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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Madison, Delegates, and Trustees

Jay Cost at AEI:
  • Recent impeachment controversies emphasize the competing views of representation in a republic—encapsulated by the delegate and trustee models.
  • As both a first-rank political philosopher and an enlightened practitioner of republican government, James Madison can help shed light on these disputes through his theory and statecraft on how politicians should represent the people.
  • Madison’s extensive efforts to enact the Bill of Rights demonstrate how he sought to reflect the best elements of public opinion for the good of the nation, effectively merging the delegate and trustee models.
  • Contemporary statesmen can learn valuable, practical lessons from Madison’s example.