This is James Madison. He's considered the Father of our Constitution (I recently read the original in the hall of records. Very cool.) If you want to delve deeper into the constitution, the federalist papers are a good resource.
Our founding fathers were pretty darned bright. I love it when someone argues about the constitutionality of something or other, but hasn't really put any time into studying it.
My biggest beef with Obama and socialism is the redistribution of wealth---tax the rich to give to the poor....Chimp pointed out that Obama will get elected because most people believe McCain's plan favors the rich, and most are not rich.
(These quotes are from the Federalist papers, No. 10. If someone does me the ultimate honor of actually being interested in this, well, read No. 51 too)
"A number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community" was his definition of a 'faction'. Today we'd call it a special interest.... Anyway, Madison went on: "The most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have forever formed distinct interests in society" I bet just about everyone can agree with that statement. Madison felt a direct democracy posed a threat to individual rights and the right to hold property...
"A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found to be incompatible with personal security or the rights of property and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths"
This is why Madison, (along with Jefferson, Jay, Hamilton, etc) designed our Republic with checks and balances, and a Bill of Rights...Particularly the fifth and fourteenth amendments protecting private ownership from public use without just compensation....
Here's what Madison was saying. In a strict democracy, there is nothing to stop the humble majority from voting themselves into the wealth of the rich minority. The poor are very temporarily a bit wealthier but there is zero incentive for the ones that can make money to continue to do so, and the democracy fails. There has to be ways for people to retain their property, which is for the greater good.
Madison's spinning in his grave.