Wednesday, February 27, 2013



Dangerous history

President James Wagner of Emory  University was trying to be positive and offered a perfectly correct example from history which shows that Americans can reach political compromises even in very polarized times.  But any mention of the 3/5ths rule is of course gasoline on the fire to self-righteous Leftists so he has been roundly condemned for the words below.  Demonstrators with placards included:



The language of the Constitution is itself the product of carefully negotiated compromise.

One instance of constitutional compromise was the agreement to count three-fifths of the slave population for purposes of state representation in Congress. Southern delegates wanted to count the whole slave population, which would have given the South greater influence over national policy. Northern delegates argued that slaves should not be counted at all, because they had no vote. As the price for achieving the ultimate aim of the Constitution—“to form a more perfect union”—the two sides compromised on this immediate issue of how to count slaves in the new nation. Pragmatic half-victories kept in view the higher aspiration of drawing the country more closely together.

Some might suggest that the constitutional compromise reached for the lowest common denominator—for the barest minimum value on which both sides could agree. I rather think something different happened. Both sides found a way to temper ideology and continue working toward the highest aspiration they both shared—the aspiration to form a more perfect union. They set their sights higher, not lower, in order to identify their common goal and keep moving toward it.

Source

The NYT covers the aftermath

16 comments:

Brian from Rochester NY said...

Call me crazy...but where, exactly, is there anything racially insensitive in his historical analysis?

Slavery existed. It was a fact. Both sides had their own ideas for representation, but instead of the gridlock like we have today, they compromised.

These were different times, a country still developing the morality to completely eliminate slavery.

If these protesters want to be mad at somebody, it should have been those asking for the slaves to be counted as one person so that they would have more influence in Washington to keep slavery legal even longer.

It's a sad truth that is a part of our history, but we have moved past it. Despite what these people say, we were post-racial long before Obama came along. If we weren't, how could he have been a Senator?

Stan B said...

It isn't his comments that the students find so repulsive. It is the cuts to programs that they are against. The comments are a red herring which they can use to tie their "outrage" too.

It just shows what a poor job they're doing at Emory University when it comes to teaching critical thinking skills.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, the best way to solve this is to reinstate slavery. Then, after some years of study, meetings, reports, committees, and sub-committees, perhaps we could start over again.

Then again, with slavery reinstated, when we see violent crime drop by 90+%, and Trillions in govt. handouts being saved, we just might want to have a few more meetings.

Bird of Paradise said...

Leftists are the most intollrent bunch of nincompoops in the universe

Anonymous said...

In today's America, where income and payroll taxes are the primary revenues for the Federal government, it is often forgotten that the "3/5 compromise" was a tax issue as well as a representation issue. In those halcyon days, the Federal government was limited to tariffs and excises, and could otherwise raise money only by assessing taxes on the states in proportion to their population. Thus, the free states wanted slaves to count for taxation but not for Congressional representation and the slave states wanted slaves to count for representation but not for taxation. This is the root of the compromise, where the southern states received more representation than the northern states would have liked, but only at the cost of more taxation than the southern states would have preferred.

Anonymous said...

And yet posters here have often criticized Britain under Chamberlain for trying to compromize with a land-hungry Germany to avoid another World War. In the end, of course, Britain had to stand alone for a couple years against the might of the Nazi war machine which it managed to fend off (with the help of some leased equipment from the US and backup from Britain's colonies).

Dean said...

Never mind that President Wagner's comments were historically and socialy accurate. Or that his comments pointed out the (not 'a') major problem in today's government along with a proposed solution.

It is much more important that a statement was found about which some may be offended and counter by marching around with signs. All the while totally ignoring the real message.

Ah, mankind. Individually fairly intelligent. As a group pretty low IQ.

Anonymous said...

This example provides a simple solution to the welfare problem. If you recieve welfare you can't vote and your value to the state for representation and taxation is cut to one half.
That would resolve a lot of gridlock in congress.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long it will take the American people to realize their political system is a complete failure. Any political system based entirely on lies, corruption, and limitless abuse of the people, can be nothing but a failure.

Kitty Lover said...

Hey Anon 3:07,

Don't you know that God is on our side?

Anonymous said...

3:52 AM God pretends to be on everyone's side. But the Bible says He prefers Jews, which is to say Jewish males!

Stan B said...

Anon 4:05 AM - there's nothing in the Bible that says he PREFERS Jews. He's CHOSEN Jews, which often prompts the Teviev response "God, once in a while, couldn't you choose somebody else?"

Anonymous said...

Wow - if you choose something I guess it means you don't prefer it to the other things you might have chosen - !!??

Anonymous said...

The Jewish people were chosen to be the people through which God would deliver his messege, not because he preferred them. They were stubborn and refused to follow the laws he gave them. The bible says we are all equal before God.

Anonymous said...

those protesters look angry.

Anonymous said...

10:10 AM God's plan sounds really dumb for an omniscient divine being (giving his "message" to a close-minded people who just ignored the messengers and then had God's own "son" executed!?).