Peter Auger, Auburn Hills City Manager
Thoughts on running a city, daily musings, and everything in between.
City Manager, Auburn Hills, MI
I am often challenged by people who live the above title of this blog. Recently, a person of one political persuasion was complaining about the unprecedented political shenanigans of the other party as they attempted to tilt the rules in favor of “their team”.
To paraphrase that famous rabbit hunter, “those wascalley wabbits”.
If we only learned our history and culture we might be able to concentrate on other issues of our time. You see on today’s date, back in 1812, Massachusetts Gov. Elbridge Gerry signed a re-districting law favoring his Democratic-Republican Party — giving rise to the term “gerrymandering.”
Mr. Gerry was no political hack, he was then appointed to the Continental Congress, where he was engaged in committee work on commercial and naval concerns. He also attended the Constitutional Convention in 1798 but was opposed to the new Federal Constitution, refusing to sign it. He was elected to the first two Congresses from Massachusetts.
In 1812, he was elected Vice President of the United States under James Madison. Federal political has always been nasty and divided, in fact I think Madison was re-elected with 50.4 percent of the popular vote.
It’s ironic that Madison was one of the major contributors to the Federalist Papers in which the founders laid out the reason for our constitution and American Culture. In Federalist number one the challenge was laid down, so many years ago they stated the real political argument when they wrote:
It has been frequently remarked, that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not, of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend, for their political constitutions, on accident and force.
The ironic part, if you haven’t connected the dots, is Madison’s vice president is regarded as the father of political folly of gerrymandering. So much for “establishing good government from reflection and choice.”
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