power to one man. In a numerous representation the abuse of power is a common injury, and has no temptation; among the few, the abuse of power may often operate to the private emolument of those who abuse it.
THE FEDERAL FARMER
. . . . But "the people must elect good men." Examine the system--is it practicable for them to elect fit and proper representatives where the number is so small? "But the people may choose whom they please." This is an observation, I believe, made without due attention to facts and the state of the community. To explain my meaning, I will consider the descriptions of men commonly presented to the people as candidates for the offices of representatives. We may rank them in three classes.
1. The men who form the natural aristocracy, as before defined.
2. Popular demagogues--these men also are often politically elevated, so as to be seen by the people through the extent of large districts; they often have some abilities, [are] without principle, and rise into notice by their noise and arts.
3. The substantial and respectable part of the democracy--they are a numerous and valuable set of men, who discern and judge well, but from being generally silent in public assemblies are often overlooked. They are the most substantial and best informed men in the several towns, who occasionally fill the middle grades of offices, etc., who hold not a splendid, but respectable rank in private concerns. These men are extensively diffused through all the counties, towns and small districts in the union; even they, and their immediate connections, are raised above the majority of the people, and as representatives are only brought to a level with a more numerous part of the community, the middle orders, and a degree nearer the mass of the people. Hence it is, that the best practical representation, even in a small state, must be several degrees more aristocratical than the body of the people. A representation so formed as to admit but few or none of the third class, is in my opinion, not deserving of the name. Even in armies, courts-martial are so formed as to admit subaltern officers into them. The true idea is, so to open and enlarge the representation as to let in a due proportion of the third class with those of the first. Now, my opinion is, that the representation proposed is so small as that ordinarily very few or none of them can be elected. And, therefore, after all the parade of words and forms, the government must possess the soul of aristocracy, or something worse, the spirit of popular leaders.