Let's get some simple facts straight. A little history lesson.1) The Constitution strengthened the national government. This came at the
expense of the states. I don't think that is somethings conservatives of
today advocate.2) The original Constitution did not contain a Bill
of Rights. Jefferson opposed the Constitution generally but softened when a
Bill of Rights were added.3) Some great Americans or patriots
didn't sign the Constitution at the convention, namely George Mason who
advocated for a Bill of Rights and Edmund Randolph who proposed the Virginia
Plan. "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" patriot Patrick Henry fought
against the Constitution like no other.4) As said well above,
historical context is important. The Constitution indeed strengthened the
national government and was flexible. It has changed to free Black men, give
women and Blacks the right to vote, changed how we elect Senators and the
President and yes gave our national government the power to tax our income. 5) Frank makes the common mistake of looking at certain "founding
fathers" as monolithic figures of same spirit. Washington was not exactly
neutral but Federalist leanings, Jefferson was an anti-Federalist, Madison a
OK, Frank, how would the founders have dealt with the Gulf oil spill? It
polluted an entire region, affecting multiple states and countries. The
founders could not have comprehended such a catastrophe. More are in store as
our world becomes more and more complex due to technology and international
capital. Your strict constructionist views don't cut it. Wake up and
smell the coffee.
Badgerbadger says:Libre means free.Liberty means free to
choose your actions and accepting the consequences of those actions.Liberal means freely take from others. They have 'free'
in common, but that is all they have in common.Why would people take
you seriously when you make up definitions, unless they too get their info from
radio which encourages this. Let me help you out.liberal:a.
Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian
attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.b. Favoring proposals for
reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior
of others; broad-minded.c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of
liberalism.d. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political
party founded on or associated with principles of social and political
liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.
"...Guess who the most ultra-conservative politicians in this nation’s
history were?.....How about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and particularly
James Madison and in general the framers of our Constitution, who were the most
ultra-conservatives in our history...."______________________________To that list, I would add Abraham
Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt who both understood that to resist reform whose
time had come was to invite catastrophic change. What we today label liberalism
is the best hope for preserving and reinvigorating our way of life and our
system of popular government.What set the American Revolution apart
from all subsequent revolutions around the world is that it was not led by
radical theorists who wanted to upend the old order. It was led by a native
aristocracy inspired by the 18th century Enlightenment. They were fighting not
to tear down but to preserve that which was being threatened.
ECR and othersAnd this is why the Republicans need not worry about
polls that show 75% of Americans would not want the Republicans re-elected. It
is always the others guys bum that they want thrown out not their own. Frankly
I'd be happy to get rid of most all Republicans and Democrats. Far too
many on both sides have been in too long and have learned how to game the
system. A lot more Mr. Smiths going to Washington would get rid of the House
and Senate wheeling and dealing that only serves to serve the politicians
themselves. I still lament that term limits was not constitutional.
Libre means free.Liberty means free to choose your actions and
accepting the consequences of those actions.Liberal means freely
take from others. They have 'free' in common, but that is
all they have in common.
We must put our founding father's views in context. When Washington and
others favored a strong, centralized federal government, it was in the context
of a unified military. It was not so that government could control every aspect
of our lives (mandated contraception, mandated health care to name a few).
Obama introduced Jane into the political discourse during the campaign to
describe government involvement from cradle to grave. This is not how the
founders viewed the role of government.Today Washington, Adams,
Madison, and company would be conservative. Remember that Liberals
opposed civil rights. Remember that Lincoln was Republican.
@2 bitsCottonwood Heights, UTFrank didn't mention that
Lincoln was a Republican. I know the Republican party has changed a LOT since
then, but Democrats keep trying to pretend that he was one of them, but
that's not historically correct. He was Conservative (and when I say
"Conservative" I mean as a personal life style, not the political
definition) as were many of our founding fathers.9:19 a.m. Oct. 22,
2013==========Gee , I don't know -- Taking a Master's "private property" and freeing them without
monetary compensation?Saying the Federal Government suspercedes a
State?But Yes, I will agree with one thing, The
"D"'s and the "R"'s have done a complete 180 role
reversal since Lincoln.Getting the necessary votes from the House, Senate
and Supreme court without holding the Country hostage to get your way.BTW - I recall millions of Tea-Party Conservative Republicans signing letters
to secede from the Union aftger President Obama was re-elected...
That would get an "F" in any history class.The Founding Fathers
were Progressive Liberals in every sense of the definition.The latin
word "Libre" is the very root for for Liberl and Liberty.
I wonder what the congress approval rating would be if the president were
silenced in any press for 3 months, and only congressmen were given unlimited
air time?I think if there were fairness in journalism, the
president's approval rating would drop and congress's would rise. But we will never know. The press loves Obama's face.
re: one vote"The founders should have set of conservative utopia
and made Glen Beck the ruler and the predominant religion in 1780 the official
religion."You have just come up with a great idea for a sequel
to *The Village* by M. Night Shyamalan.
Mike in Sandy -- that is one of the BEST posts I've ever seen here.
Bad officials are elected by good people who don't vote.
A hilarious letter. Washington and Hamilton were strong gov't
interventionists--conservatives like Jefferson hated them. Jefferson talked a
good game until he became president and continuously acted contrary to his own
views on the Constitution. Madison did nothing but run from the British while
Washington burned. His wife should've been president, not him.
Trying to shoehorn the founders into our current conception of liberal or
conservative is an exercise in futility. The world they inhabited bears no
relationship to our own. For example many nineteenth century conservatives were
extremely opposed to capitalism, industrialization, and free trade because those
things would be highly destructive of traditional communities and cultures. They
thought that only a people tied to the land could be conservative.So
how does that apply to our current politics? It doesn't, that world no
The problem is that while approval of congress as a group of representatives is
embarrassingly low, the approval of individual representatives is not nearly as
bad. If you polled Utahns, those polls would show our approval rating of our
own representatives to be high enough to assure re-election. Same thing with
Nevadans and Californians and Texans and New Yorkers. Well, we
Utahns don't get to vote for Nevada's representatives. When it comes
time to vote the bums out, we only have the choice of our own representatives.
So when we Utahns are in the polling booths next November, ask yourself if you
want to take some personal responsibility for shaking up the Washington status
quo. If you push the same old button for the same old representative, you are
just as guilty as any other voter who did not vote their bums out.
To all those "liberals" claiming credit for George Washington, Thomas
Jefferson and James Madison...Declaring independence from the King
was defiantly a radical thing to do. And putting your life on the line to fight
against that king's army was also a very radical thing to do. I don't
know if it was the "Liberal" thing to do, or if they were
"Liberals" in today's political definition of the word. But
obviously they wanted to get out from under the King and put all the political
power in the hands of the people (which is kinda a Conservative principle).So maybe we can BOTH claim some ownership of the Founding Fathers. I
think the best thing about the Founding Fathers was the Constitution and
Representative Government (Constitutional Republic) they created. I'm
with anybody who supports that Constitution (Liberal or Conservative). And I
oppose anybody who disregards the Constitution they wrote (Liberal or
Conservative).I don't care who owns them. I just know they
wrote a Constitution that became the model for all nations and similar documents
were adopted by almost every government giving more power to the people over the
next 200 years.
2bits,No, I don't think Jefferson was ever "ok with it".I've read biographies on Washington, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, and
Jefferson. One common theme throughout all of them was Jefferson despised the
power the constitution gave to the executive. So much so that even while
serving on Washington's cabinet, he worked hard to undermine what
Washington did - not because of any animus toward Washington, but because of the
office.Now, you may say, Jefferson worked hard to gain the office he
despised. This is true, but consistent with Jefferson's enigmatic nature.
Jefferson was pragmatic enough to know he could not derail the constitution once
it was adopted, so he accepted it, but I don't konw that I would say he as
"ok" with it. it seems our disagreement may be purely over semantics,
and how we define different terms.But I still confirm what I
initially said - Jefferson was neither a drafter nor an advocate of the
Gosh, we've missed you, Frank.
lost in DC,If Jefferson hated the Constitution so much... why did he make
the very public Oath or Affirmation to... "preserve, protect and defend the
Constitution of the United States”, when he became President?Sounds like he was OK with it eventually.That's the thing you
politicos need to learn today. You don't have to love EVERYTHING about
something to be OK with it. There's room for compromise (as was needed
when writing our Constitution).
As has been pointed out, the Founders were, for the most part, the liberals and
radicals of their day. They abolished the Articles of Confederation because they
did not provide for a strong central government. They put in place a form of
government that was not just radical but practically unthinkable in their day.
What audacity, to think a strong federal government could hold together such a
diverse population over such a massive geographical area.If they
lived today, they would certainly be pushing for changes in the way we treat the
land, the many ways we maim and kill each other, and the appalling disregard
many of us have for the health and well-being of the general populace.
Unfortunately, they were not very foresighted in imagining the society that
would emerge with scientific advances, and therefore they were unable to
construct a Constitution that would apply to many of the issues we deal with
today. This is why that old document needs to be updated. The Founders would
probably be first in line to revise it.
I agree with Frank's conclusion. WE are responsible for who we elect
(bottom line).If our representatives are not representing us... we
need to replace them next chance we get. But if the majority keeps electing
them... what can I say?Frank didn't mention that Lincoln was a
Republican. I know the Republican party has changed a LOT since then, but
Democrats keep trying to pretend that he was one of them, but that's not
historically correct. He was Conservative (and when I say
"Conservative" I mean as a personal life style, not the political
definition) as were many of our founding fathers.There's
literally NOTHING wrong with being "Conservative". Those who pretend
we should be wiped off the face of the earth just for our life philosophy, our
life style and views, are just showing their in-tolerance.There's also nothing wrong with being Liberal BTW (I mean the traditional
definition, not the political definition). We need BOTH to be a good society.
The founders should have set of conservative utopia and made Glen Beck the ruler
and the predominant religion in 1780 the official religion.
Let's face it, the founders just weren't smart enough to come up with
Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, free school lunch and Obamacare. America
would have to wait almost another 200 years for the genius we now know as
progressivism to fix the blunders of George Washington and company.
"How about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and particularly James
Madison and in general the framers of our Constitution..." Liberal, educated
elitists of their day.
Frank,I must object to your inclusion of Jefferson in the group who
drafted and advocated for the constitution. Jefferson was in Paris during the
constitutional convention and he hated it when he saw it.
The federalists were compromisers. If not we would not have the Constitution we
have today. There was tremendous give and take in the framing of the
Constitution.Senators Lee and Cruz and Congressmen Chaffetz and
Bishop are poor politicians; they don't understand how to win through
compromise and savvy politics. I'll work against Lee and Chaffetz in my
""How about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and particularly James
Madison and in general the framers of our Constitution..."In an
article about Revionist history. Do a little research and tell me exactly what
role Jefferson had in the Convention (hint...he was in Paris, and opposed
ratification).To call them conservatives is also
"revisionist" it was the most forward thinking document of the time, a
very liberal idea to empower the people. At a time in the nation's history
where if he wanted it, Washington could have been king!And looking
through the scope of history, the wanted a strong federal government (albeit not
too powerful) after having experienced the dismal failure of the Articles of
Confederation. To understand the scope of their goal, one must also look at the
failure of the preceeding government.
"How about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and particularly James
Madison and in general the framers of our Constitution..."More
revisionist history here. The advocates and framers of the American Revolution
and the creation of the new American Republic were liberal, plain and simple.
The conservatives of the south were very hesitant about the Declaration of
Independence because it was such a radical idea about breaking away from a
mother country (Great Britain) and setting up a government order that was so
radical in orientation -- dividing the powers of government with checks and
balances and allowing men (regardless of wealth, property ownership, slave
ownership, etc.) the right to vote on matters and the establishment of a
democratic republic. Southerners were particularly concerned about preservation
of their slaves and property and "peculiar way of life." Washington and Madison were federalists, who sought a strong central
government over state governments. Advances in rights and liberty,
from the abolishment of slavery to women's right to vote to civil rights to
public education for the masses to today's gay rights to healthcare -- all
emerged from the liberal quarters of society. Conservatives opposed such
movements and history documents this clearly.
The last paragraph of this letter is right on the mark. We get the government
we choose. Recent studies have illustrated that most Americans have contempt for
the current Congress yet they continue to vote for the Congressman(or woman)
currently serving their district, apparently feeling that they are different
than the others.Whatever label we want to attach to the Founding
Fathers we can safely say that they had the best interests of the nation at
heart, a trait that might be challenged if it was attached to the current
Congress.Before the Constitution, Jefferson pushed an anti-urban
policy in the Land Ordinance of 1785. This land policy divided land in what is
now the Midwest into six square mile townships, divided into 640 acre sections.
The policy supporters imagined that each section would become used for farming,
except for one section that would be reserved for public education.And while Jefferson was against the creation of cities, John Adams was a
communitarian who saw the value of community life. Washington, Jefferson and
Madison were all conflicted about salvery and yet they all owned slaves. It was
an intersting group. Thank heaven they were there.
"When we give Congress a low approval rating, we are in fact rating
ourselves, because we elected these individuals into office"Yes
Frank. And be assured that the sinking numbers (reaching historic lows) have
lots of fingers pointing directly at Lee and Cruz.Who will you be
voting for next time around? See the problem?
Cruz and Lee are the most ineffective trying to un-fund a funded law and
starting the damaging tea party tantrum.