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ThePotatoWalrus

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Seeing how nobody has made any posts about it, I just wanted to gauge your reaction on Trump winning. Overall, I'm happy, confused, and disappointed at the same time, but I think if he plays his cards right, he will be better than Hillary would be, but he also has the potential to be much, much, worse than her.

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For me you should abolish the Electoral College.

It is not fair that for the second time since 16 years the Democrat are loosing the White House with a huge marge in votes (Hillary has currently almost 400 000 votes in more than Trump and the states in her favour are still counting, I expect almost one million vote in more for her than Trump)

Otherwise if you want to know, many people are asking in foreign countries how America has been able to choosed him, even if we know what Hillary Clinton has been (not so clean in her whole career)..

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44 minutes ago, Sami said:

For me you should abolish the Electoral College.

It is not fair that for the second time since 16 years the Democrat are loosing the White House with a huge marge in votes (Hillary has currently almost 400 000 votes in more than Trump and the states in her favour are still counting, I expect almost one million vote in more for her than Trump)

Otherwise if you want to know, many people are asking in foreign countries how America has been able to choosed him, even if we know what Hillary Clinton has been (not so clean in her whole career)..

The point of the electoral college is to prevent one big state from dominating the election.  The Founders wanted to avoid true democracy because of the tyranny of the majority.  The electoral college prevents states like California from dominating the elections.

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1 hour ago, ThePotatoWalrus said:

Seeing how nobody has made any posts about it, I just wanted to gauge your reaction on Trump winning. Overall, I'm happy, confused, and disappointed at the same time, but I think if he plays his cards right, he will be better than Hillary would be, but he also has the potential to be much, much, worse than her.

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I'd be interested in knowing what parts you're happy confused and disappointed about.  I was (pleasantly) very surprised.  Just like the election itself, I'm cautiously optimistic.  I think that the worst thing that the GOP can do now is get all bipartisan-y and start compromising.  Obama wasted no time in ramming through his legislation and was constantly attacking the Republican Party.  After eight years of getting called racists, bigots, homophobes, being laughed at and mocked by Obama and the mainstream media, we need to show no mercy .  Otherwise the Dems will smell blood and try to walk all over us.  The big issue I had with Reagan is that he did a lot of good things but didn't move to make any structural fixes, didn't fix illegal immigration and didn't make the needed Constitutional Amendments.  Much of that inaction led to the problems we face now.

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8 hours ago, jvikings1 said:

The point of the electoral college is to prevent one big state from dominating the election.  The Founders wanted to avoid true democracy because of the tyranny of the majority.  The electoral college prevents states like California from dominating the elections.

You will find I am disturbing, it is absolutely not nasty :D.

But in law we study the concept of "tyranny of the minority" which explains that 50,00000001% of the votes is the most democratic possible result because more you're asking in majority, more you're giving the power to decide to a minority.

Hence following this concept, 47% of the american people will decide for 53% (if Trump stays at 47% in our example).

But I respect your system, for me, your Constitution is inspired at 80% by the theory of Montesqieu (total presidentialism) and at 20% by the theory of Rousseau (the possibility of recall is clearly from him).

If I was American, I would probably stand for the abolition of the Electoral College because it is not fair for me that some electors can have more power in their ballot than millions of others, because they're liveing in Swing states.

It is maybe what pushs millions of people to don't go to vote (democrat or Republican following the states).

Despite this I respect your constitution, I think it was the most democratic at the beginning and your system of primary is a model for the word.

For example in France our presidential election based on this concept of 50%+1 always gathered between 80 and 85% of turnout in both turns.

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I used to feel that way, but the Electoral College is essential for the exact reasons that @jvikings1 stated.  Though in a perfect world, I'd like to see more states split their electoral votes like Maine and Nebraska do, so that the entire election doesn't come down to a few precincts in Florida.  Then at least the popular and electoral votes would match more closely.  But that too would require a Constitutional amendment, and I don't think that individual states will take kindly to an amendment that tells them how to vote.  There's nothing in the Constitution that says states HAVE to go winner-take-all, just that most of them do and we have to live with that.

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Yes it takes 2/3 of the Congress then 38 states and I think even 75% of agreement (or 2/3) in each local parliament.

For me at least the electoral college should be based on a proportionnal and local split.

For example, if Trump has 35% in California, he could have 35% of the great electors.

The same for Clinton in Ohio.

Because as the system of great elector is based on an compulsory mandate, they can't have their say.

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35 minutes ago, servo75 said:

I used to feel that way, but the Electoral College is essential for the exact reasons that @jvikings1 stated.  Though in a perfect world, I'd like to see more states split their electoral votes like Maine and Nebraska do, so that the entire election doesn't come down to a few precincts in Florida.  Then at least the popular and electoral votes would match more closely.  But that too would require a Constitutional amendment, and I don't think that individual states will take kindly to an amendment that tells them how to vote.  There's nothing in the Constitution that says states HAVE to go winner-take-all, just that most of them do and we have to live with that.

Oh, God forbid a US State gets "told" to make any change toward a fairer, more representative system and at all compromise their privileged niche in the Union they like to use like a bludgeon when they can! Oh, the tyranny of Federal Government overreach it would be to want a system of selecting the nation's chief executive that was REALLY based on "the will of the people," and not just "preserving the status of small States," to lord over the larger states disproportionately because their economically and socially backward environments can't stop migration to richer, better opportunity States! Oh the atrocity and travesty! Oh the humanity!

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Just now, Patine said:

Oh, God forbid a US State gets "told" to make any change toward a fairer, more representative system and at all compromise their privileged niche in the Union they like to use like a bludgeon when they can! Oh, the tyranny of Federal Government overreach it would be to want a system of selecting the nation's chief executive that was REALLY based on "the will of the people," and not just "preserving the status of small States," to lord over the larger states disproportionately because their economically and socially backward environments can't stop migration to richer, better opportunity States! Oh the atrocity and travesty! Oh the humanity!

Ok, let's calm down and take a deep breath for a moment...

The Electoral College was designed to prevent elections from being dominated by a few large states such as California, Texas, Florida, and New York.  Without this system, would any candidate visit New Hampshire or Iowa?  "But it comes down to a few states right now."  Yes because those are the CURRENT swing states.  If New Hampshire were solid blue, Florida solid red but polls were close in Minnesota, then THAT would be the swing state getting attention.  In the late 19th century New York was a swing state.  Other elections have come down to South Carolina and Louisiana.  The bottom line is that the Constitution requires the electoral college.  The Founders feared the concentration of power in a few urban areas, and felt that the Federal government should answer to the states, not the other way around as many currently feel.  For this reason, the Constitution says that states MUST choose electors, but makes no prescription as to HOW the states must do that.  For the Federal government to abolish the electoral college, or tell states how to allocate their votes, would be a massive Constitutional overreach that would violate the sovereignty of the individual states.

Finally I take offense to the notion that the smaller states are somehow "backward", that it's somehow their fault that they have low population.  That is exactly the type of thinking that caused the incorrect polling we saw in this election, the thought that Trump's supporters were all racist rednecks from flyover country and lack of touch with middle America. 

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57 minutes ago, servo75 said:

Ok, let's calm down and take a deep breath for a moment...

The Electoral College was designed to prevent elections from being dominated by a few large states such as California, Texas, Florida, and New York.  Without this system, would any candidate visit New Hampshire or Iowa?  "But it comes down to a few states right now."  Yes because those are the CURRENT swing states.  If New Hampshire were solid blue, Florida solid red but polls were close in Minnesota, then THAT would be the swing state getting attention.  In the late 19th century New York was a swing state.  Other elections have come down to South Carolina and Louisiana.  The bottom line is that the Constitution requires the electoral college.  The Founders feared the concentration of power in a few urban areas, and felt that the Federal government should answer to the states, not the other way around as many currently feel.  For this reason, the Constitution says that states MUST choose electors, but makes no prescription as to HOW the states must do that.  For the Federal government to abolish the electoral college, or tell states how to allocate their votes, would be a massive Constitutional overreach that would violate the sovereignty of the individual states.

Finally I take offense to the notion that the smaller states are somehow "backward", that it's somehow their fault that they have low population.  That is exactly the type of thinking that caused the incorrect polling we saw in this election, the thought that Trump's supporters were all racist rednecks from flyover country and lack of touch with middle America.

Okay, let's step away from staring at that old parchment in the Smithsonian for a minute and look at things relatively. What defenders of the Electoral College don't seem to know (or even admit) is that the institution is not a timeless classic and an eternal ideal that should never be changed, no matter what happens. It is actually an anachronistic relic of an era when the level of political development STILL considering the idea of selecting the head-of-state of a sovereign nation by direct popular vote of all eligible voters to be far to radical to accept. This tendency of the day can also be clearly seen in the roughly contemporary First French Republic, or the early governments in the Latin American Republics. However, things have changed and evolved in much of the world politically since. Though still up on nation's whose heads-of-state are dictators, monarchs (constitutional, traditional, or absolute), or have ceremonial, mostly powerless, presidents chosen by the nation's legislature, the US President is apt to be at times (like this year) less representative of the will of the American People (and remember "we the people" is SUPPOSED to be the empowering phrase of the nation), the Presidents of France, Poland, many Latin American nations, the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, and even countries like Turkey and Ukraine, or even the Governors of the US' component states, are inherently of their people. But yet, for decades, the US propaganda machine has portrayed itself internationally as the greatest bastion of representative democracy and the very icon of virtue of such a form of governance. Also, as much as you defend "States' rights," I personally believe the will and the needs of the people as a whole MUST outweigh a bunch of arbitrarily divided first-tier subnational administrative divisions. And, the Founding Fathers fears of power concentrating in urban centres is a product of their time, when 90% of the US population at the time was rural and many (though not all, by any means) Founding Fathers were wealthy planters. That situation has the gone the way of the dodo. Urbanization is the currently dominant economic and social trend, not just in the US, but in most of the world except the most destitute of Developing Countries. Overrepresentation of rural constituents for political ulterior motives has also been an issue in European and Commonwealth nations as well, that has been leveraged and griped about here and there in past decades, but usually laws are eventually put in place to remedy electoral distortion.

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1 hour ago, Patine said:

Okay, let's step away from staring at that old parchment in the Smithsonian for a minute and look at things relatively. What defenders of the Electoral College don't seem to know (or even admit) is that the institution is not a timeless classic and an eternal ideal that should never be changed, no matter what happens. It is actually an anachronistic relic of an era when the level of political development STILL considering the idea of selecting the head-of-state of a sovereign nation by direct popular vote of all eligible voters to be far to radical to accept. This tendency of the day can also be clearly seen in the roughly contemporary First French Republic, or the early governments in the Latin American Republics. However, things have changed and evolved in much of the world politically since. Though still up on nation's whose heads-of-state are dictators, monarchs (constitutional, traditional, or absolute), or have ceremonial, mostly powerless, presidents chosen by the nation's legislature, the US President is apt to be at times (like this year) less representative of the will of the American People (and remember "we the people" is SUPPOSED to be the empowering phrase of the nation), the Presidents of France, Poland, many Latin American nations, the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, and even countries like Turkey and Ukraine, or even the Governors of the US' component states, are inherently of their people. But yet, for decades, the US propaganda machine has portrayed itself internationally as the greatest bastion of representative democracy and the very icon of virtue of such a form of governance. Also, as much as you defend "States' rights," I personally believe the will and the needs of the people as a whole MUST outweigh a bunch of arbitrarily divided first-tier subnational administrative divisions. And, the Founding Fathers fears of power concentrating in urban centres is a product of their time, when 90% of the US population at the time was rural and many (though not all, by any means) Founding Fathers were wealthy planters. That situation has the gone the way of the dodo. Urbanization is the currently dominant economic and social trend, not just in the US, but in most of the world except the most destitute of Developing Countries. Overrepresentation of rural constituents for political ulterior motives has also been an issue in European and Commonwealth nations as well, that has been leveraged and griped about here and there in past decades, but usually laws are eventually put in place to remedy electoral distortion.

That "old piece of parchment" is the bedrock of our system of government, the foundation that undergirds our rule of law and our society.  Can it change with the times?  Of course.  It's happened 27 times, they're called amendments.  But it must be followed to the letter as it exists at any given time.  If you feel the electoral college should go, that's fine.  Write your representatives, ask them to draft a constitutional amendment, pass it through Congress and send it to the states.  If 38 of them agree, then it's the law.  No one ever says the Constitution can't evolve, but we can't just make up the laws as they go along.  The amendment process was intentionally very difficult because the Founders saw the danger of "mob rule" or changing laws on a whim.  The whole foundation of our country was built on states' rights.  We don't live in a democracy, we live in a Constitutional Republic, based on representational rule.  If you don't like it, that's perfectly fine, but it's the law and has to be followed.

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4 minutes ago, servo75 said:

That "old piece of parchment" is the bedrock of our system of government, the foundation that undergirds our rule of law and our society.  Can it change with the times?  Of course.  It's happened 27 times, they're called amendments.  But it must be followed to the letter as it exists at any given time.  If you feel the electoral college should go, that's fine.  Write your representatives, ask them to draft a constitutional amendment, pass it through Congress and send it to the states.  If 38 of them agree, then it's the law.  No one ever says the Constitution can't evolve, but we can't just make up the laws as they go along.  The amendment process was intentionally very difficult because the Founders saw the danger of "mob rule" or changing laws on a whim.  The whole foundation of our country was built on states' rights.  We don't live in a democracy, we live in a Constitutional Republic, based on representational rule.  If you don't like it, that's perfectly fine, but it's the law and has to be followed.

"Mob rule" and people lashing out for radical (and perhaps unrealistic) change is exactly the mentality of the masses that also put Donald Trump in power. Why aren't you criticizing that flaw in affairs, if the Founding Fathers disapproved of that kind of situation?

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I just want to point something out that I keep reading on here.

 

The electoral college was not created to prevent large states from dominating elections, it was created because the Founding Fathers were afraid of direct democracy.  They were afraid that too many Americans were uneducated and uninformed, and thus wanted to be able to stop someone who was greatly under qualified from becoming President.  In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton wrote that the point of the Electoral College was to ensure "that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications."  People nowadays are obviously much more educated and informed than they were in the late 1700s, which makes the Electoral College outdated.

 

 

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5 hours ago, servo75 said:

I used to feel that way, but the Electoral College is essential for the exact reasons that @jvikings1 stated.  Though in a perfect world, I'd like to see more states split their electoral votes like Maine and Nebraska do, so that the entire election doesn't come down to a few precincts in Florida.  Then at least the popular and electoral votes would match more closely.  But that too would require a Constitutional amendment, and I don't think that individual states will take kindly to an amendment that tells them how to vote.  There's nothing in the Constitution that says states HAVE to go winner-take-all, just that most of them do and we have to live with that.

I would prefer all states to split their votes into congressional districts because this would be more representative of the people in the states while keeping the safeguards in place.

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56 minutes ago, jvikings1 said:

I would prefer all states to split their votes into congressional districts because this would be more representative of the people in the states while keeping the safeguards in place.

It would also ensure a permanent Republican presidency. This idea was floated for a while, but given the structural advantage that Republicans control in terms of congressional districts, due to the VRA and other things, it's nothing even approaching democratic.

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50 minutes ago, VanMav said:

It would also ensure a permanent Republican presidency. This idea was floated for a while, but given the structural advantage that Republicans control in terms of congressional districts, due to the VRA and other things, it's nothing even approaching democratic.

However you break it down, the Electoral College always at least has the potential to betray the people of the country. And, another big flaw of it, is that it's system of demanding one ticket wins a majority of EV's or the election goes to the House further enforces the corrupt, complacent, elitist, nepotistic, back-scratching party duopoly. Case and point - specific platform and campaigning style aside, Ross Perot in the '90' and Donald Trump in 2016 had very similar backgrounds - independent-minded billionaires who used their own money and connections (initially, at least) to go in and try and change the system drastically. The fact that Trump, who played the Republican Primary machine and pandered to far-right-wing groups that everything known about him shows he's fully onboard with in personal beliefs, won an election, and Perot, who has a firm Independent in '92, and founded a Third Party, originally as an electoral vehicle, in '96, is still viewed as having been an inherent lost cause by many, shows the two main parties themselves still maintain an unhealthy and highly dubious grip on power in the US to a point where it seems to be more about the parties and their ideologies, and the purity of their ideologies, than the people and what's actually good for the people, nation, and economy in a sober, practical, well-thought-out sense. This isn't unique to the United States, but I've come to feel that the institutionalized entrenchment of party politics has become poison in the well, if you will.

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53 minutes ago, VanMav said:

It would also ensure a permanent Republican presidency. This idea was floated for a while, but given the structural advantage that Republicans control in terms of congressional districts, due to the VRA and other things, it's nothing even approaching democratic.

No Democrat complained about the Democrat advantage in the current electoral map.  Yet my plan would be closer to the popular vote that Democrats seem to love.

 

3 hours ago, Patine said:

"Mob rule" and people lashing out for radical (and perhaps unrealistic) change is exactly the mentality of the masses that also put Donald Trump in power. Why aren't you criticizing that flaw in affairs, if the Founding Fathers disapproved of that kind of situation?

Because I don't think it's a flaw.  Donald Trump was put in power by the American people, I don't call that mob rule.  Look, I'm willing to have a constructive debate over issues like the electoral college, but what you seem to be doing is arguing against the structure of the Constitution itself.  I'm sorry that the system we have is inconvenient, but we can't decide what to follow and what not to based on what's convenient for us.

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4 minutes ago, servo75 said:

No Democrat complained about the Democrat advantage in the current electoral map.  Yet my plan would be closer to the popular vote that Democrats seem to love.

 

Because I don't think it's a flaw.  Donald Trump was put in power by the American people, I don't call that mob rule.  Look, I'm willing to have a constructive debate over issues like the electoral college, but what you seem to be doing is arguing against the structure of the Constitution itself.  I'm sorry that the system we have is inconvenient, but we can't decide what to follow and what not to based on what's convenient for us.

You say "put in power by the people," when at least 600 000 more voters chose his main opponent over him. Don't you see the flaw in all of this at all?

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2 hours ago, jnewt said:

I just want to point something out that I keep reading on here.

 

The electoral college was not created to prevent large states from dominating elections, it was created because the Founding Fathers were afraid of direct democracy.  They were afraid that too many Americans were uneducated and uninformed, and thus wanted to be able to stop someone who was greatly under qualified from becoming President.  In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton wrote that the point of the Electoral College was to ensure "that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications."  People nowadays are obviously much more educated and informed than they were in the late 1700s, which makes the Electoral College outdated.

 

 

I'm sure they were both reasons.  I wasn't around in 1788, I don't know if the the lack of trust of citizens was legitimate.  I do think that if nothing else, a nationwide popular vote would not have been feasible with the size and spread of our population, without any modern communication technology.  But again we didn't have the popular vote at all back then.  Back then the legislatures would appoint electors, now at least the electors are chosen by democratic vote.  I don't see the situation as not "trusting" people to do the right thing.  Whether you look at as dominance of a few states or not, either way the Founders were afraid of a small majority (regardless of intelligence or station or whatever) making decisions influencing the entire country.  If two people in a room have $5 each, and a third person has $80, then can the other two vote for the third person to give them each $25?  Pure democracy can result in laws being made on a whim, our checks and balances are in place to prevent that.  We do de jure have a popular vote in that we choose the electors, but the Electoral College compartmentalizes the vote to prevent one segment of the population from dominating the laws.  People in the cities have different needs than those in rural areas, yet urban dwellers have the most population.  So if 20% of the people live in rural areas, they will be consistently outvoted by the 80% in suburbs and cities.  The Electoral College, as well as our bicameral legislature, ensures that all voices are heard.

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26 minutes ago, servo75 said:

No Democrat complained about the Democrat advantage in the current electoral map.  Yet my plan would be closer to the popular vote that Democrats seem to love.

 

Because I don't think it's a flaw.  Donald Trump was put in power by the American people, I don't call that mob rule.  Look, I'm willing to have a constructive debate over issues like the electoral college, but what you seem to be doing is arguing against the structure of the Constitution itself.  I'm sorry that the system we have is inconvenient, but we can't decide what to follow and what not to based on what's convenient for us.

In no way would using congressional districts be closer to a popular vote.

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29 minutes ago, Patine said:

However you break it down, the Electoral College always at least has the potential to betray the people of the country. And, another big flaw of it, is that it's system of demanding one ticket wins a majority of EV's or the election goes to the House further enforces the corrupt, complacent, elitist, nepotistic, back-scratching party duopoly. Case and point - specific platform and campaigning style aside, Ross Perot in the '90' and Donald Trump in 2016 had very similar backgrounds - independent-minded billionaires who used their own money and connections (initially, at least) to go in and try and change the system drastically. The fact that Trump, who played the Republican Primary machine and pandered to far-right-wing groups that everything known about him shows he's fully onboard with in personal beliefs, won an election, and Perot, who has a firm Independent in '92, and founded a Third Party, originally as an electoral vehicle, in '96, is still viewed as having been an inherent lost cause by many, shows the two main parties themselves still maintain an unhealthy and highly dubious grip on power in the US to a point where it seems to be more about the parties and their ideologies, and the purity of their ideologies, than the people and what's actually good for the people, nation, and economy in a sober, practical, well-thought-out sense. This isn't unique to the United States, but I've come to feel that the institutionalized entrenchment of party politics has become poison in the well, if you will.

And if that's an argument you think that's worth having, then you should have it. The point is the electoral college is currently functioning exactly as intended. To protect from "the tyranny of the majority". 

Maine now has IRV, a form of preferential voting, we'll see if that changes the composition of votes, but I suspect that over 90% of voters will continue to select a Republican or a Democrat. Australia is the same, we have full preferential voting, the two big parties get 80%+ consistently. It's because they represent the most people.

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15 minutes ago, VanMav said:

And if that's an argument you think that's worth having, then you should have it. The point is the electoral college is currently functioning exactly as intended. To protect from "the tyranny of the majority".

Maine now has IRV, a form of preferential voting, we'll see if that changes the composition of votes, but I suspect that over 90% of voters will continue to select a Republican or a Democrat. Australia is the same, we have full preferential voting, the two big parties get 80%+ consistently. It's because they represent the most people.

"Protecting from the tyranny of the majority" sounds like the wording of a constitutional term that would be used by groups like the National Party of South Africa or the Rhodesia Front in their day. How do you know how those terms sound in most modern contexts. Given, I admit, that gentlemen of the 18th Century thought nothing of making such statements, given the views prevalent at that time, they do sound a bit different in today's environment, however.

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