This is really cool and educational for all, especially your kids or grandkids.
Tag Archives: Founding Fathers
I think this is the second of his commercials I’ve seen on YouTube and they’re great.
We often focus on the size of government, as measured in percentage of GDP taxed and spent by the government, which is an important and measurable concept. But our real concern is power. What kind of power does the government wield over the people? Powerful state institutions tend to be large, but that doesn’t mean that a larger state is necessarily exercising more power. Imagine a small town that adds two officers to its police force. Now it has more police officers, and that costs more money; the government is “larger.” But if the officers now do a better job of arresting violent criminals and protecting the lives and property of the people — and refrain from arresting or hassling non-criminals — then the government has not expanded its power. Indeed, better eight officers protecting lives and property than six officers enforcing drug laws and blue laws. We should focus on what is actually important — the exercise of arbitrary power over others.
He’s right. Big government is not necessarily a bad thing, if the people choose to enlarge it and if the people choose to fund it. But I don’t think, for instance, that the Founders had a Department of Education in mind when they wrote the Constitution. (You can replace that department with Health and Human Services, Agriculture or any other big government department of your choosing.) The Founders believed that those “services” would best serve the people at the local level. The people would decide how much government they wanted and how much they would be willing to fund. And those departments, because they were local, would be accountable and responsible to the people who chose to fund an enlarged local government.
At some point though, this big federal government power grab took place and some do-gooders and greedy elected politicians in Washington, DC determined that the people weren’t smart enough or capable of determining the appropriate curriculum their children needed. They believed that people needed Ivy League academics, primarily from the Left Coast, to make the rules and determine the curriculum for students in Rock Springs, Wyoming and San Diego, California.
Isn’t it more sensible for a citizen to call their school board member or attend a meeting to voice concerns than give it all up to some bureaucrat in Washington, DC? How can an elite academician in Washington know what the needs and desires of students and parents in Butte, Montana are? What gives them the right to mandate rules and regulations on people 2000 miles away?
Departments like education should only exist on the county and state levels and by the decision of the local citizens to determine their existence or not. It would be then responsive and responsible to the citizens who are funding them with their own tax dollars. The people would be able to determine what and how their children are being taught. And people would be able to decide if those school districts were places they wanted their children to be educated in.
Education is a prime example of a state’s rights issue, as is abortion, the death penalty and other areas that the federal government has imposed themselves in.
As Ronald Reagan said, Americans have the freedom to vote with their feet. If a person doesn’t like the government, rules, laws and regulations in one state, he can move to another. Mark Levin, in his book Liberty and Tyranny, said that the mobility of Americans to relocate to areas that are more compatible to their beliefs and desires is what the Founders had in mind and that this diversity in states is what created a more “harmonious union.” I agree and believe that this is what the Founders believed, too.
Instead, what has evolved from the Founders original vision is a one-size fits all kind of government – a socialist government – where the needs and desires of the individual is trumped by the collective majority and power-hungry big federal bureaucracy.
The Founders had faith and trust in the intelligence of the people to govern themselves. We have gone 180 degrees from that and it will be difficult, if not impossible, to ever return to what they had in mind.
“It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it [the Constitution] a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 37
“I trust that the proposed Constitution afford a genuine specimen of representative government and republican government; and that it will answer, in an eminent degree, all the beneficial purposes of society.” –Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788
from The Patriot Post .com
Hope this brings a smile for you as it did for me! Something to reflect on too:
I was asked this question by someone named Kafka, on my “About my blog” page:
how come america has so many governments that are anti-government? And in what relation is that to the failure of the american economy?
I think this is a very important question. I’ve answered it in my own way, but I would love for other bloggers in and out of the Conservative network to add their opinions and thoughts.
I know many of you are much more articulate than I am and lots smarter, too. Please feel free to add to the discussion because I think it’s in questions like this that we are able to make our case for freedom and liberty and what has made America great to those who don’t know.
I’m not sure I understand your question but I’ll make an attempt to answer what I think you are asking.
I think you are asking why there are so many anti-AMERICAN government people here in America and if or how that is a reflection of our economy. So I’ll go from that premise and if I’m misunderstanding you, maybe you can clarify and correct me.
I’ve blogged at several different places and left them because of the America hatred from both Americans and Europeans. The short answer is that many Americans think it’s hip to be on board with the Europeans and hate all things American. Most of those people don’t know their own American history and have no appreciation for where they live and where they came from.
There’s a reason we are Americans and we live here. Unless we are descended from slaves or Native Americans, the true reason is that our ancestors chose this place. (But even those descended from slaves are now here by choice.) We aren’t here by accident. We are here because of a choice made by our grandparents or great-grandparents, to find and create a place of freedom. They did that and it’s been a glorious experiment.
Many of us now see our nation slipping into the dark ages that Marxism will create. We have self-avowed Marxists in our government – many of them are people we never elected. They are taking over every facet of our lives, all our freedoms that we have enjoyed because of those who came before us are being systematically destroyed. We are scared for our country and our children’s futures if this is allowed to succeed.
Marxism is the antithesis of Capitalism. And marxists hate what America is and what being American means. So in one sense, yes the economy is part of the problem. They believe that Capitalism is evil and they have been dismantling our economy for the last 40 or 50 years. Most of us didn’t realize it. The home mortgage crisis is a direct result of this. It was not greed, as they want you to believe, that caused it. A great part of it was government intervention in the banks, beginning in the 70’s, that forced the housing collapse in this decade.
Marxists are anti-Republic. We are a republic which is nothing like the totalitarian government they want to see. It’s the exact opposite of Republican government. They believe that they know better than the citizens, what we need and what the government should do for us. But Americans don’t want to be told what to do or what is best for us and we don’t want government doing anything for us. That’s the reason this country was established in the first place so that we could decide for ourselves and not have a government making choices for us.
Marxists hate individualism. They believe in the collective and working for the collective. Most Americans believe in working for themselves and their families and the excellence of the individual. Americans want to keep what they earn and produce. Marxists want to take that and share it with everyone else – redistribution of wealth. They want to destroy the greatness of the individual. And they do not believe in individual responsibility.
Marxism is everything that America is not, never was and was never intended to be. They do not believe in reform, they believe in destruction. Destroy corporations and absorb them, destroy the individual and absorb him into a faceless, nameless mass collective. Much like the Borg, as funny as that sounds. The marxist wants to destroy the American spirit and uniqueness and make us – pardon me for saying so – European. There’s nothing wrong with being European but if that’s how our forefathers envisioned it, we would not have the America that we’ve had. We would not have the America that millions of Americans have fought and died for in all the wars since the 18th century. They came here to create something different from the European governments they left. Else, why would they have left in the first place?
I would very much like to hear what others have to say about this, so I’ll end my ramblings with this: I think we are witnessing the beginnings of a very civil and bloodless civil war. And if liberty lovers do not win, if the marxists succeed, all other world governments will eventually collapse, too.
Thank you for asking a question that has made me think.
Most of us think that right on the heels of the Declaration of Independence came the greatest work of mankind, the Constitution: Thomas Jefferson closeted himself up after declaring the country separate and independent from Great Britain, and then wrote the Constitution.
The Declaration of Independence was written over 10 years before the Constitution. The Founders tried a thing called the Articles of Confederation, first. It ended up not working out very well, or at least as many of the Founders believed.
It took a little known and little understood rebellion to bring about the birth of the Constitution. Daniel Shays, a farmhand who had fought in the Revolutionary War, at Bunker Hill and Lexington, came home to Massachusetts to find himself penniless, property-less and on his way to debtor’s prison due to back-breaking taxes and debt and no compensation for his military service. He also found that he was not alone in his suffering.
The long and short of it is that Shays was one of many Revolutionary War veterans and farmers who demanded redress from the government and the government retaliated by doing some really unconstitutional things like suspending habeas corpus – holding people in jail without trial – denying the right of assembly and confiscating property.
To be clear, these farmers didn’t want to topple a government. They just wanted a fair shake from the sheriffs, the courts and the government. To show they meant business, they would swoop in to villages and surround courthouses, menacing the law officials and the judges. Local officials were loath to call out a militia, knowing that they would likely desert rather than take up arms against the unhappy farmers and their former Revolutionary comrades-in-arms.
But make no mistake, this was not a bloodless revolt. Hundreds were killed and thousands thrown in jail.
This rebellion put a real fear in the ambassador to the Court of St. James, John Adams, whose cousin and great American Revolutionary leader, Samuel Adams, had a hand in suspending habeas corpus and wrote a Riot Act in Massachusetts. This particular act was similar to one in Great Britain that gave power to local officials to order crowds larger than twelve to disperse if they were deemed unlawful or riotous. If the group failed to break up in a certain amount of time, they were held as guilty of a felony and the penalty, in Great Britain at least, was punishment by death.
George Washington, who had returned to his beloved Mount Vernon to once again be a gentleman farmer and landowner became alarmed at the news trickling down from the Northeast. “For God’s sake tell me what is the cause of all these commotions,” he implored a friend in the fall of 1787. Was it being promoted by the Tories to cause unrest and discontent or, he wondered, were these real grievances by the citizens that required just attention from the government? The most worrisome part of this all, for Washington, was the appearance to the Brits and Europeans that America could not govern itself.
Far from all this in Paris was Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson didn’t seem to be as alarmed as his revolutionary comrades were. To Abigail Adams, he wrote “I like a little rebellion now and then. It’s like a storm in the atmosphere.” Of course, he didn’t favor a bloody rebellion but he feared repression and tyranny more. Jefferson believed that a better educated citizenry and the free exchange of ideas was the path for a great republic. He believed in a free press and said that he’d rather have newspapers and no government than a government without newspapers.
Jefferson could not be too alarmed, yet at least, at the rebellions in Massachusetts because after all, they had ALL been rebels and revolutionaries, and only a short time ago. That year – 1787 – with constant correspondence between John and Abigail (in London) and himself, he kept the same steady line with the Adamses that “the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
At 81, Ben Franklin was at home in Philadelphia, overseeing the addition to his house, spending time at the city’s public library which he had established, enjoying his grandchildren and visiting with friends at the American Philosophical Society, which he helped found. He would soon be called back into service when the 2nd Continental Congress would meet again and establish for all time, the Constitution of the United States of America.
Ben’s brother, James, the editor of the New England Courant was thrown into jail when Ben was 16. At that time, Ben wrote that there is “no such thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech which is the right of every Man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or control the Right of another.” He believed that the overthrow of a nation will only begin with the subduing of free speech and a free press.
Enter the Father of Federalism, James Madison, Father of the Constitution; the Bill of Rights; an author of the Federalist Papers (which is still acknowledged as the most important commentary on the Constitution); a Founding Father of the United States of America; as Secretary of State for Jefferson, he would be instrumental in the Louisiana Purchase which would double the size of the nation and he would become the 4th president of the United States. His ingenious three-branch federal system with its checks and balances was the basis for the Constitution that we have today. Madison, like Jefferson and Washington, was a Virginian and like both men, he would leave the presidency poorer than when he entered it. This man alone could take up volumes of blog for me. Suffice it to say that this was the intellectual hero who rode into Philadelphia, in 1787 and was instrumental in creating the true and sustaining great nation that the United States of America would become.
And the catalyst to this Constitutional Convention of great thinkers and Founders, which produced the most magnificent document of all mankind was a little known, little understood grassroots rebellion in Massachusetts. To be clear, there were other things, aside from the Shay’s Rebellion that were happening at the same time and were weighing heavily on creating a “more perfect union” and that called together such great minds as those mentioned: high tariffs, a financial depression, non-uniform currency, to name a few.
But in the subconscious of the modern day Leftist, grassroots uprisings like the TEA Parties strike fear in their hearts (if any have hearts) of a 222 year old rebellion that was the lightening rod for the Founders and the foundation of the greatest nation known to man.
Yes, they should be afraid.