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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 4, 2007 8:38 AM. The previous post in this blog was Bar bar bar, bar bar review. The next post in this blog is Greetings, WW readers. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

What would the Founding Fathers think?

If the people who signed the Declaration of Independence were alive today, how would they rate our nation?
Excellent
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pollcode.com free polls

Comments (27)

Which Founding Fathers, Jack?

The slave owners or the non-slave owners?

Both.

Do you have a point?

Yes.

The former would loathe what we have become.

The latter would believe we have become what they hoped but could not achieve in their lifetimes.

Up until well past the middle of the 20th century, the 4th of July celebrated the triumph of white males to be free (the right to vote, for an example).

Only since then has it been a date for all Americans celebrate.

I think they would marvel at our ingenuity and economic power, but would be repulsed by what our government has grown into. They would likely wonder why the Decider has us in Iraq, and would certainly question the wisdom of 700+ military bases in 135 countries.

They would, though, like Ron Paul. :)

I think they would marvel at us, really. Cars, the internet, our network of roadways, television, Starbucks, mp3 players, cell phones, modern medical advances, shopping malls, kitchen appliances, air travel, space travel and everything else in between. It is a very different world than when they signed the Declaration of Independance - so first they would have to wrap their minds around THAT. And I think they would be proud that their ideals have survived this long and that much change, that people haven't scrapped what they started and tried something else. That is sticking power.

What would they think of our current administration? I think they would realize that Americans have it so good, its made them mentally lazy.

I think you are right that they be repulsed by what our government has become....an ever-growing nanny state trying to coddle us poor, ignorant citizens from cradle to grave while allowing political correctness to prevent the government from doing to one thing that it was primarily charged to do - protect its citizens and the Union.

I think pamphleteers like Thomas Paine would admire the bloggers and the revolutionary spirit found "on the ground" all over the country. But Jefferson would be dismayed at the yuppie sense of entitlement and spoiled self-indulgence also abounding.

I think the founders would wonder why they even bothered. So many of the things we were warned about and that the Constitution was was set up as a bulwark against are alive and well. Foreign Entanglements, Political Correctness, Free Speech Zones? Where did it say that in the Declaration Of Independence?

The founding fathers would be dismayed that the current administration has used a variety of power-grabbing moves to circumvent the entire point of American government: That power must be checked and balanced. I believe General George Washington would have Cheney and Bush arrested.

Only since then has it been a date for all Americans [to] celebrate.

I'm not so sure about that. Sure, by our standards the men of the 18th Century were backward -- a disgrace on many counts. But given where they came from and what they had to work with, the Founding Fathers did something incredibly positive and good. We owe them a great deal.

It's been the same with many heroes of succeeding generations.

But what we're doing now -- domestically, internationally -- is ghastly. We are moving backward, backward, into a hole that we may never come out of.

Thrilled at our cohesion & unity as one nation.

Impressed by all the new land we've added--all the way to the Pacific!

Amazed by the economic powerhouse we've become.

Awed that the document they fashioned is still used, abused, imitated & revered.

Thrilled at our cohesion & unity as one nation.

Now that's funny.

Impressed by all the new land we've added--all the way to the Pacific!

And the savages have all been tamed!

Amazed by the economic powerhouse we've become.

Mmmmm... Chinese antifreeze toothpaste.

Awed that the document they fashioned is still used, abused, imitated & revered.

"Imitated," as in Bagdad? We're especially good at the "abused" part.

"Imitated".....as in Japan. You're right Jack, out Nation just outright sucks. I'm leaving.

I am capable of distinguishing between the nation and the people who run it. At the moment, the latter, yes, outright suck as leaders. And their apologists are pitiful.

Go with god, butch!

Two things our Founding Fathers DID think:

1. When a government becomes oppressive, the people can and must (and, in their case, did) replace it.

2. When a President exercises his constitutional power to pardon or commute a crime to which he is related, the remedy is impeachment.

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."


Not to beat the point to death, Jack, but many of the Founding Fathers believed fervently -notwithstanding the era they lived in- that slavery was a sin against God. Other Founding Fathers believed just as passionately, based on their economic reliance on the institution of slave labor, that slavery would be federally blessed or they would not agree to have their states join the Union.

As I wrote earlier, some Founding Fathers would rejoice that all Americans are now included under the umbrella of Jefferson's Declaration Of Independence that, on this point, said

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

A number of the Founding Fathers aspired that Jefferson's "inalienable Rights" would apply to all -irrespective of race- when the Constitution was being developed a decade later.

Others among the Founding Fathers, along with their descendants,

http://www.sunherald.com/218/story/71261.html

were fervent racists that we cannot discount simply because of the era in which they lived. Many of that same era were repulsed at such views.

I am happy to be alive at this point in the United States history. For all of the problems that are pointed out here and elsewhere, I do not forget that there are many in this country for which basic human rights was fought for and achieved long after the Founding Fathers went to their graves by equally brave and heroic Americans, both men and women, of all races.

Among the grievances against King George:

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

[Deprived] us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws...

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

I read the whole thing for the first time in my life this morning. It could have been ripped from today's headlines. I remember learning about the Revolution in middle school and believing such things would no longer be possible. Not in this country. And here we are.

What would the Founders think of how we've done? After reading The Declaration of Independence, I think they'd be horrified.

that we cannot discount simply because of the era in which they lived

Guess we'll have to disagree about that one. Wait 'til history looks back at us -- eating animals, for example. I hope the kids cut me some slack rather than dismiss everything I ever said or did because I was a "fervent species-ist."

basic human rights was fought for and achieved long after the Founding Fathers went to their graves by equally brave and heroic Americans, both men and women, of all races.

Some of the brave people who fought and died, yada yada yada, were bigots of the lowest order. Even Lincoln wanted to send the negroes back to Africa, where they'd be safe. That doesn't discount the heroes' sacrifice or their positive achievements, and it shouldn't disqualify their opinions on aspects of our society other than racial and gender equality.

You can also read the document here.

8c)

Thrilled at our cohesion & unity as one nation. (Now that's funny.)

From my reading of history, I understand that the biggest challenge of the war was to get each colony to fight under one banner.

Impressed by all the new land we've added--all the way to the Pacific! (And the savages have all been tamed!)

Again, from my reading of history I understand that savage-taming was a major pasttime of many of the founders (see Colonel Washington: French & Indian War)

Amazed by the economic powerhouse we've become (Mmmmm... Chinese antifreeze toothpaste.)
I don't think these expansionist slave-holding Virginia plantation holders ever took a vow of poverty!

I agree with you about the principles, Jack, but I thought the game was what the founders might think, not what I think!

Yeah, I guess you're right.

In a way, it depends on how literally you play the game. If you woke them up and gave them just a day or two to look around, it would all be a wonder to them, I'm sure.

I was thinking more along the lines of letting them have a year or two, and then asking them what they thought. Particularly of federal government policy.

To be balanced, they would likely also be dismayed by our diversity & shocked at the public role of women. (All that positive stuff was probably the cherry pie talking.) But I'm still grateful to the old guys for giving us a couple of amazing documents.

Randy writes; "I do not forget that there are many in this country for which basic human rights was fought for and achieved long after the Founding Fathers went to their graves by equally brave and heroic Americans, both men and women, of all races."

Last time I looked there were a lot of things that were still illegal to do in this country without the permission of government. Things that caused no harm to others such as building a house or starting a business. As it is since these things are often not permitted there are many in our society that do without many basic items needed for daily life.
MW

One look at the City of Portland, and our Founding Fathers would once again - rebel.

Sorry, Fireman. I voted for you, but won't be fooled again.

"One look at the City of Portland, and our Founding Fathers would once again - rebel.

Sorry, Fireman. I voted for you, but won't be fooled again."

Is he up for re-election already?

Greg C

The Founders would be saddened that we still rely on slave labor to fuel the prosperous. They would immediately equate the undocumented alien populous with the indentured servants, sharecroppers, and slave population of their times. They would lament the fact that their ideals have fallen prey to base instincts of greed, avarice and narcissism. They would scratch their collective wigs in amazement that we have not improved upon their ideals.

"Founders would be saddened that we still rely on slave labor to fuel the prosperous."

Uh, friend, slave labor is compelled labor, not someone who crosses a border illegally to take low-wage work from other Americans.

As far as the Fireman, amazing how he can overlook everything the founders did to set up this country by calling them racist bigots. I don't think getting more slaves was why they founded the USA.

Maybe he can focus on the reason they set up a new government was to escape oppressive taxation and government without representation like Bush and the CoP. Sorry, I forgot, Bush at least lowered taxes.


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