Skip to comments.If liberals were in Philadelphia in 1776
Posted on 06/28/2004 1:02:05 PM PDT by Mike Bates
The United States was blessed with great good fortune from the very beginning. Many of the Founders were geniuses. They shared their considerable gifts with a struggling new nation.
Things could have turned out so very differently. Imagine what might have happened, for example, if the Continental Congress didnt have the talents of men like John Adams and Benjamin Franklin to draw on in drafting a declaration of independence.
Thomas Jefferson was charged with writing the declaration, but a committee comprised of Adams, Franklin, Robert Livingston and Roger Sherman modified the document before it went to the Continental Congress for a vote.
Visualize what may have occurred if some of the leading liberals of today were on the committee with Jefferson instead. He presents his final draft to Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry for review.
Edwards is standing at a mirror, lovingly combing his freshly blow-dried hair. Kennedy pounds a gavel on the table. "Get over here, John. We want to get this out of the way before Happy Hour. I mean dinner time"
Ted continues, "OK, ladies first." Hillary glares at him, but he goes on, "Mrs. Clinton, have you any comments?"
"Yes, I do," she says. "Tom, I know Im speaking for all of us when I tell you how very much we appreciate your efforts. For you to prepare this document, without even so much as a ghostwriter or three or four, is a real testament to your fidelity. And I can tell you plenty about fidelity because the sleazebag Im married to ."
Kennedy interrupts: "Hillary, could you please limit the discussion to the issue at hand? Personally, Ive always considered Bill a paragon of virtue, but we do need to move along"
"Im so sorry," Clinton coquettishly replies. "Tom, what I genuinely found appalling about what youve written is the repeated use of the men, as in, all men are created equal . . . I mean, ya know, reading that infuriated me. I could hardly breathe. Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling . . ."
Mr. Jefferson asks her what she would have preferred. Well, womyn for starters, she answers. And the declaration absolutely has to include gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered. Mr. Jefferson looks puzzled, but says nothing.
"Can we get in a mention or two of trial lawyers?," Edwards inquires. The rest of the committee meets his request with cold stares. He gets up and goes over to the mirror again.
"Mrs. Clinton May I call you Mrs. Clinton? is entirely correct," declares Kerry ponderously. "Its essential that all our special interests, that is to say, constituencies be included in our pluralistic, multicultural society. Id only add to Hillarys excellent insight that we need to add the questioning to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered. Did I mention I was in Vietnam?"
Hillary slaps her forehead. "How could I have forgotten the questioning?" She makes a mental note to have the staffer who prepared her comments killed. "Thank you so much for correcting my oversight, John. Diversity is, ya know, like so our strength."
"Ill drink to that," says Teddy. "By the way, Hillary, thats a mighty fetching black pantsuit youre wearing today. Dont think Ive seen it before."
Kerry laboriously continues. "I would further articulate, Thomas May I call you Thomas? my nuanced objection to using terms such as "Natures God," "Creator" and "Supreme Judge." I was at Communion just yesterday. My experience there permits me to vigorously and unambiguously assert that those words could, possibly, suggest a belief in a Divine Being. Surely you realize that those references might offend some in our pluralistic, multicultural society. So I may, possibly, vote against your draft after I vote for it, in a nuanced sort of way. Did I mention I was in Vietnam?"
Mr. Jefferson begins wishing he had some of the stuff Teddy is drinking. Still, he says nothing. John Edwards puts down his can of industrial-strength mousse to make a point.
"The part I dont like is where you write about the king erecting a multitude of new offices and sending out swarms of officers to harass our people. That sounds uncomfortably like a criticism of regulatory agencies.
"Just for a minute, Tom, lets think about how it. Surely you dont mean to tell me that a thriving nation could exist for any length of time without an IRS, EPA, FTC, FCC, CPSC, EEOC, FDA, NEA, OSHA, and SEC. Were talking essential human services here, something almost as important as trial lawyers."
Mr. Jeffersons head is spinning. He realizes that with people such as these, the Republic wont last for a decade, let alone a century. He picks up his draft of the Declaration of Independence and begins leaving the room.
"Im sorry that my efforts dont meet with your approval. You appear to have as much difficulty understanding me as I do you.
"So Ill leave now and bring in a man from your era who has exactly the right words for people like you. Mr. Cheney, would you come in, please?"
As I said, weve been very blessed. Have a glorious Fourth.
Um.. not to labor on a fine point - putthe Founding Fathers were not conservatives or at least I should say did not use that word for themselves - as tehy did not wish to conserve royal govt. The term in vogue at that time was of course radical and liberal for them. Of course the 1776 meanings for what a conservative and liberal is have zero to do with the modern American meaning of the words.
loved it ...
On the other hand, the founders clearly believed that when a government becomes oppressive to the people (from whom just power derives having been granted to them by The Deity) it is supposed to serve, they have the right to replace that government with a new one of their choosing by force of arms. There are several elements here which today would be described as wholeheartedly Conservative.
The founders were "revolutionaries" but as Barry Goldwater said, "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice".
...Our writer goes on to extol the humanity of the rebels and contrasts it with the savage barbarity of burning unguarded towns, deflowering defenceless women, &c. As far as truth will permit, I am willing to believe, for the honour of America, that the rebels on this occasion relaxed in their usual barbarity. As it is the first instance, it should be recorded, though it would have lost nothing had it been expressed in less exaggerated terms.
The rebels have hitherto been infamous for their wanton cruelties. Their brutal treatment of Governor Franklin, and many other persons of distinction whom I could mention, -- their barbarity to loyalists in general, and at this present hour -- hanging men for acting according to the dictates of conscience -- whipping men almost to death because they will not take up arms - - publicly whipping even women, whose husbands would not join the militia -- their confiscations, fines, and imprisonments; these things which they daily and indubitably practice, very ill agree with the character of humanity so lavishly bestowed on them by this writer. Nothing but a long, very long series of conduct the reverse of this can wipe off the infamy which they hereby incurred.
The charge of deflowering defenceless women is one of those deliberate, malicious falsehoods which are circulated by the rebels, purely to incense the inhabitants against the British troops. As to burning unguarded towns, this writer should know that the Kings troops burn no houses except public magazines, and those from which they are fired at, or otherwise annoyed. This was lately the case at Fairfield and Norwalk, the towns to which, I suppose, the author alludes; and when houses are thus converted into citadels, it is justifiable to burn them by the rules of war among all civilized nations.
New Haven was in the possession of the Kings troops, yet they did not burn it. The reason was, they were not fired at from the houses during their approach to, or retreat from, the town. Some of the inhabitants, however, did what would have justified the British troops in consigning it to the flames. Sentries placed to guard particular houses have been fired at from those very same houses, and killed. An officer of distinction took a prisoner who was on horseback, and had a gun; the prisoner apparently submitted, but watching for an opportunity, he discharged his gun at the officer, and wounded him.
The wounded officer was carried into an adjoining house to have his wound dressed; the owner of the house seemed to be kind and attentive to the officer; the latter, in gratitude for his attention, ordered the soldiery, on his departure, to be particularly careful of the house, that no injuries should be offered to it. Yet, no sooner was the officer gone, and at the distance of fifty yards, than this very man discharged a loaded musket at him. These are samples of rebel humanity, which sweetly harmonize with our writers sentiments.
This writer, and all others of his stamp, should remember that the colonies are now in a state of revolt and rebellion against their rightful sovereign. The British legislation is unalterably determined to bring them back to their allegiance. The most generous overtures have been made to them -- a redress of grievances, an exemption from taxes, and a free trade, have been offered.
These liberal terms would indubitably make America the happiest, freest, and most flourishing country in the world. But the American Congress have madly and insolently rejected these terms. The Congress, therefore, and their partisans, are justly chargeable, before God and the world, with all the calamities which America now suffers, and with all those other and greater calamities which it will probably hereafter suffer in the course of this unnatural contest."
Originally published in the New York Gazette, August 16, 1779.
Liberals were called Torries at the time. Trusted in a tyrannous govt and failed.
The part I dont like is where you write about the king erecting a multitude of new offices and sending out swarms of officers to harass our people. That sounds uncomfortably like a criticism of regulatory agencies.
They were in New York and sundry other cities entertaining British troops.
Barbra Streisand was probably there.
Aye... I'll shoot only when I see the whites of their eyes.
Aim small, miss small, eh Karen.
Get the tomahawk sharpened.
Todays liberals would have been taken behind the barn with dispatch. Our founding fathers were REAL men.
We would be still under British rule.
Taken behind the barn? Naah, they'd be tarred, feathered, and hanged for treason.
Gracias, as they say in Chicago.
...being shown the ropes by an older and more experienced Helen Thomas.