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If Founding Fathers could see us now
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com ^ | Thursday, July 4, 2002 | By JON HAHN

Posted on 07/03/2002 8:45:32 PM PDT by ATOMIC_PUNK

Many of the pronouncements surely to be made on this 226th anniversary of the signing of our Declaration of Independence will purport to explain the thinking of our Founding Fathers. But we might pause awhile and consider how they might view our thinking today.

How, for example, might Thomas Jefferson view the circumstances under which grown men might be drafted to serve indeterminate lengths of time and paid outlandish amounts of money to play games of baseball and football? What would he think of the fact that they serve variable and insecure tenures at the whim of filthy-rich owners who might sever their relationships by trading them, as one might trade a manservant, to another owner in a far-off province such as Cleveland?

What might Benjamin Franklin think of men not only being able to harness electrical power, but then selling it at a huge profit and brokering future power in such a way as to extract obscene profits from the promised power contracts, and in such a way as to unjustly elevate the cost of all electrical power at the expense of millions of ratepayers and for the profit of a politically connected hierarchy?

And how would John Hancock react if, while he was drafting an official document, his computer began flashing a dreaded "blue screen" and error message before his whole system froze up and wouldn't allow him to store or even work off-line?

Is there any chance that George Washington would petition the Continental Congress for female troops, once he saw how well women in uniform perform today? Imagine his shock at noting 37 additional white statehood stars on the national flag, or the existence of vessels capable of crossing the Delaware in seconds, or the possibility of picking up a good set of false teeth for almost nothing under a decent medical insurance plan.

For that matter, consider for a moment how any of the original 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence might react if they saw black men -- and women -- sitting in our Congress. And women voting for members of Congress.

How might our Founding Fathers react if they saw us imposing high tariffs on foreign agricultural goods while at the same time we were using our taxes to buy or set market prices for domestic agricultural products, many of which would then be warehoused instead of marketed or given to starving people here and abroad?

Would these same Founding Fathers approve if they saw tax revenues for public education being channeled to private or parochial schools, or if they learned that large percentages of public education funds were used to transport students solely for the purpose of mixing races?

Might there have been somewhere in the original Constitution or the Bill of Rights some article ensuring a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy?

Might the same Founding Fathers have been a tad more specific about a citizen's right to bear arms? And what about state laws against Very Large Fireworks?

Do you s'pose that the framers of the Constitution might have set some limits on the power of Congress to borrow money on the national credit? Might they have been a little clearer on the subject of taxes? Or on the separation of church and state? Or on the war powers of the president?

On a less legalistic basis, imagine how a prominent statesman from that era might view how we value celebrity and how much more an actor is paid compared with, say, a dairy farmer. For that matter, what about the pay of congressional representatives, senators and federal judges? And their retirement systems?

A member of that first Continental Congress might be aghast at the notion of Social Security, but think how he might react upon learning that people today canreap millions of dollars by merging many small companies into one large corporation and then milking that corporation's profits and credit, leaving it an all-but-empty shell and casting thousands of workers into the street.

How do you think that men accustomed to war with muskets and cannons would view nuclear weapons and their proliferation among many other nations? If that's too much of a stretch, how might they react to TV evangelism or a movie like "Die Hard"?

For a few laughs, we might get them to comment on contemporary American popular music.

Or we could get them to comment on the subject of individual liberty as it relates to things such as airport security searches, wire-tapping, water fluoridation and using company computers for private e-mail.

I'd like to know more of their thinking about things such as protection against self-incrimination or unfair seizure of properties and assets. I'd like to know what they felt about individual freedom of expression and how that might relate to what others see as flag desecration or obscenity.

If someone ever does figure out a way of reaching back to tap the minds of our Founding Fathers in more detail, whatever you do, don't tell them about rush hour, tanning parlors or cheese in spray cans. They might retroactively decide to bag the whole independence thing as a bad social experiment


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To: christine11
Thanks for the ping.
51 posted on 07/04/2002 7:01:37 AM PDT by carenot
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To: billbears
Thank you for pointing out the very things that have been plaguing my brain while reading down this entire thread. Our founders would be appalled, all right! -- at US for allowing this to either happen or for allowing it to continue!!
52 posted on 07/04/2002 7:01:47 AM PDT by KentuckyWoman
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To: Commander8
America or Amerika?
53 posted on 07/04/2002 7:06:04 AM PDT by B. A. Conservative
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To: lawdog
If they could "see us now", they would probably need some heavy meds.

And they would be put in a federal prison on 'Kingpin' statutes. Major hemp growers you know, and were not opiates and cocca products popular in their day? ;-)

(Not directed at you personally.)

54 posted on 07/04/2002 7:16:27 AM PDT by StriperSniper
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To: dtel
"...noone CAN be compelled to be a witness against himself."

Whoops, critical distinction. Double negative slipped by me.

55 posted on 07/04/2002 8:04:39 AM PDT by Middle Man
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To: KentuckyWoman
Do you s'pose that the framers of the Constitution might have set some limits on the power of Congress to borrow money on the national credit? Might they have been a little clearer on the subject of taxes? Or on the separation of church and state? Or on the war powers of the president?

And this right here. You and I both know EXACTLY when that started. Taxes? Before a certain time there weren't any. Oh, but with public education getting its roots in the same place you need taxes to pay for it. War powers of the President? I think they were absolutely clear about that, but hey they were absolutely clear about national banks too, but Federalists, Whigs, and later Republicans (the 19th and early 20th century ones) didn't care about that either.

56 posted on 07/04/2002 8:15:54 AM PDT by billbears
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Yet more proof (as if it was needed) that the left hasn't even a microsopic clue as to the motivations of our founders. To them, our founders were "revolutionaries", that is to say, socialists. The understanding goes no deeper.

Pathetic.

57 posted on 07/04/2002 8:26:53 AM PDT by Mr. Bungle
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
After shaking their collective heads in wondering how the republic they helped create got into its present state, the Founding Fathers would probably decry how their cherished freedom of the press has evolved for the most part into such media outlets becoming "mouthpieces" for the political persuasion that seeks to move government in the opposite direction from the Founders' original ideals.
58 posted on 07/04/2002 8:31:03 AM PDT by mikrofon
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To: Lee_Atwater
"If someone ever does figure out a way of reaching back to tap the minds of our Founding Fathers in more detail...

The Federalist"

Good luck. To the left, the Federalist papers simply don't exist. If leftists were ever to recognize their existence, they'd be forced to realize that most, if not all of their current positions are unconstitutional. No, they prefer the Constitution through the nuanced distortions of judges living centuries after the fact, a preference summarized well by (Moron)Gary Ackerman (D-NY) in a recent joust with Sean Hannity, when Hannity cited a particular passage in The Federalist to support an argument.

Ackerman said, "well, the courts decide the meaning of the constitution...we take an oath to uphold the Constitution, not the Federalist Papers."

Translated: "The Constitution means whatever I want it to mean, you ignorant apes."

59 posted on 07/04/2002 8:44:43 AM PDT by Mr. Bungle
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To: christine11
If the Founding Fathers could see us now they'd want to tar and feather us and beat us all the way to the border and put a boot in our behinds to help us across
60 posted on 07/04/2002 9:09:22 AM PDT by sandmanbr
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
If Thomas Jefferson were here right now he would be so impressed with air conditioning he would be celebrating that such a wonderful technology had developed in his country.

Then when I told him what the liberals had done to the Constitution he would be in such a furor that there wouldn't be an air conditioning unit big enough to cool him down. :-(
61 posted on 07/04/2002 9:21:59 AM PDT by cgbg
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To: christine11
thanks for ping christine
we beat back slickwilly's attempt to slick us out of our democracy altogether
so we did good
Love, Palo
62 posted on 07/04/2002 11:18:06 AM PDT by palo verde
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
How, for example, might Thomas Jefferson view the circumstances under which grown men might be drafted to serve indeterminate lengths of time and paid outlandish amounts of money to play games of baseball and football? What would he think of the fact that they serve variable and insecure tenures at the whim of filthy-rich owners who might sever their relationships by trading them, as one might trade a manservant, to another owner in a far-off province such as Cleveland?
Jefferson would have noted that these voluntary transactions (the players, after all, may retire rather than accept the trade) are absolutely none of the business of the government or any other civil authority.

He'd also consider Seattle much more of a "far-off" province than Cleveland. >:)

-Eric

63 posted on 07/04/2002 1:07:42 PM PDT by E Rocc
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
Might the same Founding Fathers have been a tad more specific about a citizen's right to bear arms?
How much more specific than "shall not be infringed" can you get?

-Eric

64 posted on 07/04/2002 1:11:28 PM PDT by E Rocc
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To: palo verde
Hi Palo sweetie. I want to thank Chrissy also for the Ping!! How true. How sad - *tears*
65 posted on 07/04/2002 2:32:21 PM PDT by Canadian Outrage
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To: mikrofon
I think what the founders would note is the paucity of views in the mainstream media other than one-sided left wing distortions. The Internet on the other hand with its wide variety of ideas including wacky conspiracies and outright lies along with excellent discussion of the truth would be much admired.
66 posted on 07/04/2002 5:14:21 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
The Seattle Pseudo-Intellegencia strikes again.
67 posted on 07/04/2002 5:47:03 PM PDT by Twodees
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To: Libertarianize the GOP
The Seattle PI is so far off the Socialist deep end

Ok, how about the Seattle Times? Doesn't it have a JOA with the PI?

foreverfree

68 posted on 07/04/2002 6:34:01 PM PDT by foreverfree
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To: foreverfree
The Seattle Times does have a JOA with the PI but they keep their editorial page to a mainstream Democrat level. The most Conservative paper in the area is the Tacoma News Tribune which has an editorial page with views closer to that of Jumpin Jim Jeffords, the ex-RHINO from Vermont.
69 posted on 07/04/2002 7:05:41 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: ATOMIC_PUNK
They would be apalled that the people who claim to defend our freedoms are more tyrannical than their worst nightmares. It's a given that the commie Democrats try to take away our freedoms, but when they saw what the other party had degenerated into, they would have to conclude that they designed it poorly. They changes they would likely make would preclude any group from screwing this up so quickly.

They would concider Clinton and Gore to be criminals, and Bush and company to be two bit tyrants.

70 posted on 07/05/2002 7:10:58 AM PDT by Protagoras
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To: christine11
bump
71 posted on 07/05/2002 8:15:44 AM PDT by Tauzero
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