Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Were the Founding Fathers Hypocrites or All Too Human?

In an era marked by hypocrisy and excessive greed -- when the annual salaries of a select few surpass the billion dollar mark, when CEOs make 600 times that of the "rank and file" and the term "affluent" is considered demeaning in certain social circles; it's hard to imagine wealthy Americans creating legislation or a government that refutes their own economic self-interest. Yet, that is exactly what our Founding Fathers did.

Armed with a vision that far exceeded their own personal ambition and mortality and focusing far beyond the short-term interests of our nation, the Founding Fathers did all they could to prevent, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, "overgrown wealth" so that an egalitarian, democratic republic could thrive and endure.

James Madison saw to it that the notes from the Constitutional debates were not published until 1840, after the last of the delegates had died. In contrast to the Bush administration, whose name is synonymous with secrecy, in an effort to cover up misplaced loyalty to American elites at the expense of we, the people, James Madison wanted to conceal the fact that they were betraying the interests of their OWN socio-economic class, the wealthiest segment of society.

Edgar Allen Poe, Van Gough, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemingway, Michelangelo etc could all be the poster children for the "all too human" sector, yet they created, produced and/or evolved masterpieces that transcended their flawed humanity. Similarly, George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton etc. also, "all too human", originated something priceless, a persisting form of government, in which the supreme power is vested - with the assumption that all "men" are created equal - in the people.
Therefore, rather than label them hypocritical, the Framers, like the aforementioned "artists", also transcended their flawed humanity to create something much bigger than themselves, that will hopefully continue to persevere, with courage and tolerance, the toughest forms of adversity.

No one can escape the inherent weakness that make us "all too human", therefore we cannot expect even the greatest of leaders to be perfect. The important thing is that the people who worked so hard to create and produce the greatest form of government in the history of mankind, struggled with and strived to manage their darker side, and were humble enough to reflect upon and question their judgment.

2 comments:

Anonymous,  13:01  

I totally agree.

Hey, what do I get for reading all of your posts? I should get something for reading the ultra liberal ones, anyway. Just kidding. Gave me something to think about.

I guess I should get back to work.

Thanks.

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