Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Common Sense

Everyone is talking, but no one is listening.

Hard to understand how we are going to correct our problems without building a House to represent all of us.

Two hundred and twenty years ago at this point in the Constitutional Convention, the founders in Philadelphia had settled on a simple ratio to be used to represent We the People. The ratio at this time, in early September 1787, was 1 Representative for every 40,000 inhabitants in a state (3/5 representation for slaves).

On 17 September, Washington and the others would make the change to 30,000 - but see how simple and straightforward numbers are? They de-politicize the most political issue - representing We the People in Congress.

And being simple in our rules of government can be a virtue - as it was to the founders. Thomas Paine, writing in 1776 at the very beginning of the cause of constitutional government - meaning one written for all to read - argued for simplicity in government in his pamphlet Common Sense -

"I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature, which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered."

We the People are in need of a simple solution - like a government organized according to its Constitution, which in our case is: "The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand." (Article 1)

That is what it says, and of course we can amend it, but wouldn't it be interesting if we actually did what our Constitution said to do?

But hey? - Why bother representing We the People in Congress? How could that make a difference?

Labels: , ,