Would the Founding Fathers Build Trump’s Wall?

Donald Trump, along with Senator Bernie Sanders, has revolutionized the way we view politicians today. He says what is on his mind without having anyone make his message a bit sweeter or politically correct to the viewers. However, his message is one of hate, prejudice, and racism, and it would make the Founding Fathers turn in their graves.

Alexander Hamilton published a set of Federalist Papers along with James Madison and John Jay under the pseudonym Publius to support the ratification of the constitution in 1787. James Madison warned in The Federalist No. 10 “that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority” as a way to deter us from forming political parties. Madison coined the term mischief of factions referring to this idea that the majority could band together and leave the smaller portion of the population as an oppressed minority, making everything favor the majority when these factions(or political parties) banded together to vote. Ironically the Founding Fathers were the first ones to create political parties with the Federalists and the Antifederalists.

Furthermore, they talked about(some would say predicted) demagogues swaying these factions by appealing to their emotions using arguments that may sound correct but are actually false. The Founding Fathers, unlike Trump, knew history and were aware that when the Greeks attempted a direct democracy where regular individuals had the ability to directly affect change, the Sophists were able to sway them into voting for the Sophists’ interests under false pretenses. According to dictionary.com, a Sophist is “a person who reasons with clever but fallacious arguments.” If this sounds familiar is because that is exactly what Trump is, a Sophist. For example, Donald Trump claims that “when Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” This argument is partially correct and is spun to make us hate these immigrants. First, Mexico does not send anyone to the United States they come here for the opportunity of a better life, which is why the British migrated to the Americas in the first place. Second, no one moves from one country to another because they are experiencing great life circumstances where they live. Quite obviously, the people who migrate are those who come from low income situations and have little to no education. This does not just apply to Mexico but also to Europe, Asia, and the rest of Latin America among others, the United States is known as the place to go for a better life. Trump is correct about one thing, people who come to the U.S. illegally are not always the highest quality people, but that does not automatically make them rapists, drug users, and drug dealers. What turns these people onto illegal activities is the lack of opportunity society provides people of low income and low education to come out of poverty in order to prosper.

The epitome of what Madison meant when he wrote about the mischief of factions led by silver tongued demagogues is personified by a Trump rally; Immense groups of people using raw emotion and hatred for the establishment rather than utilizing logical and deliberate thinking to realize that even though there are many things wrong with our government, Trump is not the answer.

To view Trump’s full speech about Mexican immigrants, go to https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/07/08/donald-trumps-false-comments-connecting-mexican-immigrants-and-crime/

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This entry was posted in Alexander Hamilton, Antifederalists, Democracy, Factions, Federalist #10, Federalists, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Would the Founding Fathers Build Trump’s Wall?

  1. vassallucci says:

    Honestly your post is very interesting, useful and so important… You’re absolutely right. I totally agree with you. I will extend my reflection to Europe, because we currently know the same situation in France.

    As you said, I think that the Founding Fathers of all of the democracies whether it be in the United States, in England or in France, currently turn in their graves. At the present time, we are facing a period during which extremisms are more and more appreciated and become central to public sphere’s reflection, unfortunately. People don’t support their government anymore, don’t tolerate anymore that politicians don’t keep their words and that the policies they want are not applied. So, they make the mistake to turn towards extremisms. They make the mistake to sacrifice liberty in favour of safety. This reminds me a Benjamin Franklin’s citation: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”. But these people don’ realize that at the same moment they are sacrificing two other values dear to human essence: equality and brotherhood among human beings.

    If this continues, if these people are not aware that extremisms and extremists people like Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen (in France) could become serious dangers, so we will turn towards an era during which racism, xenophobia and fear of others will be legion…

  2. Ryan Wadding says:

    Great post. I like the linkage you present between the founding fathers and modern politics. I also thank you for bringing up Trump’s previous comments in reference to Mexico and illegal immigration. I think we sometimes forget certain controversies surrounding Trump because there are so many. You also mentioned this but I would like to expand by saying that Donald Trump is incorrect, the government of Mexico does not send anyone to the U.S. Furthermore, I would like briefly discuss crime within the illegal immigration community. First of all, any crime statistics Donald and his supporters quote to further the hate toward immigrants is inherently unreliable; people who are here illegally have every incentive not to report crime because it could expose them to deportation as a result from their law enforcement contact. Secondly, as you pointed out by criminalizing these people’s existence in our country we subsequently create conditions that make daily living difficult and can in turn lead to criminal activity. I believe the immigration policies Trump would put forth if he unfortunately become president will simply not work and will actually do more harm than good. You are right, Trump is not the answer.

  3. Rebecca Smith says:

    I would like to start off by admitting that I thoroughly enjoyed your work. However, I must also admit that my liking of the post can potentially be due to my bias against Donald Trump. And the comment to follow, as much as I would like to say it isn’t, is also likely heavily influenced by the aforementioned bias. Regardless, I’ll dive in.

    In a way to simply add to your post, I dug up an article published by USA Today in July of last year (2015). The article dissects Trump’s comment on the “quality” of immigrants from Mexico and specifically addresses the crime those immigrants are said to bring. There is a disclaimer in the USA Today publication that I will also include here which essentially states that statistics for the demographic of undocumented immigrants is incredibly hard to find and that the research is limited, but the article is based on the information that is available. In a nut shell, the piece refers to stats from the American Immigration Council that completely unravel Trump’s claim of undocumented immigrants bringing crime into the U.S.. According to the study, only 1.6% of the non-native born population in the U.S. was incarcerated at any time in 2014. However, 3.3% of the native-born population was incarcerated at some point in that same year. So, not only are undocumented, non-native born citizens committing less crime in literal numbers, but a native-born American citizen is more likely to commit a crime and be imprisoned than is their non-native counterpart.

    To read the entire USA Today article, go to: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/07/16/voices-gomez-undocumented-immigrant-crime-san-francisco-shooting/30159479/

  4. kevyngessner1 says:

    I found your post very intriguing. The premise of Trump’s antiestablishment campaign would make the Antifederalists and Federalists have quite the field day arguing about every aspect of his candidacy. Your explicit focus on the “huuuuge” wall, I believe, would make the founding fathers scratch at their heads. I do not think the fathers would be quick to judge, however. I think the founders would have wanted the best, and nothing but the best, for the country. No matter the cost (in both monetary and labor fashions), they would want America to be the safest country on the planet.

    Trump does paint the picture of Mexican immigrants with a rather broad brush, but what he is saying is also not entirely wrong (as you point out). Even though building a wall will keep out people with both good and bad intentions, it’s worth it to keep out the good for the sake of keeping out with the bad. Being devils advocate, I would argue that the founders would want the country to stay safe and secure. If this meant making immigration hard for anyone and everyone, then so be it.

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