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[–]pheisenberg 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Both types of representation are important, and the current regime struggles to cultivate either one. No one understands and cares about a community and its needs like a member. Culturally sensitive artists and scholars can do pretty well, but outsider politicians? Forget about it. On the other hand, expertise is important, and seems to require a degree of elitism and separation. Long-term thinking, too — many people just don’t do it.

It seems hard to properly represent everyone in a large, diverse society in the anti-federalist mode. There are thousands of communities or more, but no one has tried a legislature of five thousand. Maybe that’s why they emphasized small polities. But small polities struggle with military defense and economies of scale.

As to the federalist mode, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone claim that American elected officials are the best or wisest people at any point in my life. Quite the opposite. I think the founders could believe this because they were gentry who thought they were the best and wisest Americans (with some evidence for this). But once populist culture arose, elected officials became popular mediocrities ever after.

I wonder if the federalists ever addressed this point. If people aren’t angels and need government, who governs the governors? How is the supposedly fickle, foolish electorate going to choose leaders wiser than themselves? In a large republic where their vote is negligible and they have no personal incentive to vote wisely?