Thursday, February 19, 2009

Our Founding Fathers Were Radical and Free









It seems to be the Right and the Libertarains who speak of our founding fathers,  as though they alone understand them;  as if they alone have a right to them.  But it is difficult to pigeonhole our founding fathers into any one camp.  Independence,  equality,  freedom of religion,  and of speech:  These were liberal and even radical ideas.  The birth of our nation came from the depths of these thinkers,  these rugged and robust free wheeling men of the 18th century. 

When I was in college,  one of my first courses was a U.S. History and Politics course.  I recall the professor saying that James Madison had said,  when speaking of the free flow of ideas and action,  "Ambition will counteract ambition.".  A radical idea!  A willingness to share the stage with those who differ,  with those whose ideology and passions run counter to our own. 

Let us  not put these very UN-dead white males in a box.  Let them be free to inspire us all.  Patriarchal in their living,  yet hot-bloodied warriors of a new culture in their thinking,  they live on in our public discourse, and in our national pride.  Of course,  I am in full agreement with many Libertarians that a smug political correctness and a bureaucratic socialism is not the liberal freedom intended by our founding fathers.  Neither do oil and pharmaceutical companies so beloved of Bush and the GOP,  with wars in the middle east and occupations of strange people who are no kin to uis,  bear any resemblance to the nation of gentleman farmers envisioned by Jefferson.  Both parties have soiled the idea of the true Republic.  NeoCons and Libertarians wind up focusing on certain hypocrisies of the Left,  while not really evoking the spirit of the founders,  either.  I found Ron Paul peevish,  irritable, and totally uninspiring.  But I most certainly do agree that classical equity liberalism is the only kind to be endorsed, and not the splintering partisan agendas of postmodern feminists and health nuts and men haters and those who have no respect for our roots. 

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