A parliamentary dum-dum has been hilariously spreading an incorrect, anti-history propaganda that the United States nearly adopted his proposed ‘parliamentary system’ basically to prove that his European/Monarchic system is superior to what he calls “presidential system”, which is NOT actually America’s system of government (it’s Federal Republic).
To support his propaganda, this wannabe ideologue– the aptly named Orion P. Dumdum— has been circulating a paper published by an American liberal academic named F.H. Buckley, a notorious advocate of parliamentary system in the United States. Buckley’s paper is titled “The Efficient Secret: How America Nearly Adopted a Parliamentary System, and Why it Should Have Done So.”
“Efficient secret”? There’s no such thing!
I don’t think Mr. Dumdum and his blind follower read their so-called ‘sources’. But even if they did, I don’t think they have enough brain cells to critique academic papers or so-called studies. There’s something they’re guilty of, apart from deliberate dishonesty and propaganda-peddling, and it’s called confirmation bias.
Now the issue here is: Did the founding fathers “nearly adopt” what they call “parliamentary system”, and is this even an “efficient secret”?
The truth is, Orion’s source, Buckley, is WRONG on so many levels.
FIRST. Buckley committed a lot of logical fallacies and resorted to a number of cognitive biases to prove his case that the founders “very nearly adopted” parliamentary system.
In his paper, Buckley argues that today’s Originalists are “mistaken” because the founders “very nearly adopted a system not unlike the parliamentary regimes of Great Britain and Canada” (emphasis mine). Note the italicized words “very nearly adopted”, which sound more like an exaggerated, sensationalized claim, that suggest Buckley’s deliberate misinterpretation of the framers’ intention and false assumptions to prove his case.
If that’s the case, then anyone can also assume, without solid documentary proof, that all Republican countries today nearly adopted the Roman system.
The truth is, Buckley did not provide enough documentary and historical evidence to prove his argument that the founding fathers ‘very nearly’ followed, or were ‘nearly’ inspired by, the British system. Buckley’s failure to do that is actually explained by second fundamental error he committed.
SECOND. The founding of America preceded the full development of what is known today as parliamentary system. The British system went through a very long process of evolution, and according to historians Muller, Bergman and Trom, in their study titled “Parliamentary Democracy: Promise and Problems“, the term parliamentary government “was not used until 1832 in Britain and the late 1830s on the continent.”
If that’s the case– that the term parliamentary system was not used until the first half of 18th century– is it safe to assume, following Buckley’s erroneous logic, the Americans were “very nearly” the first framers of the British system?
But Buckley had to exaggerate his use of the words “VERY NEARLY”, because the truth of the matter is, the framers/founders strongly denounced the British system. In fact, the framers in Federalist Paper No. 52 (dated 1788) rejected the “vicious ingredients in the parliamentary constitution”
What Buckley did is that he simply crafted a highly dishonest, baseless assumption that the framers “very nearly” adopted his system and then rationalized his arguments by blatantly ignoring real history and what really transpired during the second half of 17th century.
THIRD. The founders adopted FEDERAL REPUBLIC [read the U.S. Constitution] and not what Buckley calls “parliamentary system”, which is a totally UNKNOWN term in the late 17th century.
In the end, the framers adopted a mixture of the nationalist Virginia Plan, which called for two chambers of Congress, and the New Jersey Plan proposed by the Federal Republicans, which sought to preserve both the republican form and the federal system of government established by the Articles of Confederation.
The delegates unanimously rejected the “too extreme” HAMILTONIAN PLAN that was modeled upon the British System. This is perhaps the reason why Buckley, who adores the British model, claims the founders “very nearly” adopted his proposed system.
The truth is, Madison and other founders found Hamilton’s proposal “too extreme”, as it called for an elective monarchy, with its Executive and Senate comparable to the king and House of Lords.
I find it hilarious that the Hamiltonian Plan, which Buckley obviously favors, was not even considered, but was instead strongly ridiculed or even laughed at, by the delegates.
FOURTH. To Buckley, parliamentarism is equal to a “rubber-stamp Congress”.
Buckley, who rejects America’s gridlock-prone “presidential system” and favors the quick passage of bills, wrote:
“They [liberals] looked back fondly to the first hundred days of the Roosevelt Administration in 1933, when the executive drafted bills which Congress rubber-stamped without debate. That was the closest that America ever came to a parliamentary system, and progressives thought that that was how government should work.”
Here’s a snapshot of Buckley’s argument:
So, according to Buckley, the gridlock-proof rubber-stamp Roosevelt Congress “was the closest that America ever came to parliamentary system”.
I do not disagree! He was absolutely right.
Most of the destructive laws that gradually destroyed the American economy were passed during the GRIDLOCK-PROOF PROGRESSIVE ERA. Now the liberals are blaming so-called “presidential system” for the very crises caused by their swiftly passed progressive laws (like the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of June 1930, the gold confiscation act of 1933, among many other New Deal laws that form part of America’s ever-increasing Welfare State).
The mere fact that America became the freest and greatest economy this world has even known in just a very short span of time simply proves that the founding fathers, in the words of Justice Antonin Scalia, were political geniuses.
Buckley’s ill-informed and propaganda-filled paper reminds me of British anti-gun propagandist Piers Morgan’s question for Scalia– “Why are you so convinced that these guys, over 200 years ago, were so right?”
Here’s how the conservative Justice responded:
You have to read the Federalist Papers to answer that question. I don’t think anybody in the current Congress could write even one of those numbers. These men were very, very thoughtful.
I truly believe that there are times in history when a genius bursts forth at some part of the globe. You know, like 2000 BC in Athens– or Cinquecento Florence for art. And I think one of those places was 18th century America — America for political science. You know, Madison said that — he told the people assembled at the convention, “Gentlemen, we are engaged in the new science of government.”
Nobody had ever tried to design a government scientifically before. They were brilliant men.
They were indeed thoughtful and brilliant men. Today’s Americans owe their freedom and economic success to their founders.
- In his encounter with free-market economist Nonoy Oplas, Mr. Dumdum made highly idiotic claims that “taxation is not in the Constitution. That’s in the laws. Size of government is not in the Constitution. That’s in the policies and laws.” Here’s a snapshot of what he actually said:
- Mr. Dumdum is, for the nth time, wrong on so many levels. Taxation is in the Constitution. He should read Article VI, Section 28, Article X, Sections 5 and 6, among others. The size of government is in the Constitution, and it’s defined in State Policies, Articles VII, VIII, IX and X, as well as in Articles XII, XIII, and XIV.
Here’s how Mr. Dumdum and his blind followers argue.
Here are the fundamental systemic differences between the Philippines and the United States.