On Thu, May 31, 2012 at 10:58 AM, Haim <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > >Or do you have a better answer? > > > You make a basic mistake. You seem to think that every law---enacted by > elected officials, of course---necessarily has the support of a majority of > the population or, at least, a majority of the electorate. This is > demonstrably false. > > In other words, you have a naive view of how law is made in the U.S. (or > in any democracy). Does the concept "Special Interest" mean anything to > you? > > Do not waste your time debating this issue with me. As a professor at a > college, you are in an especially advantageous position. Take a walk down > the hall and pay a visit to a political scientist, or invite one to coffee, > and put the question to him. I feel sure that I speak for everyone at > Math-Teach when I say that we would love to receive your report. >
I have no illusions about how laws are made. But the basic mistake seems to be yours. As a general rule, we have laws that are supported by a majority. Consider, say, gay marriage. The main reason it's in the news these days is that public opinion is now in flux and it's questionable where the majority stands. But 30 years ago, a clear majority opposed it---and so did our laws. Legalization of marijuana is another. Immigration still another. All these examples tend to show that laws change when majority opinion changes.
And an appeal to the wisdom of political scientists is amusing when made by one who holds that the Nazis were socialists because the name of their party included the word "Socialist". Any political scientist will tell you that it is not so. (And any logician will provide you with some cogent comments on the "reasoning" that supports your conclusion.) Given your touching faith in names, one must wonder why you balk at the suggestion that the "People's Republic of China" is a republic that belongs to the people of China and therefore promotes their best interests.
I'm sure that everyone at Math-Teach would love to hear your justification for your reliance on name in one case but your rejection of the same in another.
--Louis A. Talman Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences Metropolitan State College of Denver