Thoughts from the Founding Fathers

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
We just celebrated 4th July, so here are some thoughts from the Founding Fathers. It's an interesting exercise to apply some of these gems to the current state of the nation's government. Of course I have been cherry-picking here, but since that seems to be an acceptable way of presenting "facts and information" (specially concerning the media and the current administration), I guess you can all excuse me.....but the underlying messages are very clear:



"Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?"

Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December 19, 1776



"It has ever been my hobby-horse to see rising in America an empire of liberty, and a prospect of two or three hundred millions of freemen, without one noble or one king among them. You say it is impossible. If I should agree with you in this, I would still say, let us try the experiment, and preserve our equality as long as we can".

John Adams, letter to Count Sarsfield, February 3, 1786



"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny".

James Madison, Federalist No. 48, February 1, 1788



"All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree".

James Madison, speech at the Constitutional Convention, July 11, 1787



"An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others". James Madison, Federalist No. 58, 1788



"But the safety of the people of America against dangers from foreign force depends not only on their forbearing to give just causes of war to other nations, but also on their placing and continuing themselves in such a situation as not to invite hostility or insult; for it need not be observed that there are pretended as well as just causes of war". John Jay, Federalist No. 4



"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere".

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787



"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground".

Thomas Jefferson, letter to E. Carrington, May 27, 1788



"I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible)." Thomas Paine



"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined".

Patrick Henry, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778



"On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions should we have had already?" Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, Query 12, 1782



"A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader".

Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, February 12, 1779



"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety".

Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759



"Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst."

Thomas Paine



"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their Constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."

Abraham Lincoln.



hmmmmm....



Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    I agree a great deal with many of the sentiments you quoted. As for what goes on in other threads, my only problem is perhaps with where you go after starting with these kinds of beliefs.



    I'll say more when you say more, when don't leave what you're getting at concerning 9/11 and Arab vs. non-Arab terrorists as an exercise left to your readers.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    Do you have a point to make Sammi, or are you just going to fling Constitutional platitudes at us, in order to convince yourself and us that you're full of grand ideas (which by the way, you aren't)?



    An original thought or contention of your own perhaps?
  • Reply 3 of 14
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    [meh, why bother.]
  • Reply 4 of 14
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    maybe the thread would be more fun if it was titled :



    " Lesser known statements by the founding fathers "



    Eg :



    " I came, I sawed, I concreted "

    by ( Julius ) Caesar Salad ..Navada..
  • Reply 5 of 14
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Moogs

    Do you have a point to make Sammi, or are you just going to fling Constitutional platitudes at us, in order to convince yourself and us that you're full of grand ideas (which by the way, you aren't)?



    An original thought or contention of your own perhaps?




    *sigh*



    The point should be obvious enough without having to spell it out, letter by letter, comma by comma. Of course, you would naturally avoid talking about that obvious point, to get a typically puerile cheap shot in. The point is, (on the strengths of those "constitutional platitudes") that America, most specially under Bush and company, is being led down a path that is very alien to what the fathers intended.



    Now discuss.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    What path would that be?
  • Reply 7 of 14
    thuh freakthuh freak Posts: 2,664member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BuonRotto

    What path would that be?



    I believe one of the things sammi is eluding to, perhaps less obviously than intended, is that modern american government is sacrificing many of our freedoms for the sake of protecting the people. (cough, patriot act, ahem) Franklin said, "They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."



    Sammi also seems to be going over other points about modern america that are bothersome. Like revolutionism (is that a word?). Jefferson wrote, "It [revolt/rebellion] will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then." Another quote (one I like in particular) by Lincoln, "Whenever they [the people] shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their [...] revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." When was the last time America went to arms against herself, even figurative arms? (plus, anyone else like how Lincoln called for people to be revolutionary against their government, yet warred with the South when they exercized that 'revolutionary right.')
  • Reply 8 of 14
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    Sammi, I'll discuss something with you when you make a specific contention about a specific topic. There is much that can be read into those Constitutional quotes. civil liberties issues, self-protection issues, military issues, public servant and trust issues. Just humor us and tell us what it is you'd like to discuss / argue about / convince us of....
  • Reply 9 of 14
    aquafireaquafire Posts: 2,758member
    People often lose sight of the fact that America ( as flawed as it is ) is still the only country in the world that has "the pursuit of happiness" as one of it's consitutional rights....



    So bagging is easy, coming up with contructive and truly workable alternatives is another thing all together....



    The trouble with the left is that while they have the art of bagging and wish-fulfilment down to a tea, they can't come up with any real substitutes for present government.



    It's one thing to foot stomp and act all agro, hating the way things are, but it's a whole different ball game when it comes to offering viable alternatives...instead of rant and rhetoric.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,447member
    I read those statements and they remind me (as many founding father statements do) that about 3/4's of what the current federal government does ought to be dismantled and undone. Thomas Paine for example was obviously speaking of the "thief" being the government via taxation. When a government is literally breaking into your house and stealing your income for wealth redistribution, you should support violence when before you ought not.



    The Madison quotes and many of the others are clearly for a small limited, very divided federal government that leaves unspelled out rights and responsibilities to the people and states in which they reside. States rights... Strom would be so proud of you Sammi!



    Nick
  • Reply 11 of 14
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 16,890member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman

    I read those statements and they remind me (as many founding father statements do) that about 3/4's of what the current federal government does ought to be dismantled and undone. Thomas Paine for example was obviously speaking of the "thief" being the government via taxation. When a government is literally breaking into your house and stealing your income for wealth redistribution, you should support violence when before you ought not.



    The Madison quotes and many of the others are clearly for a small limited, very divided federal government that leaves unspelled out rights and responsibilities to the people and states in which they reside. States rights... Strom would be so proud of you Sammi!



    Nick




    Well said.



    sammi jo:



    I enjoyed the quotes.



    I think your "point" is obvious. I have to question your seemingly unmitagated hatred of the Bush administration, though. Some points:



    America has consistently become more involved in world affairs as time passes. It is not the Bush administrationm it is/was ALL administrations. Though, things (i.e. "world affairs") are quite different than they were 227 years ago.



    As for "being led down a path very opposite from what the founding fathers intended", I agree and disagree. The country is certainly not being led down that wrong path by Bush. Quite the opposite. As trumptman posted, it is the government on the whole that is doing too much. It is, IMO, liberalism/socialism that is taking us down the wrong path. The government was never intended to provide for those who "had not". It was never intended to get involved in health care, retirement, corporate welfare, etc. It is these programs that cause us to be taxed at confiscatory levels. That's what's different from the founding fathers' vision. To be fair though, Bush has supported too much big government for my liking. It's a major criticism I have of him.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    brbr Posts: 8,395member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by SDW2001

    I have to question your seemingly unmitagated hatred of the Bush administration, though.



    I have to question your seemingly unmitigated support of the Bush administration, though.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,447member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BR

    I have to question your seemingly unmitigated support of the Bush administration, though.



    un·mit·i·gat·ed (n-mt-gtd)

    adj.



    1. Not diminished or moderated in intensity or severity; unrelieved: unmitigated suffering.

    2. Without qualification or exception; absolute: an unmitigated lie.





    Quote:

    To be fair though, Bush has supported too much big government for my liking. It's a major criticism I have of him.



    Okay, I showed where SDW criticized Bush. Now you have to show where Sammi praised Bush once.



    Nick
  • Reply 14 of 14
    brbr Posts: 8,395member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by trumptman

    Okay, I showed where SDW criticized Bush. Now you have to show where Sammi praised Bush once.



    There is an exception to every rule. I am not defending Sammi. I am simply saying that overall, SDW is just a blind mouthpiece for the Bush admin.
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