Political Science 102C
10, February 2014
Constitutional Framers vision and the Washington Community: Promise, Problems, Solution
“Knowledge about the inner life of the governmental community of Washington becomes imperative for understanding the political system of the new nation.” ( Young p.108) The Constitutional Framers envisioned a national government that is similar to the concept of Plato's cave which is that it would be "at a distance and out of sight" of the everyday affairs and thoughts of ordinary Americans. The end result, it was anticipated, would be a new form of "national" and "long term" thinking by men of prominence, motivated only by their devotion to a national public interest and legacy. The constitutional framers wanted “The people to elect good men.” (Federal Farmer No.9, p.27) The Washington Community or “the original beltway boys” had an expectation of what it intended to be socially and politically and ended up being something different.
The Washington community helped develop the political community based on the constitutional framers original idea as well as implementing their own self-interest. The elected government ended up being even more limited than the constitutional design had envisioned. The Washington community ended up being a backwater that did not develop properly with few privileges socially and economically, and with limited political presence. The city was not fully developed and it made the elected officials seem that they had the power and they were of significance. Therefore, elected officials in both the House of Representatives and the Senate would not stay around long to serve. The original powers the constitutional framers intended for the elected officials of Washington to have was a separate territory removed from the political carryings of the states and the people that would allow deliberative democracy that was designed by them. In addition, it was supposed to be a separate and highly functional economical enterprise that would be paid for the prospective wealth of the land. The “Isolation of the governmental community opens new perspectives not only upon political developments following the Jeffersonian Era but also upon policy making at Washington during the Jeffersonian Era.” (Young p.107) It ended up being much different than envisioned. As much as the constitutional framers wanted a Constitutional and geographic attempt to isolate Washington Community representatives, what the representatives ended up doing to legitimize their power at least in the legislative branch was connecting themselves with their constituents as there was no real contact with their constituents. They felt a need to connect themselves with them. “Representation is the principle of our government.” (Debate in the House of Representatives, p.33)
The Framers of the Constitution designed the constitution to establish a foundation that would assist the government lead the people...