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SO YOU WANT YOUR COUNTRY BACK

May 30, 2010 - Ray Hall (Archive)

Recently I watched an unidentified woman supporting the Tea Bag Movement and the victory of Rand Paul over the endorsed Republican candidate for the US Senate in Kentucky as she attempted to explain her jubilation.

She went through the usual litany of grievances we have become accustomed to hearing; “government is too big, taxes are too high and someone must stop President OBama’s socialism.”

Although I didn’t agree with her assessments she did make logical if not persuasive arguments against big government and high taxes. It was only when she added that she wanted her country back--“the country that our founding fathers lived under,” that I realized she was neither a student of politics nor history.

Her words confirmed that she had little understanding of government and that she knew even less about our Constitution and our founders, a common thread among Tea Bag Movers.

However, the all too common misrepresentation that our founders were men of highest moral principles and men who created a perfect document in our Constitution has reached a point where nearly everyone has elevated our founders to level of Sainthood and the Constitution to Scripture.

If we lived in a country of our founding fathers most of us could not vote; only property owners, no women and no blacks. Blacks would be enslaved and counted as three-fifths of a person as a political compromise.

Founders checked their morality at the door to make a compromise to placate southern states. Never mind the animosity and mistrust of the delegates. Some delegates so mistrusted the ability of Benjamin Franklin to keep his mouth shut about the proceedings that they hired “spies” to follow him every where he went.

Even George Washington, the presiding officer, suggested that negotiations take place behind closed doors because a mostly illiterate public could not grasp the idea of what they were all about. Our distinguished First President even lobbied the delegates by wearing a military uniform every day because he wanted to the Commanding General of a new army.

Another Delegate, William Blount was later suspected of treason when he hatched a plan to convince Indians, fronterismen and British Naval forces to conquer Spanish controlled Florida and Louisiana for Britain.

Jonathan Dayton, a Delegate and the Fourth Speaker of the House of Representatives was accused of a conspiracy with Aaron Burr and in 1807 he was arrested but never brought to trial. These flawed men created a flawed document but in the process they created a government--a Republic guided by a written Constitution meant to keep pace with changing times.

The Constitution is not a perfect document and the founders knew it and they knew it was not a document to be interpreted as absolute. Such doubts were evidenced by the fact that they made the document amendable, a wrong could be undone.

 
 

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Blog Photos

A PAINTING REPRESENTING THE SIGNING OF THE CONSTITUTION BY HOWARD CHANDLER CHRISTY