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Mr. Ulmschneider's Forums > AP Government: Madison, Paine, and Politics

Would a contemporary Madison save American Politics?

posted Dec 17, 2012 06:49:02 by YashTekriwal
We've all moaned and groaned about politics. We've bashed legislators for operating for their own interests, we've riled against government inefficiency, and we've ridiculed political gridlock to the point of insanity. Would some of Madison's ideologies save the current system of American politics? Are these changes we can make to our own constitution? Perhaps most importantly, are these changes that we NEED? Not necessarily will be able to pass, but from an idealistic standpoint, improve the efficiency of our nation's political system.

Woods describes Madison as an advocate for a strong, REPUBLICAN, national government. That is to say, he believed in the strength of government only in issues of judicial and perhaps political questions. The power of government to control an army, and the existence of a powerful executive both went against Madison's core beliefs. As Woods says, Jefferson was an advocate for the majority while Madison was an advocate for the minority.

That being said, I bring focus back to my aforementioned questions. Do we need major governmental reform? Or do the political problems we face today need to be fixed from the ground up? With the recent election, some radical people have been heralding the "fall of american politics." Mixing in knowledge from the units we've already done on parties and elections, how do you think Madisonian ideas could be applicable to our legal system today, if at all?
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3 replies
YashTekriwal said Dec 17, 2012 06:51:46
Cartoon for thought.
StephenDavis said Dec 17, 2012 22:10:09
Interesting food for thought, Yash. I think I'm gonna go with "yes" as my answer.

It seems to me that one of our biggest problems is the Gridlock in Washington. Obama and Boehner are both holding out on the fiscal cliff issue for political gain and Congressmen go back and forth between Capitol Hill and K Street; overall, most politicians seem to be interested in their own political careers, not the people they represent. In order to get Congress to do something productive, I think we do need to start with governmental reform. Working the problem from the bottom up (increasing the power of the states and individuals) like Jefferson proposed would take far too long and would likely never go through. I think it's safe to say America has taken the Federalist route over the years by slowly taking away the liberty of states and individuals. With no true opposition to a strong central government from either Democrats or Republicans, a central solution to our government inefficiency would probably be best.

YashTekriwal said Dec 17, 2012 22:30:31
Of course, if you couldn't tell from the framing of my question, I concur Stephen. I think Washington needs some change. I agree completely on the level that the constitution that we herald as the "law of the land" today is often held to too high a standard. I think we often forget that it is a document written all the way back in 1776, and we constantly refer to this in saying that it may be somewhat "outdated". There are a variety of factors that play into this, not just the rise and increased prominence of factions, but also the advancement of technology, weapons, economics, a more integrated global and more. We forget that the United States is the rare exception to the rule when it comes to constitutions: Many countries have written and rewritten their constitutions time and time again, searching for a true "law of the land". I'm not proposing something as radical as revamping the whole document, but maybe we need some drastic "madisonian amendments" if you will.
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