Monday, January 25, 2016
5-31-1787: "The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots...."
"Mr. GERRY. The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots. In Massachusetts, it had been fully confirmed by experience, that they are daily misled into the most baneful measures and opinions, by the false reports circulated by designing men, and which no one on the spot can refute. One principal evil arises from the want of due provision for those employed in the administration of government. It would seem to be a maxim of democracy to starve the public servants. He mentioned the popular clamor in Massachusetts for the reduction of salaries, and the attack made on that of the governor, though secured by the spirit of the constitution itself. He had, he said, been too republican heretofore: he was still, however, republican, but had been taught by experience the danger of the levelling spirit."--Elbridge Gerry, May 31, 1787, (Gerry ultimately rejected and refused to sign the Constitution because it lacked a bill of rights. He was later James Madison's Vice-President.), Debates In The Federal Convention Of 1787, Held At Philadelphia. [Elliot's Debates, Vol. V, Pg. 136]