(NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
By Gary Kasparov
American friends, you might not like to hear this coming from a Russian, but your Founding Fathers did not trust you at all. Don't feel bad, because that most remarkable constellation of 18th-century intellect and courage didn't trust anyone.
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The first modern democratic republic was founded on this healthy distrust of human nature, which led the Founders to construct a web of checks and balances to create the first nation of laws, not of men. The Founders were so skeptical because what they were attempting had no precedent. They prepared for the worst because they saw it all over the world: a world ruled by monarchs and dictators and warlords.
The authors of the Constitution fretted about a democracy that might slide into mob rule, or a President who might fashion himself emperor. They worried that too much political influence could accrue to small groups with extreme positions, and that a largely uneducated populace could be easily swayed by a demagogue who preyed on voters' basest instincts and self-interest.
They were concerned that elected officials might exploit their powers of office to seek private gain instead of the public good. You might say that the Founding Fathers saw Donald Trump coming, 229 years in advance — although if they had also foreseen Twitter, they might have reconsidered a few things.