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Rant and Rave

In Our Humble Opinion

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The Founding Fathers -- What a Bunch of Morons

by Tom Magliozzi

Why Democracy Doesn't Work

You may sometimes wonder just whose idea this democracy thing was anyway. I do.

I mean, I've heard some really dumb ideas in my day, but this one ranks up there with the Big Bang Theory in terms of stupidity.

Think about it. You have a fairly large group of people who have decided to live together (or more likely they haven't decided any such thing. Circumstances have just plunked them down in close proximity to one another.). In any event, a few of them are intelligent enough to realize that they really ought to set down some ground rules in order to keep things somewhat harmonious.

Who should do that? I mean, who should set down the rules? And-I ask you-what answer did they come up with? They came up with: "everyone." Yes, everyone should have a say in deciding what the ground rules will be. After all, aren't all men created equal? To the Founding Fathers, the stupidity of this idea was not immediately obvious. So, they decided to give it a try.

It mustn't have taken very long for a couple of truths to become abundantly clear:

1. It takes forever to decide anything. After all, everyone gets to express his opinion on everything! Nothing is getting done.

2. Some people are complete idiots; I mean, dumb as a brick. But we did say "everyone," didn't we? We didn't say everyone with an IQ higher than a brick, did we?

At this point you would think that at least one of the Founding Fathers would have had the good sense to see that they had made a little mistake here. Nay, a rather big mistake.

[ASIDE: Since writing this, I've learned that someone did indeed question this silly idea. Alexander Hamilton evidently asked Thomas Jefferson, "But what if the people are wrong?" I think Jefferson answered, "Let me get back to you on that."]

But did they admit the mistake? Did they attempt to "amend" the idea to include the IQ and the brick thing? No. Why not? Well, they had thought up the idea in the first place, so how could they admit that it had been a mistake?

3. They were all males. And admitting that they had made a mistake would be tantamount to asking for directions. Out of the question.

So, they stick with their silly idea, and now we seem to be irrevocably stuck with it. It clearly isn't working-nor can it ever work-because, it's based on a false premise: All men are NOT created equal. They're just not. It ain't rocket science, folks.

It seems that you and I should have realized a long time ago that these Founding Fathers were a few sandwiches short of a picnic. I mean, think about some of their other great accomplishments. For example, it took these great men-and the "great men" who succeeded them-about 100 years to notice that what they had really meant was that all men are created equal, as long as their skin is white. Duh. And more than 100 years to notice that they had forgotten to mention women.

Given all of this, just who were these Founding Fathers, anyway, and why have we deified them? They appear to have been morons. Well, if we admit how stupid the average person is, the following thought comes to mind: In a land of idiots, a moron is a genius.

Now what?

Well, I have some suggestions. (But you knew I would, didn't you?) Here's what I think:

The Magliozzi Principle

Part 1

We need a Philosopher-King.

If the Founding Fathers had had any brains, they'd have realized that among them there was maybe one person who really had it all together. One person whom they all trusted. That's the person who should have decided the ground rules. Not "everyone." Wouldn't you want a "wise man" deciding things rather than Clem Kadiddlehopper? This is a no-brainer.

Part 2

The largest group of people to be subjected to any one set of ground rules should never exceed about 500. This is the number at which a) the Philosopher-King can know everyone, and b) everyone can know the Philosopher-King-personally (not by a couple of televised sound bites selected by the media-another bunch of morons, in my humble opinion).

So, here's the deal. Start looking around for the other 499 people you'd like to live with. Make sure that among them is a candidate or two for Philosopher-King.

Start buying up the real estate where youse would like to live. Be creative.

You've got 18 months to reorganize. Good luck. If you need to get in touch, I'll be in Hawaii. If Pamela Anderson Lee answers, hang up.

NOTE: Of course I realize that the philosophy being promulgated here is not in agreement with that presented in "A Taxonomy of Humankind." Feel free to mix and match.

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