James Madison’s Blind Spot

  • There is a startling image of James Madison wearing Google Glass in the Sunday New York Times (19-Jan-2014). In an opinion piece titled Madison’s Privacy Blind Spot, the 1816 portrait of Madison by John Vanderlyn is updated to show him sporting the futuristic monocle. Jeffery Rosen, the current president of the National Constitution Center, states that Madison — the Father of the Constitution and champion of the Bill of Rights — was more concerned with abuses of legislative and executive power than of unregulated commercial power. Rosen scans Mandison’s views towards abuses of power and concludes that the Constitution may need to be amended to protect the people from both corporate and government surveillance.
JDN | 20-Jan-2014

Property in land and property in slaves were the engines that drove Virginia society from its earliest days, giving Jefferson and those in his class wealth, independence, and liberty — their sense of identity. It was the dividing line between those who could participate in republican society by voting and those who could not, between those who were respectable and those who were not.

Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf
"Most Blessed of the Patriarchs" (2016)