In 1787, James Madison, the fourth President of the United States, traditionally regarded as the Father of the United States Constitution, in the debates on Constitution, declared the following:
The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge the wants or feelings of the day-laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe, — when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability.
Why the rich can't judge the feelings of the laborer? Because he is incapable to understand the laborer? Or it means that he should not consider the feelings of the laborer and he has to ignore them?
Landed interest means the interest of the land owners?
The number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures — it means that the number of rich people owning land becoming small comparing to the number of rich people that have industries and trade business?
What kind of innovation he was against? Innovation like "Hey! let's give to everyone a decent amount of land!" ?
"They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority." — This really sounds like "we should protect the filthy rich". The fact that he used the word "opulent" makes the speech look really worse, I think. Was that what he meant? To protect the ostentatiously costly and luxurious minority?