The Myth of the Founding Fathers

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Macaddicttt, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. Macaddicttt macrumors 6502a

    Macaddicttt

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    #1
    Now, when I say "myth" in the title of this thread, I don't mean "false." I'm referring to the common story that we Americans were all taught in school about the founding of our country. Now with that out of the way, I can ask my question.

    Why do people give god-like status to the Founding Fathers? Why, to some people, are the intentions of the Founding Fathers the driving force behind how we run our country? Why are quotations of famous Founding Fathers acceptable "rationale" behind a political viewpoint.

    I understand the importance of the Constitution, and I of course do not advocate it's subversion in any way, but why do so many in America worship this document as inerrant? The Constitution is Law, and that's it, to be modified as needed to create always a more perfect government.

    So I guess my main question is, for all those "strict constitutionalists" out there, which came first, your political ideologies or the Constitution (not chronologically, of course)? Is your political ideology "support the Constitution and the intentions of the Founding Fathers" or are you using the Constitution and your interpretation of the intentions of the Founding Fathers merely as support for your already-held opinions?

    This is something I've wondered for a while, and I'm curious to hear opinions on the subject.
     
  2. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    #2
    Because these people risked everything to establish something they hoped would endear. People these days bitch if they have to wait at a light, let alone raise a finger to help someone pointing out any number of others who should do it instead.

    As for the Constitution, because it defined what our Government was granted rights to do and it is far too obvious they do their best to get around the content of it, let alone meaning.


    Too many cast it aside because they don't want to admit what has become of this country, a country where a great number of people have realized they can take other people's stuff if enough of them are willing to give up everything the FF fought for.
     
  3. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #3
    Patriotism is not what you make it out to be. But thanks for playing.

    Founding Fathers? They grew up and died in an era that has nothing to do with the current times. To think otherwise is ludicrous. The only genius they had was foresight that things would change and the document(s) should be malleable as such.

    Don't start preaching your typical 5P, FoW and Shivet right wing crap. Since its obvious from your quote where you are headed already. And most of it, no I wont dissect it line by line, really makes no sense.
     
  4. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #4
    Do you really want to peel back that veil? A horror called reality lies past it, and it doesn't offer any security.

    Pages of delusion and propaganda incoming.
     
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #5
    The founding fathers were opportunists. Would you disagree that Americans aren't?
    The founding fathers supported social hierarchy. When was the last time you invited a homeless person in for dinner?
    the founding fathers wrote the document that runs this country (to an extent). If these slave loving opportunists left wiggle room for you to invade another country in their name, and in G-d's name, wouldn't you want to?

    :rolleyes::D
     
  6. Mr. Chewbacca macrumors 6502a

    Mr. Chewbacca

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    #6
    I actually agree with you. I have a lot of respect for our founders, they were amazing and even more amazing is how well laws drafted so long ago are still relevent. However, their wishes should not be more important than the needs of todays society.
     
  7. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #7
    If they were so ****ing smart, how come their document allowed for a corporate takeover of our government?

    We the people corporation, in order to...
     
  8. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

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    #8
    It's an appeal to authority, put simply. Because people so readily embrace the concept of democracy, but look at its current execution with disdain, they assume that the inception of it must have been the best point. This ignores the fact that only white, male land owners could vote, slaves were still legal and we were undertaking a massive genocide on the native people of the land.
     
  9. Ttownbeast, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
  10. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #10
    Whatever I say here will be woefully inadequate and unworthy of a true defense of the founding fathers... for that I apologize. Between time constraints, uncertainty as to what's common sense and what needs to be said, etc. this will (obviously) be incomplete at best...

    In a world, at a time, which was filled with kingdoms, dictatorships, and general tyranny, the founding fathers dreamed up and died for a society which was led instead instead by the people. They set out to create a country which represented maximum liberty and minimum government... and even went so far as to say that the individual citizens of that country had their personal rights and liberties ordained by God, and not by the State. This was important because now the State couldn't take away those rights and liberties, ensuring that the people would always maintain control of the government and not the other way around.

    They were also insightful enough to avoid the mistakes of past empires by creating a republican form of government instead of a purely democratic one in which the 'mob rules.' Although there were many attempts to keep the union from forming, and many issues which couldn't be worked out, the founders laid the best path possible towards liberty (i.e. 3/5ths clause as an attempt by the founders to limit power of the southern slave owners, yet ensure they supported teh union) even though they couldn't reach it completely in their own time. They wouldn't give up everything, simply because it wasn't flawless at the very beginning.

    In addition, these brilliant founders also placed in the constitution a tool for the amendment and updating of said constitution so that it continued to reflect the needs of the society as time passed, still being limited though so that the rights of the individual were maintained. It was called the 'amendment!' Unfortunately though, using extreme excuses (much as Bush and Obama use 9/11 to justify the patriot act) American leaders since have striven to subvert the constitution and to avoid the (genius) difficult amendment process.

    Today, we stand in a country that not only doesn't resemble the small government big liberty nation our founders imagined, but the constitution hasn't even been changed to reflect this! The federal government controls all aspects of our lives through a blatant misreading of the commerce clause and the general welfare clause, instead of amendments to reach the same goal (except through constitutional means). 'Progressives' who wish to progress PAST the constitution, have seen fit to avoid amendments (because it brings too much attention to their agenda) and instead fought to fill the courts with anti-constitutional progressive judges who are willing to be flimsy with the words of the constitution, thereby fundamentally avoiding the oath of office they took.

    Conservatives, libertarians, small-government constitutionalists don't see the founding fathers as 'god-like'; they see them for the true brilliance they represented. They were all imperfect men put in imperfect situations, but their revolution led directly to the liberty, security, and prosperity that we all enjoy today, and for that we're thiankful. The fact that this thread was started 'what's so great about the founding fathers' and not 'what's so bad about the founding fathers' I think demonstrates the sad state our education system and society is in at the moment. I shouldn't be having to defend them (it's hard to tell you the truth because so much of what I think I should say I can't decide if it's common sense or something you need to hear), you should be having to defend why you DON'T think they're that important or that great, or that the constitution is worth defending and ensuring that any changes go through amendment instead of subversion. Too often it seems that liberals just want to point out what's wrong with our country, but they never take the time to point out the amazing successes we've had, etc. The founding fathers is one thing we should all be able to look back on, respect, appreciate, and be proud of. Something and someone we can look back to for an example and ot better understand what makes us and this country different than the rest.
     
  11. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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  12. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #12
    Why do people give god-like status to the Founding Fathers?

    One reason is some people believe the Constitution was divinely inspired. For instance, Mormons such as Glenn Beck.
     
  13. 184550 Guest

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    #13
    I thought Zinn was dead yet here he is posting on the boards of MacRumors. :eek:
     
  14. Queso macrumors G4

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    #14
    As a Brit can I be the first to say that they were nothing more than low-down tax-dodging criminals that ought to have been hanged in His Majesty's Name?

    Thanks for listening :p
     
  15. rdowns macrumors Penryn

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    #15

    You spelled morons incorrectly.
     
  16. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #16
    yes, it is M-- O-- GlennBeck-- O -- N -- S
     
  17. supercaliber macrumors regular

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    #17
    The American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution was/is the greatest human achievement of all time.

    The notion that people could effectively govern themselves on the scale of 13 huge geographic territories and a widely varying population was unthinkable.

    To organize, articulate, and launch a revolution against the most powerful nation on earth was suicidal.

    To eloquently describe the rights of man in relation to government and have that document survive 200 years of world war, depression, and political turmoil is an honor deserving the most precious place in all of history.
     
  18. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #18
    They deserve great respect for moving the world down the path of democracy. They are revered as God-like because many people feel US history itself is almost a religious experience and every religion needs god(s).
     
  19. Macaddicttt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Macaddicttt

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    #19
    You've completely missed the point of my post. My question was not "what's so great about the Founding Fathers?" I know what they did and why it was good. I'm not imploring anyone to defend the Founding Fathers, and I'm not seeking to attack them either. I know that, for example, Thomas Jefferson did some amazing things. But why is "Thomas Jefferson said so" a valid piece of "evidence" as to why something is better or worse for our country?

    I'm asking why the intentions of the Founding Fathers are deemed more important than the adaptions we've democratically made to our government.

    So are you incensed by this because the intention of the Constitution has been subverted, or because the type of government you want happens to coincide with what you perceive to be the Founding Fathers' intentions? Would you be okay with the modern American government if it were enshrined in the Constitution through amendments?

    I'll try and ask my question again, and maybe someone will actually answer it. Is your political ideology "support the Constitution and the intentions of the Founding Fathers" or are you using the Constitution and your interpretation of the intentions of the Founding Fathers merely as support for your already-held opinions?
     
  20. supercaliber macrumors regular

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    #20
    I would ask, how many of us would have opinions even remotely like the Founding Fathers had the revolution not happened.

    We have a view of individualism and government that is not even appreciated elsewhere on the planet. We think independently because of our history. The ability to dream crazy dreams and speak freely about Obama, Beck and Bush all are fruits of that original rebellion.

    I cling to that whisper of independence at every opportunity, because I think billions of humans on this planet have never dared contemplate such ideas. I think the notion of independence and self-governance is actually abnormal behavior. Most people (billions of people on this planet today) want to be governed, are happy with a dictator, love to have others take the risks and be the shepherd of the flock. It is only because of the Founding Fathers than any of us think any differently.
     
  21. 63dot macrumors 603

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    #21
    I never got the idea that the FFs were god-like. What I do get from their own words is that they were people who argued a lot in order to come up with a system which was better than most at the time.

    That being said, this country is always in need of improvement and it is my belief that the early politicians of this country foresaw the pendulum that is American politics. Sometimes the conservatives feel cheated and sometimes the liberals feel cheated, but like the federalists and anti-federalists before them, the two major parties today will be banging out negotiations for the rest of their lives only to hand unfinished business to the next Congress.

    It's when we think that the work in DC is finished is when we will really need to worry.
     
  22. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #22
    Most western nations are fairly close to the US in the freedoms of expression and liberties that you mention. While the FF did start the world down the road of democracy, the US has been joined by most wealthy nations long ago and now we walk down the road together.
     
  23. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #23
    +1



    +1



    +1



    The fact that our constitution it's being subverted without the proper amendment, indicates to me that we are no longer a nation of laws, but a nation of men. This is dangerous indeed. I suppose I am even more fervent and vocal about these positions because the type of government I want does (not a perception) coincide with the founding fathers' intentions. If the modern American government were 'enshrined in the constitution through amendments,' I would relinquish my attacks on those who have subverted the constitution and would henceforth concentrate my efforts on new amendments to the constitution to reduce the federal government's role in our lives and expand the role of freedom and liberty for all Americans. I would still be talking about the founders, and returning to a time of smaller government, but I would no longer claim that the changes that had been made were unconstitutional. Hopefully that answers your question.
     
  24. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #24
    The Constitution has only been changed 27 times in 234 years; 10 of those changes came all at once, and were part of the original plan.

    I don't disagree that the Constitution, as it was written, fit the beliefs and needs of people two centuries ago; but given that we haven't changed it all that often, there might be reason to think that our needs for a different constitution haven't changed all that much over time.
     
  25. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #25
    I think the British would have figured it out eventually. The 1832 reform act would have happened regardless as the old system was utterly untenable. Maybe the rest of the reforms the British did later deserve US credit, but I think they would probably have happened eventually.

    Usually because either the dictators are extremely oppressive (e.g. North Korea), or because they achieve at least similar results to other equivalent nations who aren't dictatorships (e.g. most other dictatorships).
     

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