truth. To my mind, blacks should see these folks as shining beacons of what's possible with effort, education, and determination. Instead, they are reviled and derided by the black community for not being "black enough."
When blacks tone down the rhetoric, and begin noticing that hard work, education, determination, ambition, and talent can get them somewhere, and stop stigmatizing those blacks who have already seen the light, they will find more legal and societal parity with their white peers.
And whites should help them by not giving a damn for color, instead judging people on their merit. This man has some pretty interesting things to say.
So let's talk about blind justice after we have "colorblind" legal procedures implemented, not before.
The two go hand in hand. And can only become reality when more blacks accept the mantle of responsibility for their own actions that they must bear (this is happening in increasing numbers) and stop alienating those who have bridged the gap and succeeded despite societal problems (this is a tougher nut to crack,) and when more whites get a fucking clue (this, also, is happening.) It won't happen overnight, but then the Jews didn't bounce out of the ghettos overnight in the early part of the last century, either.
BTW, why are you adamantly affiliated with one way of thinking and are incapable of considering a logic argument ?
I'm not. It's just that the views that I have expressed are the only ones which make sense to me, when I examine them rationally. Leftists, at least the ones with whom I've had contact, have not yet presented me with a reasonable package of arguments that I cannot shoot holes in.
I won't say Libertarianism is perfect, but it makes more sense, to me, than Communism or even Socialism. It makes the individual the axis of liberty, rather than making the State the arbitor of liberty, and places the responsibility for the individual's well-being upon the individual rather than upon his neighbors, who also have to look out for themselves. It gives the individual choice as to whether or not he wants to help his fellow man (and lots do, me included,) rather than pointing a gun at his head and forcing him to part with his hard-earned wages to feed, clothe, shelter, and educate those who refuse to care for themselves.
If I see you, trhurler and eLuddite argueing, it makes me very tired.
Me, too, sometimes. But, I post in the hopes that reasonable arguments can possibly illuminate my positions to someone who might be reading, so that they can see and consider the depths of the philosophy behind them, rather than just dismissing it out of hand because "it's not the way things are done right now." Philosophy isn't my strong suit - for that, ask trhurler, as he spends most of his free time with his nose in a philosophy book, seemingly. Rather, I live by the Golden Rule, and that also is incompatible with leftist ideology and wholly compatible with a more libertarian bent.
Bonne nuit, madamoiselle. (I think?)
i don't see any nanorobots or jet engines or laser holography or orbiting death satellites.
i just see some orangutan throwing code-feces at a computer screen.
[ Parent ]