Political Views of the Founding Fathers

Discussion in 'Politics' started by BluePhantom, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. BluePhantom
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    BluePhantom Educator (of liberals)

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    I had just made this point on Facebook about a day before they eliminated the Discussion Boards. I thought I would post it here since it got deleted there. Besides I think I will get a much better response here.


    A frequent thing that seems to come up in political debates and discussions is the political views of the founding fathers: would they be Democrats or Republicans in the modern era? It seems that the answer to this question lends credibility to the argument that anyone tends to make. I would like to address this in detail. The first thing we must do is to define the “founding fathers”. Historians have different definitions of this term. Some include anyone who did something that dramatically and irrevocably altered the path of the United States. By this definition one might include Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, or even Franklin Roosevelt. I tend to view this as far too broad as those people had nothing to do with the actual “founding” of the nation.

    Other historians include any signatory of the Constitution (USC) or Declaration of Independence (DI) and those who did something significant in order to gain independence or structure the nation. According to this definition (which is what I generally endorse) you see people like Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine, or Abigail Adams. Still others only accept those who signed the USC or DI or participated in the Continental Congresses or Constitutional Conventions. Even with this narrower definition we are still looking at the monumental task of getting inside the heads of well over 250 men who lived 250 years ago.

    Fortunately, we can narrow it down even further. This is because those men had a strong tendency to coalesce behind a very few individuals whose opinions, insights, and leadership were really the driving force behind achieving the goals of independence and establishing the structure and philosophy by which the United States would operate. We will call them the “super eight”. Those men are: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, and James Monroe. Now the first seven stand without debate, but the inclusion of Monroe would require some justification. Doing so thoroughly would take several pages of arguments which I will skip except to say that I have included him because he was a contributing member of both the Constitutional Convention, Virginia House of Delegates which was crucial in regards to the ratification of the USC, and as the 5th POTUS he was instrumental in establishing the course of the nation after the first four presidents dealt more with ensuring the survival of the new republic.

    Now that we have them defined we need to define the political spectrum of their times. While there was no “right” or “left” in the 1700s there was most certainly some extreme partisanship between what would eventually be called the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans (DR). Note that the term “Democratic-Republican” is a modern term historians use to distinguish between the Democratic Party that would eventually arise from a vicious dispute between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams and the Republican Party that arose around Lincoln. At the time, they referred to themselves as “Republicans” but have no direct line of descendancy to the modern Republican Party.

    Like today these men did not always agree on everything even within a given political label. There were those that were very hardcore and those that were far more moderate. The following is where each of those men stood in terms of political extremity from Federalist to DR:

    Hamilton* – Jay – Adams – Washington – Franklin – Monroe – Madison - Jefferson

    Now we have two questions to ask: 1) Where was the political center in the 1700s? and 2) what is the direction on the spectrum from “left” to “right” in regards to Federalists and DRs? The answer to the first question is very easily answered. Washington was the political center….the exact center may be JUST SLIGHTLY to the right of Washington as he tended to favor the Federalists more than the DRs but not by much. Indeed, Washington was an Independent who refused to affiliate himself with either side and he spoke strongly against the formal development of ANY political party. His policies and views on government; however, had a SLIGHT Federalist lean.

    The answer to the second question gets a little trickier. What would be Jefferson or Jay’s position on abortion, for example? To some degree it could be argued that the answer would depend on the time frame. If abortion (as we know it today) was a common institution in 1770 one can see Jefferson opposing it because in those days people needed large families. They relied on their sons to help work the farm or operate their business. They relied on their daughters to help maintain the home and do light gardening. Children were absolutely vital in regard to maintaining property and in turn contributing to the community. As such Jefferson would likely see abortion as an economic disaster that hindered society’s ability to survive and thrive. As such he would probably oppose it. Now if Jefferson was alive in 2011, he would likely notice that a large family is not vital in maintaining property and prosperity and in fact can be an economic hindrance. Given Jefferson’s staunch belief in state’s rights, a strong argument could be made that today he would say that abortion should be left to the states to determine for themselves. So in regards to questions like abortion, just as an example, we have to concede that we really can’t say WHAT they would think with any overwhelming degree of certainty, and again it also depends on the context of time (1770 vs. 2011).

    We CAN; however, look at their positions on other moral issues to gain some insight. If we consider slavery, for example, and limit it to a moral question (ignoring the economic arguments for or against slavery) we begin to realize that ALL of these men were opposed to slavery strictly on moral grounds. While many of them owned slaves, their support of slavery was economic in nature. Jefferson described it as “holding a snake by the head. It’s the last thing you want to do but you don’t dare let it go.” If we equate the moral question of slavery to the moral question of abortion, the evidence would suggest that all of them would likely be pro-life and the Federalist side (which was tenaciously against slavery) would be HEAVILY pro-life. Now again this is just one example of a multitude of social issues that didn’t exist at the time and upon which I am simply relying on their other views to…well…take an educated guess. The reality is we really don’t know how they would feel.

    What we CAN look at and draw a very specific alignment from; however, is each side’s positions on taxation, the size of government, the scope of government, and the power balance between the federal government and the states. The Federalists, as their name would imply, favored a larger and stronger central government, heavier levels of taxation, higher levels of federal control over a greater number of issues, and the balance of power to favor the federal government over the states. The DRs were just the opposite in every degree. Given this we can very safely set the modern day “left” to coincide with the Federalists, and the modern day “right” to coincide with the Democratic-Republicans. This alignment is further backed up by each party’s positions on free trade, the foreign relations, the role of the military, interstate commerce, etc. As such we can VERY confidently put the DRs cleanly in the camp of modern day Republicans.

    But we have one further question to answer: has the political center shifted since the 18th century? Just because Adams, for example, was a Federalist back then and we have established that Federalists were on the “left” in the 18th century, has the political center shifted to such a degree that Adams would be a Republican today, regardless of his disagreements with the DRs? The short answer is “there’s absolutely no question about it.” The political center has shifted left to the degree that the spectrum I posted above would go from Washington as the political center to Jay as the political center and he would land just SLIGHTLY right of center in today’s climate. The reason why is a question of degrees.

    While it’s true that the Federalists favored stronger central government, a more expansive central government, higher levels of taxation, etc, never in a million years did they intend for the federal government to have THIS MUCH power and influence on the lives of the citizens. Indeed Jay and Adams flipped a bitch when they were asked if they favored extending voting rights to those who didn’t pay taxes or own property. They were against taxation without representation but they were equally against representation without taxation. Dealing with the poor was, in their opinion, an issue for the state and the church and for the DRs, an issue for the individual communities to worry about. In fact Adams commented “next you will want voting rights for the town drunk.” The entitlement culture regarding social security, welfare, Obamacare, etc….the Federalists would have an absolute conniption fit and the DRs would flat out have a coronary and drop dead. In regards to tax money going to assist illegal immigrants even the Federalists would have an absolute, 100% heart attack. They favored a larger and more powerful government ONLY to the degree that was necessary to maintain the security of the nation, enhance foreign trade, and moderate disputes between the states. That was ALL. By contrast, the DRs felt that, with the exception of national security, it was all up to the states to figure out for themselves.

    When one understands this they begin to see VERY clearly that in today’s climate, the Federalists have far more in common with the Republican Party, while the Democratic-Republicans have far more in common with the Tea Party.

    Now I have to explain the asterisk in regards to Alexander Hamilton. All the other men may have disagreed upon the best way for the United States to be structured, how power should be balanced, etc but ALL of them had the desire for the nation to grow, firmly establish itself, and proceed as a republic. Initially, Hamilton may have had the same motivation as well but very quickly his motivation changed. He really wanted some extreme levels of taxation and federal power, even the degrees of which we see today, NOT because he necessarily thought it was best for the people but because it was best for HIM. It was Hamilton’s intention to build an economy that was highly subservient to the federal government and backed up by a powerful military that would protect our trading ships AND enforce taxation and policy within the United States. Now why this is important is because HE was the Secretary of the Treasury and he fully intended to be the top commander in the military. In such a scenario the office of the presidency and congress would become dependent upon HIM (they would essentially be his puppets) and HE would control government. His failure to accomplish that, because Adams had the audacity to actually think he was in charge, is precisely why Adams only served one term. When it became clear that Adams was not going to allow Hamilton to take over, Hamilton launched a VICIOUS political attack (strongly supplemented by Jefferson) that destroyed Adams. Adams was essentially getting hammered by both sides. So while Hamilton endorsed a government system that is most in line with today’s Democratic Party, it’s not because he felt that was the best thing for America. It’s because that was his key to dominating and controlling government and through it becoming, essentially a dictator who operated a figurehead government.

    Suggestions that the founding fathers would be modern day Democrats can only be explained by ignorance of history, misunderstanding of the views of the founders, or propaganda from the left. And we see this propaganda all the time. On the Jefferson Memorial, for example, the quotes inscribed are misquotes or partial quotes, or taken out of context. They are inscribed that way because it was an effort to suggest that Jefferson would have supported the New Deal. Pfft…good bloody luck. Jefferson just might have organized another rebellion had he been alive to see THAT one. But while there may be an occasional issue here or there that the founders might have looked at and said “yeah on this one we would agree with the Democrats”, as a whole, considering the collective political philosophy of each party, there’s simply ZERO CHANCE that they would endorse a modern liberal view of government.
     
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  2. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    OT I laughed that you thought there would be serious discussion on this topic. Read through the Topic subjects and you will learn. May work in History section too.

    Back on topic.

    The problems with your argument are, you arrive at the conclusion you already had as the conclusion, and your OP presumes to be thinking but is instead rationalizations based on your personal ideological perspective. Assumptions about the founding mothers and fathers of the nation is speculative, always incomplete, and always biased.

    But thought is often incomplete and I give you credit for outlining your ideas even though I disagree. People look back at the founding mothers and fathers (FMF) as an authority that assumes they had no authorities, or their ideas grew out of nothing. Lots went before our FMF laid out a plan that would organize a new world into something orderly and hopefully just. Narrowing the focus or raising certain ideas to a pedestal is the formula for stagnant thinking, if one thing is clear in that ambiguous and vague document, our Consitution, written so long ago, it offers the ability and opportunity for change. Surely slavery is not a good thing and if I can use the modern argument (mostly republican) in which I judge the whole by the part, the FMF were a bad lot and America was founded on bad ideas. Who'd wanna live there? ;)

    But that doesn't work does it, it doesn't appeal to our sensibilities that we are the prefect nation? And our founding perfect too. From what I have read there was little coalescence, and they argued lots, self interest, local interest, and ideas of federal versus state forced them to agree on something. The federal government became necessary when the states didn't get along. That remains true to today and we actually had a Civil War to fix the mess our FMF created (read humor).

    Regarding abortion you should have limited your comment to, "[t]he reality is we really don’t know how they would feel" or better yet no speculation at all.

    Since you laid out the definitions you get to make the conclusions, that's too easy. You make so many assumptions, my assumption meter pegged off scale. Republicans today, and I mean right now, do nothing except fight our democratically elected president. In 2010 they came on board for jobs and since then have passed nothing but trivial nothings. If you know of something important let us know. One could take your last paragraph and reverse it and it would be just as meaningful for the other side of the divide. When that occurs it's time to reexamine your premise.

    My take on republicans is here. http://www.usmessageboard.com/politics/186726-republican-ideology-through-history-7.html#post4251322

    Washington appears pretty off center to me, one could read this as a warning against modern republicans. :lol: "The unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts." Quote DB :: Speeches :: George Washington :: George Washington's Farewell Address Speech
     
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  3. BluePhantom
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    BluePhantom Educator (of liberals)

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    Well cut me some slack. Newbie error. I will learn the etiquette and procedures of the boards in time



    Hmmmm....well I would concede that assumptions about the FF are certainly filtered through our perceptions in the 21st century and that creates an inherent bias (although it's one that can be effectively overcome by recognizing and accepting the culture of the day. What I mean by that is that you see a lot of people hammer some of the founders (Jefferson in particular) for being slave owners. That is a bias based upon 21st century thinking. A man born in the early 1700s in the south where slavery was commonplace, was vital to their economy, and has been told all his life that slavery is necessary should not be condemned for slave ownership or a racist mentality. It was simply the norm at the time. Our experiences (Democrat or Republican aside) in the 21st century are completely different and it's not fair to impose 21st century morality on an 18th century individual.


    Yes a great deal came before the Declaration of Independence and the ratification of the Constitution, not the least important of which was the Articles of the Confederation which was a dismal failure but led to the creation of the stronger Constitution. Yes the Constitution is written so that it will accommodate a changing society and deal with unforeseen issues. The 10th Amendment for example refers to that by giving the powers to deal with things not covered by the Constitution to the states. But this is where liberals tend to err by taking the stance that the "since the Constitution was written as an evolving document it must be altered beyond the intent of the founders". What I mean is they take the attitude of: we can do it therefore we should do it and even more so....expand it. That is a misunderstanding of the intent of the Constitution. The Constitution is a document that is intended to limit the powers of the government; to do just enough to preserve the union but still maintain the authority of the states. They knew that what was good for Virginia, for example, may not be so great for Massachusetts. That remains true today. What is good for Florida or Texas is not always good for Wyoming or Washington. It was this understanding that was the rationale for limiting the powers of the Constitution and it came from the experience that what was good for England wasn't so great for the colonies.


    Well I don't think you will find anyone who says our nation is perfect, and certainly our founding was not either. There were a lot of mistakes that were made in those first 4-5 administrations. Indeed, one could make a very strong argument that while the founders were brilliant philosophers and political tacticians that created a magnificent form of government, they were actually pretty mediocre presidents.

    There was indeed a lot of infighting...the stuff of which would fit right in with today's political climate. Jefferson back-stabbed Adams, Hamilton back-stabbed Adams, they all went to their minions in the press and had nasty articles written about each other. They engaged in smear campaigns, rumor, innuendo, block voting, back room deals, temporary "unholy alliances" between opponents intended to take someone else out of a race or discredit them (usually Adams was the target)...hell people even got shot (Hamilton). But in regards to major schools of thought there WAS coalescence behind the main leaders that I mentioned.


    The point of abortion was two-fold. 1) In today's political climate we deal with many things (usually of a social nature) that the FFs would have never dreamed of and often times those things are major planks in a party's platform. Abortion is just the example I used. It's an extremely important position that distinguishes between the conservative and liberal labels. It was important to me to point out that while I intended to identify the founders with a given modern label, that such issues had to be largely ignored. In other words "don't assume that when I make the argument that Jefferson would be a modern Republican that I am saying he would necessarily be pro-life."

    2) It's important to always consider the time frame. You mentioned in your response that "slavery is wrong". Ok say that to a bunch of people in 2011 and everyone will shrug and say "yeah no shit". Well say that to a crowd in South Carolina in 1805 and you will get quite a different reaction. What is "moral" depends on time and geography. Las Vegas and Salt Lake City are somewhat close but there's one hell of a difference between the moral codes that influence those societies. So my point was that even if we could infer their position on such issues, it must be accepted that their position may in fact change according to the time frame in which the question is asked. This does not; however, mean that their opinions on the size, scope, and general roles of government would necessarily do so.

    I've got news for you, brother. That's been going on since Washington's administration and it makes no difference who is in the White House. The other party will attack ferociously. This idea that once upon a time in America both sides played nice with each other....pfft.....that's a myth. Never happened that way.


    Yeah I read that. Looks like what you did was to start with a conclusion and then look for every little nasty thing Republicans have ever done and wrote a timeline to support your initial conclusion. :lol: Additionally, there's some real interesting revisionist history in there. For example, you seem to give credit to the Democrats for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Uhhhhh....no. Northern Democrats and Republicans were on board but opposition came from inside the Democratic party. The KKK was considered at the time to be the militant wing of the Democrats. While the GOP and northern Dems were fighting for civil rights for blacks, other Democrats were hanging people from trees and blowing up churches. LBJ didn't even want to sign the bill. The suggestion (this has never been well documented) is that LBJ only agreed to sign it if King and Jackson would deliver the black vote to the Democrats. When he finally did his words were "we just lost the south for a generation" and he threw his pen on his desk in disgust.

    Comments about "Republican war mongers". Uh you might want to go back and do a little research. You'll find that the vast majority of wars that involved the United States occurred during Democratic administrations.

    Anyhow...it's pretty clear where you stand in regard to a thorough, unbiased accounting of history that you appeared to slam me for earlier. :lol:

    Washington warned everyone. It's dangerous to take one speech or a part of a speech and base an entire characterization of an individual upon it. Washington was, for his time, slightly left of center. He hated the partisanship that was happening and warned that it would destroy the nation. BTW...I could argue that what you quoted has a lot more to do with Democrats than Republicans.
     
  4. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Best advice when debating online, develop thick skin.

    I don't think we ever overcome our cultural, educational, and experience biases. We just need to recognize them. You need to read Stanley Fish sometime. "I say it to you now, knowing full well that you will agree with me (that is, understand) only if you already agree with me." But I also think we need to look at all the sources when considering our FMF.

    By lots before our founding I also meant the enlightenment, and lots of thinkers, wars, turmoil, church control, etc etc. I disagree that what's good / bad for one state doesn't apply to another. That was an argument for slavery and jim crow and separate but equal and voting rights and lots more that had to change before we were able to live up to our principles.

    People don't often get along where power and money are concerned, the founders were no different.

    I agree that the South would have argued slavery was necessary but I doubt there would have been a consensus even then. Calhoun's arguments are interesting if wrong. See: http://cghs.dadeschools.net/slavery/defense_of_slavery/calhoun.htm]Slavery Salvery like sweat shops had an economic element we often ignore or side step. "Benjamin Franklin, in a 1773 letter to Dean Woodward, confirmed that whenever the Americans had attempted to end slavery, the British government had indeed thwarted those attempts. Franklin explained that . . . . a disposition to abolish slavery prevails in North America, that many of Pennsylvanians have set their slaves at liberty, and that even the Virginia Assembly have petitioned the King for permission to make a law for preventing the importation of more into that colony. This request, however, will probably not be granted as their former laws of that kind have always been repealed." WallBuilders - Issues and Articles - The Founding Fathers and Slavery

    Republicans did the same to Clinton, they fought him with big money and they did the same to Carter. Bush Jr brought on the wrath of his own party he was so bad, so please don't tell me the dems crucified him. Obama has had no partisan support, again look at the policies that have come out of the republicans as an indicator of their uselessness for the nation as a whole.

    My history of republican ideology has beginning and endings if you noticed, and bailouts have too often followed their governance. When government is the problem and big business is the primary client, what do you expect. See: "Why Conservatives Can't Govern" by Alan Wolfe I admit my history is biased but the facts are there to check. The KKK was democratic only in the sense the south was that way after Lincoln. But I can add the KKK in there and will follow up on that point. Eisenhower, Kennedy, and LBJ fought the KKK and their evil. Read the history of the fifties and Eisenhower's opposition to their war cries. And today through the magic of modern media, you only have to go back to Saturday for the same republican war nonsense on Iran and war mongering. You didn't forget Iraq, did you? An illegal invasion by most legal and moral standards.
     
  5. Richard-H
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    Richard-H Silver Member

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    There are two glaring errors in your assessment:

    First, fail to recognise that, with the exception of George Washington, all that you consider to be "founding fathers" were in fact politicians - influenced not by truth but by progmatism. The glaring ommission, continually made by Americans, is in leaving the greatest of all American political philosophers, Thomas Paine, conveniently out of the discussion. EVERY great idea promoted by the founding father had it's roots in Thomas Paine's writings. So score a few points to the left in your evaluation - because a the root of all American political philosohy is the ultra leftist Thomas Paine.

    Secondly, you fail to approach the issue of the industrialzation of America. At the time that the founding fathers lived America was an agricutural and seafaring nation. America transitioned into an industrial nation and when that happened all Americans became economically interdependant. You can bet you brass bippy that this would have considerably altered the thinking of the founding fathers.

    Got news for you bro:

    The George Washingtons, Thomas Jeffersons and Thomas Paines of today are all out at Zucotti park!
     
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  6. BluePhantom
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    BluePhantom Educator (of liberals)

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    oh come on. Paine didn't even get to the colonies until two years prior to declaring Independence. The continental congress was already well underway. Guys like Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, etc who were in attendance already had very well established opinions and philosophies regarding government. Paine published Common Sense only eight months prior to the Declaration of Independence. While it gained a lot of public support it didn't exactly persuade the men at the continental convention to declare independence. To say that all of these ideas had roots to Paine is flat out ridiculous. It's highly unlikely any of them had even heard of Paine until shortly before independence was declared and they started discussing it two years before.

    As far as them being at Zucotti Park.....I can assure you that Jefferson would NOT support OWS at all. He would tell them to shut up, go get a job, work for what they earn, and quit whining about people who have done just that. Washington may be at Zucotti Park...atop a horse with military in tow....which is precisely how he handled every major uprising during his administration. Educate yourself about the whiskey rebellion.

    Midcan5, I will have to get back to you tomorrow. A response will take time and I have to spend some time with my lady tonight. But I will get back to you.
     
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  7. Mr.Nick
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    Mr.Nick Senior Member

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    Well, some would be nationalists/federalists (democrats, neo-cons) and others would be liberals (republicans. libertarians)..

    I suppose it was a much simpler time tho...

    Obviously the industrial revolution had not occurred and most economies were communally based..

    The industrial revolution certainly changed the political landscape and economics became a major concern and a political talking point..

    Lets not forget we still have the Bill of Rights which of course was not passed without any debate or opposition..

    I think most of our founding fathers would align themselves with libertarians/classical liberals and the rest would probably be Kennedy style democrats - the nationalists/federalists certainly wouldn't be anything like modern progressives... Hell, the idea of socialism was a hundred years away - not to mention all our founding fathers believed in property rights and freedom of thought, religion and expression...

    This country was founded on opposition to authoritarian and theocratic rule.... IMO to really understand our founding fathers that notion has to be remembered...
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  8. Richard-H
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    Richard-H Silver Member

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    The American Revolution was fought against monarchy...against the super wealthy. It was a revolution of the common man against political and economic tyranny. Exactly what the OWS movement is fighting against.

    What you all fail to realize about the founding Fathers is that they were extreme revolutionaries - they had more in common with Mao Tes Tung than with today's Republicans or Democrats.

    Though by today standards their beliefs may be considered moderately conservative, for their day they were extreme radicals.

    Their radicalism was so successful that it has become the moderate standard for today.

    It would be hard to believe that they would be content main stream conformists in this day.
     
  9. BluePhantom
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    BluePhantom Educator (of liberals)

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    NO. The founding fathers were extremely rich. The founding fathers were "the 1%". They were not "the common man". These guys were the elite of society, wealthy, educated, cultured, social climbers, etc. They fought against an overpowering form of government. The last thing they wanted was a government that was overly powerful and got into people's lives. They wanted a government that protected the borders, protected commerce, allowed people to work for their own prosperity, and stayed the fuck out of people's business. That is not the modern liberal school of thought.
     
  10. BluePhantom
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    BluePhantom Educator (of liberals)

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    The founding fathers opposed voting rights for people who did not own property and did not pay taxes...and you think they would support OWS?!?!?!? :cuckoo:
     
  11. Photonic
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    Photonic Ad astra!

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    Then why do all conservatives seem to want is to have government crawl in and out of women?
     
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  12. Richard-H
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    Richard-H Silver Member

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    You just make it up as you go along, don't you! Amazing!

    The first continental congress made it very clear that they were loyal to the King:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petition_to_the_King_(1774)

    When Benjamin Franklin appeared before parlament, he did so as a loyal Englishman. It was after that meeting, which pissed franklin off, that he met Thomas Paine and arranged for CONTINTENTIAL CONGRESS to subsidize Paine's move to America. They sure as hell knew who Thomas Paine was!

    The battles of Lexington and Concord and the subsequent siege of Boston were considered a rebellion, not a revolution. There was abosolutely no talk of independance - except for Thomas Paine.

    Common Sense was an overwelmingly popular best seller of all time - if sales are measured against the size of the population, so you're saying that Continental Congress had never heard of Thomas Paine is absurd.

    Furthermore, it was Common Sense that provoked the whole open discussion of independance. Perhaps some had thought of it, but to ever speak it would be considere treason.

    The fact is that only the popularity and open discussion of Common Sense created the huge public sentiment in favor of independance - if it weren't for Common Sense Continental Congress would not have known that the public would support it and would not have had the balls to declare independance.

    You REALLY should learn history before you start spewing your nonsense.
     
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  13. BluePhantom
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    BluePhantom Educator (of liberals)

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    I think that is a strong contradiction within the Republican party and one I oppose. Gay rights is the same thing. This is also why people tend to call me a RINO (until the election is close and suddenly they need my vote - then I am suddenly a "brother" :lol:) The Republican party has always been the party of freedom, small government, minimal government intrusion in the private lives of American citizens...we freed the slaves, we were freedom riders who fought for the civil rights of blacks (yes we were..look it up). Then suddenly we have this major problem with homosexuals and take the stance we do on abortion? On those points you are absolutely correct. It's worth noting however, that the Democratic party has the same contradictions.

    I heard it said once that the Democrats position is "give us all your money and do whatever you wish with your body" while the Republicans say "keep your money as long as you do with your body what we say". My position is "I will do whatever the fuck I want with my body and I want to keep my money too". Greedy SOB that I am. :lmao:
     
  14. bucs90
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    bucs90 Gold Member

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    Thick skin, thin posts. Sorry man, that was too much to read. Sum it up.
     
  15. BluePhantom
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    BluePhantom Educator (of liberals)

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    uh....I am a professor of history, dude. I teach history at the university. I have degrees in history. I think I know history very well thank you.

    Yeah they said they wanted to support King George. They did. #1 they considered themselves English and wanted to remain English if possible. #2 They weren't really excited with the prospect of taking on the most powerful military the world had ever seen at the time. Of course they are going to be political.

    Independence was being discussed FAR earlier than Paine's Common Sense. As I said...the continental congress was well underway before Paine even fucking got to this continent. Sam Adams had been tar and feathering tax collectors for years. Independence was discussed in the pubs and taverns constantly. Adams was screaming for independence from day one before Paine ever set foot on American soil.

    Paine had an impact yes.....but not NEARLY as much as you suggest and he had little or no impact on the structure of government that was established.
     
  16. Richard-H
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    Richard-H Silver Member

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    No you freaking moron! The Royalty was the 1% richest. The founding father's were most very middleclass. Highly educated, but middleclass. George Washington may have come from a relatively wealthy family, but he was the son of his mother's previous husband...a redheaded step-child (note: his elder step-brother did marry the cousin of a British lord).

    Alexander Hamilton was also from a highly disrupted family and NOT wealthy at all. It was his exceptional acedemics that got him into Columbia University (the King's College).

    Washington, Hamilton and many other founding fathers believed in a strong Federalist government with the right to tax. Hence Washington's suppression of the Whiskey rebellion - A rebellion against taxes.

    Most the most evident fact that the founding Fathers would more than likely support OWS and progressive politics is that THEY LED THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION! THEY WERE EXTREME REVOLUTIONARIES!

    Is that so hard to comprehend?

    There is none so blind as those who will not see!
     
  17. BluePhantom
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    BluePhantom Educator (of liberals)

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    Hamilton had nothing to do with independence!!!! he was one of Washington's right hand men and got a cabinet position as a result. He then attempted what was essentially an overthrow of government that would have put Congress and the Presidency under his control as puppets. Hamilton had nothing to do with the continental conventions or constitutional congress. Washington was a social climber. He married money to gain reputation and status. he didn't have very much to do with the continental congress except to further his status. Washington was put in charge of the army not because he was the best general (that was Benedict Arnold) but because they knew he would fight until the absolute bitter end because he had too much to gain and nothing to lose.

    Adams, Jefferson, Franklin....those are the men that got us independence and they were hammering for it long before they had ever heard of fucking Thomas Paine.
     
  18. BluePhantom
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    BluePhantom Educator (of liberals)

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    You see dickhead. These men were revolutionaries because they were sick of government intrusion in their fucking lives and their fucking business. They were against taxation without representation but were equally against representation without taxation. That meant voting rights were out for anyone but property owners. They would have flipped a total fucking bitch about social security, welfare, Obamacare or anything that put the government in a position to control the lives of people, or let people get a free ride. And they would have dealt with OWS just like Washington did....ride in with troops ready to kill anyone who was getting pissy.

    Now go educate yourself, you little pissant, instead of wailing on about Thomas Paine who was a significant player but FAR from one of the ringleaders of independence and founding the structure of government, and claiming that they were liberals. They were about as fucking liberal as Rand Paul. They would be completely horrified at the modern Democratic party.
     
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  19. JamesInFlorida
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    JamesInFlorida Senior Member

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    Read the 1st amendment.

    And yes they would be upset with the modern Democratic party-but they would also be upset with the modern Republican party. To think otherwise is just living with the blinders on. They would have outraged of presidents waging war without congressional approval.

    The constitution itself was a compromise (represented mainly by Madison and Hamilton), and was designed to change with the times.

    PS-Adams was the first founding father to propose independence, in reference to your previous post. And he also represented the British during the Boston Massacre.

    The founding fathers aren't as black and white as you like to pretend. But you simply believe bullshit, so it satisfies your cognitive dissonance.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  20. 8537
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    ...wherein we start with a conclusion (The Founders must be Republicans because I'm a Republican) and fill in facts to fit that bias.

    Perfectly fine intellectual masturbation.
     
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