No contempt, utter, veiled, or otherwise.
John Beech
1

Ah, yes, there’s the gaslighting. I knew it was coming.

See, you said this:

Ideas, which seems as full blown and well developed as those of a 30 y/o man-child who has never experienced life by being responsible for signing the front of a paycheck, or of putting children through school without accumulating debt, or in any other fashion stood on your hind legs and and been required to produce more than hot air. You sir, strike me as mostly intent on bleating the ignorance of the me-generation whilst looking around hoping there are some who will agree with you and your overblown sense of self-importance.

You know nothing of my history, yet you made one up that allows you to belittle me and dismiss my opinions. Now that I called you out on it you claim you don’t have any contempt for me and immediately attempt to make yourself the model of rational and informed discourse. That ain’t happening. You do not get to verbally abuse me and then get me to speak to you as if your opinion is worth something to me. It’s not.

You have yet to offer any argument other than “the founding fathers are perfect” and vague threats of the downfall of the United States of America, which is no more informed than any other opinion you’ve offered because we’d have to amend the Constitution to get rid of the Electoral College which means that at least 2/3 of Congress or the states would have to call for an amendment and then 3/4 of the states would have to ratify it. That would require all of the states that voted for Hillary and 18 of the states that voted for Trump to be on board.

I am a historian. I am taking advantage of this moment, when the Electoral College has revealed itself to be anathema to actual democracy, to attempt to start a conversation about doing away with an anachronistic institution which was created to remove the will of the people from the governance of this nation. I have read Federalist No 68 and I find James Madison’s arguments lacking and based on a belief that the people are not actually capable of governing themselves. Don’t you dare tell me to re-read that document. I know what he said and I do not agree with it.

And I know what your response to that is, so let me do away with it immediately. No, I do not think that I am some intellectual giant towering above the minds of the men who wrote the Constitution. I am, however, a goddamn historian with the knowledge of over 200 years of subsequent history. That was the entire point of the initial article, to lay out the faulty reasoning that led to the Electoral College and detail the various points when the Electoral College stepped into the process. It has never actually saved us from a bad election and on several occasions created a bad situation. Madison and Hamilton had their ideas but they didn’t have the benefit of hindsight. I do. As a goddamn historian I am going to look at today and draw the line of historical events to put context in place. The first thing you learn as a historian is that there aren’t any perfect people. There are only people acting in the best way they know how based on the knowledge they have at the time.

So, please, before we proceed allow me to ask you a question: given that the fact that I have a degree in history and I have that degree because I started studying history in the third grade doesn’t count for anything in your opinion, what life experiences do qualify me to have an opinion on history? You’ve already asserted that my opinion of the Electoral College is invalid because (at least according to your invented biography of me) I have never had children or been in charge of payroll. What are the other things I have to do before I can talk about history?

Am I not allowed to discuss the Byzantine Empire unless I’ve broken my arm? Do I need to be a homeowner if I want to write about the Industrial Revolution? Can I only discuss European colonial imperialism if I got to second base with Amanda Snodgrass in the back seat of my mother’s 1972 Buick Skylark at the drive-in?

Inquiring minds want to know, as I am desperately seeking your validation.

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