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    Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present, controls the past    ~ George Orwell, 1984

    In the face of the revisionist historians on the right who would have you believe that Jesus was more important to the founding and building of America than our founding fathers, or that our founding fathers were in some way actually Religious and Fiscal Conservatives, I submit this theory for your approval.

The founding fathers were progressives

The Tories who supported the King of england were Conservatives.

If the Founding Fathers were Conservatives, we would still have a King.

    Conservatives are never revolutionary, not unless that revolution is intended to halt progress and go backwards to the natural state of power in a nation.

    Thus, conservatives conserve power and progressives seek change and progress.

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    Any decently educated student of history knows this, but there is nothing the GOP and Corporatists will not pervert to suit their agenda as long as it helps them maintain their strangle-hold on wealth and power.

    Our founding fathers knew the dangers of monarchy and the power of a religion controlled state, they knew the danger of a head of state who governed under the Aegis of Divine Authority, they knew the dangers of a nation that can not stand up to the power of Big Business run amok or another multi-national power (be it a nation or Corporation), and they knew the dangers of unlimited power in the hands of one man, or many men, if they are not heldd in check by the rule of law.

     They knew this because the believed in change and individual liberty, but also in the rule of law and social justice.

    Therefore, IF the Founding Fathers were Conservatives, the following would be true of America from her founding on to today.

  1.      The State Religion would be Christianity. There would be no seperation of church and state.
  1.      We would have never rebelled against the rule of the British empire, rather we would have made the best of it so long as it profitted the wealthiest and most powerful among the founding fathers.
  1.      We would still have the Articles of Confederation instead of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We would have stuck to the first form of limited Government, and would have been defeated in any subsequent wars becuase of our inability to rally behind a centralized Federal authority.
  1.      Slavery would have been codified in our society and would still exist as of today.
  1.      Instead of a Union of States under one nation we would have a confederacy of nation states, as each new state would demand their own soverignty above aq national soverignty. America would be more like Switzerland or the Roman Republic.
  1.      There would be no additions to the Constitution at all and no new agencies other than those written into the original Articles of Confederation/Constitution, which would be read as a Bible and not open to any interpretations other than the stated words as applied therein.
  1.      No new taxes EVER, which would lead to a weak and powerless nation in the face of a changing world.
  1.      No regulations of any kind not already included in the AoC/Constitution, which would lead to a Big Business world run amok which could overpower a weak, decentralized Government.
  1.      Any act of revolution against England or American colonial authority would be considered an act of terrorism, and would be cruelly and violently crushed.
  1.     If, for some reason the American colonists did rebel against British rule, upon victory General George Washington would have accepted the crown that was offered him, and we would have a Constitutional Monarchy today.

    These are only my own dabbles in revisionist history, I am no expert at making things up like Newt Gingrich or the Texas Board of Education, but I hazard to guess that, if our nation's founding fathers were Conservatives, we would have a scientific culture that is frozen in the 18th Century, socialism would have been banned 100 years before it was invented, Jesus would be on the face of every dollar and Germany would have defeated our weak and unorganized Army in WWII.

    Those who wish to distort the truth and the very fabric of our national heritage do so for one purpose only, to maintain power. Despie all of the rationales of the supposedly learned amongst the Conservative right wing of America, the maintenence and Conservation of power in the hands of the weealthy and politically elite is the purpose of modern day Conservativism. In order to maintain that power, Conservatives would lie, terrorize the population, propogate fear and distort history itself.

     In order to save us from facism, Conservatives would become fascists themselves.

     In order to save us from Big Brother, Conservatives would have Big Brother save us.

      War is Peace

      Freedom is Slavery

      Ignorance is Strength

      and add to that

      The Founding Fathers were Conservatives

Crossposted at progressiveelectorate.com and docudharma.com

Originally posted to MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:22 AM PDT.

Poll

Were the founding fathers conservatives or progressives?

11%8 votes
47%34 votes
15%11 votes
23%17 votes
1%1 votes

| 71 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for learning history as it happened (14+ / 0-)

    not as some might prefer it to be in order to justify their political agenda.

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

    by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:16:01 AM PDT

    •  Oh man. (3+ / 0-)

      I was going to write a diary like this, but you beat me to it.  This is absolutely true - look up Loyalists in early America - for any trolls who don't believe it.  Some colonists moved to Europe after America won it's independence.  They would be the ancestral conservatives.

      (-4.62, -4.72) "When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen Roberts

      by chabnormal on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:38:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Remember the motto... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MinistryOfTruth, JW in Dallas

        God, Country, and Family.  America wasn't always a country.  It used to be a part of another country - Great Britain

        (-4.62, -4.72) "When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen Roberts

        by chabnormal on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:43:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They were going Galt in 1776, true neo-cons (0+ / 0-)

        Jesus would be on the dollar and George Washington would have accepted the crown.

        When in fact, they were not religious and they believed in change and challenging power, not maintaining it.

        The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

        by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:43:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And First Wave of Southern Departure (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MinistryOfTruth, JW in Dallas

        Lots of southerners fled to Canada.

        A lifetime later they fled the Union.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:43:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  History will show that GWB and DDC changed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alpolitics, MinistryOfTruth

      the landscape of the United States of America in a way that a certain preportion of the population now agreed that having a Dictator, King, Potentate, etc. was what they really wanted.

      They didn't want to think for themselves, while they Shouted OUT "We want OUR country back!"

      They didn't want to know what the government was doing in the name of the American People while they were Shouting OUT "LESS Government!"

      They didn't want to see the torture of other peoples family members while they were Screaming OUT "9/11, Nine Eleven, NINETY ELEVENTY!"

      They were the people that caused a great nation to become less than it once was.  There ends that notion.

      The rest of history will now be made.  Do we allow the minority of Americans-Who-Will-Not-Think-For-Themselves-Or-Their-Families to fuck over our once wonderful country, or will we FIGHT tooth and nail to restore balance?

      History will tell us.

      If God had been a Liberal, we wouldn't have had the ten commandments. We'd have had the ten suggestions.

      by funluvn1 on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:43:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hopefullt, AG Holder does his job (0+ / 0-)

        and respects the rule of law.

        Otherwise, the next Administration that has a mind to be Big Brother will be, and we will no longer be the America our founding fathers envisioned.

        The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

        by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:42:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is pretty ahistorical... (0+ / 0-)

      they knew the dangers of a nation that can not stand up to the power of Big Business run amok or another multi-national power (be it a nation or Corporation)

      "Big Business" as we understand it did not exist at the time of the Founding Fathers and I have no idea how you think a nation can be a multi-national power.

      1.      We would have never rebelled against the rule of the British empire, rather we would have made the best of it so long as it profitted the wealthiest and most powerful among the founding fathers.

      You have embedded naive and romantic views of our history.  The Founding Fathers were wealthy and powerful men.  The US Revolutionary War was mostly about ensuring that the financial rewards from the development of North America stayed with them rather than being skimmed off for the benefit of the British Crown and powerful men in England.

      1.     We would still have the Articles of Confederation instead of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We would have stuck to the first form of limited Government, and would have been defeated in any subsequent wars becuase of our inability to rally behind a centralized Federal authority.

      Hard to disprove a hypothetical, but given that the Constitution increased the power of the central government, which was much easier for wealthy men to influence than the 13 separate state governments this seems unlikely.

      1.     Slavery would have been codified in our society and would still exist as of today.

      Nonsense.  Slavery was implied by our Constitution - the Three Fifths Compromise.  The conflict over slavery throughout US history was between the agricultural South, in which slavery was a useful economic institution, and the industrializing North in which free Blacks were seen as a potential source of cheap labor and a way to keep downwards pressure on the wages of White workers.  This was a battle between elites on both sides.

      Do you really believe that the North went into a war that had the potential to split the Union and kill hundreds of thousands of men in order to free a bunch of people they thought of as "Niggers" from slavery?  Get real.

      No regulations of any kind not already included in the AoC/Constitution, which would lead to a Big Business world run amok which could overpower a weak, decentralized Government.

      The Constitution includes the concept of laws and of the executive, which presumably needed to do something - and if not issue regulations to enact the laws of Congress then what?

      In addition, if you study Agency Theory you will understand that big business seeks to capture regulatory agencies and use them to reduce competition.

      In general, bigger businesses prefer more complex and Byzantine regulations.  For example, for GM the armies of lawyers and specialists needed to follow the various automotive regulations are a small line item.  For a startup like Tesla they are a major expense.  Any large established business likes regulations like that - they are an additional barrier to entry for potential competitors.

      1.     Any act of revolution against England or American colonial authority would be considered an act of terrorism, and would be cruelly and violently crushed.

      You mean like the Confederacy was?  Was that so bad?

      1.    If, for some reason the American colonists did rebel against British rule, upon victory General George Washington would have accepted the crown that was offered him, and we would have a Constitutional Monarchy today.

      Yes, and I assume he would also not have admitted he chopped down the cherry tree.

      Both stories are equally apocryphal.  Why would the other Founding Fathers have agreed to put Washington and his family above them and their descendants forever?  Arrant nonsense.

      In actual fact, most of the Founding Fathers were members of a conservative power elite.  Those, like Thomas Paine, who were not were quite quickly frozen out of the new power structure after the War.

  •  I think it's less (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ppl can fly, FeDhu, MinistryOfTruth

    a conservative/progressive thing than a gimme mine thing.  Remember, all they wanted were a couple of reasonable concessions from the British government so they could get their part of the pie, both politically and economically.  They were more like Eisenhower Republicans--progressive socially, conservative economically.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:30:44 AM PDT

    •  I think the ff were the most liberal people (4+ / 0-)

      on the planet in those days, much more liberal than the French revolutionaries.

      My point in writing this is that this country would be entirely different if the Founding Fathers were religious Conservatives as some would have us believe. In that sense they were much more progressive than conservative, and if they were conservatives, we would have never rebelled at all.

      just my opinion, of course. I am always open to debate.

      Cheers

      The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

      by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:39:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of their most progressive (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        walkshills

        ideas was limited government.

        An idea modern progressives have discarded.

        •  depends on what limited Gov means (4+ / 0-)

          I, for one, do not want Gov intruding in my private life, i.e. my bedroom, invading my privacy, etc.

          But I want an effective gov, one that can check big business run amok and defend the liberties we fought for centuries ago.

          Many conservatives would tear down those liberties while intruding on our freedom in order to preserve safety.

          To whit, the founding fathers said

          "He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither." ...

          Benjamin Franklin

          The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

          by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:47:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Each side has the pet peeves (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FeDhu

            the left wants to know who has guns and would like eliminate them if possible.

            the right wants to know who has abortions and would like to eliminate them if possible.

            the left supports speech codes to avoid oppressing people with speech

            the right support speech codes to protect society from obscenity/herasy.

            Both sides are happy to grow the size and reach of government as much as possible to support their aims.

            The Founders would be shocked at the present Federal government - I bet they would wonder if the Revolution was worth all the trouble given where America is headed.

            •  Respectfully disagreed (0+ / 0-)

              thoguh certainly many features of the Gov as is would startle the founding fathers, I believe they would support many aspects of what we take for granted today.

              As for Gun rights and free speech, I as a liberal only think there should be reasonable restrictions on gun rights (no need for cop killer bullets, automatic weapons, etc) I agree with Henry David Thoreau in that regard, and I think all members of society should learn how to safely handle a weapon and respect it and others desire to protect themselves.

              as for free speech, I think both sides wish to limit speech they disagree with in some extent. That is why the first amendment is so important (as are all of our other rights), for if the unpopular or minority has no rights, then certainly the majority does not either.

              But you make several good points, and I appreciate the dialouge, as it is very important to bridge the gaps that divide us, from left to center and to the right.

              Cheers

              The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

              by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:11:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Indeed... (3+ / 0-)

              they'd be horrified by our military complex.

              The North will rise again!

              by happymisanthropy on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 10:47:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Naturally... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        walkshills, MinistryOfTruth

        but here's a strange dichotomy--one of the most progressive firebreathers was John Adams, but he was from the most religiously conservative/fundamentalist sects in the colonies--the Puritans.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

        by zenbassoon on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:44:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly! He was a main of faith who respected the (0+ / 0-)

          seperation of church and state.

          If he were a Conservative he would have forced his religion on others and not restrained and perserved it for those who would willingly have it.

          The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

          by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:49:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think that if you went back in time (0+ / 0-)

            to meet John Adams and then took the Lord's Name in vain or suggested a faith in Wicca you might get a very rude awakening.

            You might also want to note that Adams signed and enforced the Alien and Sedition Acts.

        •  Adams wasn't a Puritan. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          walkshills, ppl can fly

          He was a Congregationalist - the descendants of the Puritans, to be sure - but his congregation was Unitarian.  Some of their beliefs and mindset were carried over from their Puritan past - the community outlook, positive liberty, etc. - but Unitarians even back then would find little in common theologically or philosophically with today's religious conservatives or fundamentalists.

          Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

          by mistersite on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 10:14:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Where do these ideas come from?!? (0+ / 0-)

          From the ever useful Wikipedia:

          Adams was raised a Congregationalist, becoming a Unitarian at a time when most of the Congregational churches around Boston were turning to Unitarianism. Adams was educated at Harvard when the influence of deism was growing there, and used deistic terms in his speeches and writing. He believed in the essential goodness of the creation, but did not believe in the divinity of Christ or that God intervened in the affairs of individuals. He also believed that regular church service was beneficial to man's moral sense. Everett (1966) concludes that "Adams strove for a religion based on a common sense sort of reasonableness" and maintained that religion must change and evolve toward perfection.[64]

          United First Parish Church
          In common with many of his contemporaries, Adams criticized the claims to universal authority made by the Roman Catholic Church.[65]
          In 1796, Adams denounced political opponent Thomas Paine's criticisms of Christianity, saying, "The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the Blackguard Paine say what he will."[66]

    •  The American King (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      walkshills

      If they were only interested in getting their piece of the pie they would have reproduced the British system on American soil and appointed an American King. It seems that there were enough progressives, even radicals, that wanted a complete break from government by monarchy to create the representative democracy we are still trying to perfect. Sometimes, like during the Bush II administration, I wonder if we might not be better off ruled by the descendants of a Geo. Washington monarchy.

      The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on! -Ted Kennedy

      by cloudwatcher on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:43:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The original words (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        walkshills

        in the Declaration of Independence were "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Property"...

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

        by zenbassoon on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:45:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well let's thank whoever changed the original (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          walkshills, MinistryOfTruth

          to happiness. My pursuit of property has not necessarily made me a happy man...particularly in the current real estate climate.

          The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on! -Ted Kennedy

          by cloudwatcher on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:55:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And the reason they changed it was (0+ / 0-)

          there were many conservatives among the founding fathers. Think about it, they were land owning and slave owning wealthy and powerful people. A limited gov would give them more power, a strong gov would check it in place.

          So, my point is, they may have started with property, but they ended with happiness, and I believe the liberals among them were the influence that forced them to change it.

          The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

          by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:03:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If we stuck to the ideals of the FFers (0+ / 0-)

        we would be much better off, as long as those ideals could change with the nature and progress of the times.

        But as for a Constitutional Monarchy under the FFers, we would be pretty screwed, IMO, but then I am no historian, and I am sure their are voices here on DKos who could put up a more informed and historically correct opinion than I.

        The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

        by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:23:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In other words....we would now be a province of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    Mexico?

    •  Nah, we'd still be part of the British empire (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      walkshills, skillet

      or we would have declared independance and then made George Washington a King.

      Which we almost did, but he rejected the crown. If he were a Conservative and not a revolutionary progressive he would have certainly accepted that crown and we would have a Constitutional monarchy under a republic, not a democracy and a republic.

      The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

      by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:41:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think your title is correct (6+ / 0-)

    but the contemporary divide of conservative and progressive doesn't well suit the Founders or the political world they lived in. For example, my French ancestors, who came over with La Fayette and stayed to settle in Maine along the Canadian border, were genuinely appalled by the acceptance of slavery in the colonies. Some of my Scottish ancestors had parents who has been slaves int eh colonies (history books like to call them "indentured servants") and weren't at all supportive of slavery either. Some of my other Scottish ancestors, ones who fought in the Revolution too, strongly opposed to any centralized government, and contributed to the anti-Federalist movement, although they wouldn't support abolition until a couple generations later.  

    So there were people back there even more progressive and more anti-authoritarian than the Founders, who were for a large part, English gentry and had their own conservative streak about them. I mean, wasn't it part of why they got so mad at England was because they weren't being treated with the respect they got back in the old country?

    But yes, if the Founder had been as authoritarian as today's conservatives, we'd have a monarchy. I definitely agree there.

    -8.50, -7.64 "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer." - Camus

    by croyal on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:45:27 AM PDT

    •  The authoritarians (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      walkshills, MinistryOfTruth

      Yes. And there is a difference between today's real conservatives and today's authoritarians. We need to start calling them by there proper names. There are some real conservatives that might be willing to work in a bipartisan manner if they weren't lumped into the same category with the wingnut authoritarians. Let's start calling authoritarians Authoritarians, and those who are at least semi-reasonable Conservatives. Let's help separate these two groups by calling them by their real names. Let's Free the real Conservatives from their imprisonment by the Authoritarians.  

      The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on! -Ted Kennedy

      by cloudwatcher on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:08:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Except (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth

    for the whole "Founding Father Progressive Slave Holder" thing. You could have something. We're for liberty right? :) And the "Only rich, white guys get to vote". So, maybe not that much.

    •  For 1776, that was pretty liberal (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      walkshills, Hedwig

      I totally agree, they wre not the men and women we are today, but they were certainly way ahead of their time.

      My point was simply to illustarte what this nation would be like if the Neo-Cons were the founding fathers, or if the Neo-Cons get to rewrite history, what I have posited here are certainly the points they would have left out.

      The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

      by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:06:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Context is all important (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hedwig, alpolitics, MinistryOfTruth

        In the future we liberals may be seen as rather backward.

        The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on! -Ted Kennedy

        by cloudwatcher on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:09:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  not really (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        walkshills, Hedwig, MinistryOfTruth

        The "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen" is from the same time period.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...
        While it also left out many groups it did go a bit further in how it saw the property voting link.

        At the same time one also has "Women's Petition to the National Assembly" in 1789
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Abolitionism was also current at the time of the US revolution. After all the importation of African slaves was banned in the British colonies in 1807, and in the United States in 1808. In Britain the "The Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade" formed in 1787
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        Hamilton was not particularly Left leaning for his time in many respects but other founders were.

        •  It's a bit trickier than that, though. (0+ / 0-)

          Hamilton favored a central bank and the regulation of the economy - something progressives like - and wasn't a slaveholder, unlike Jefferson or Madison.  He favored more central power for the Federal government over against states' rights - something else that's been a hallmark of the Democrats at least since FDR.  He wasn't keen on individual rights, and probably would have preferred a more aristocratic government, but he couldn't really be mapped to today's Republicans.

          Jefferson and Madison were probably closer to today's libertarians than to Democrats... they saw the French Revolution, with its radical democracy and eat-the-nobles populism, as positive - despite the fact that if something akin had happened in America, they would have been the ones up against the wall, and their slaves would have been the ones putting them there.

          All in all, it's probably a futile effort to try to map the founders of the country to modern-day political positions, as so much has changed since then - party allegiances, the problems the country faced, communication, the economy.  I haven't found a Founding Father yet with whom I didn't have a few strongly-held political views in common, and with whom I didn't have a few strongly-held political views I strongly disagreed with.

          Join the Matthew 25 Network and help Democrats win the next generation of evangelicals.

          by mistersite on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 10:21:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  we'd have a King if Washington were a neocon (5+ / 0-)

    or had a bigger ego.

    they wanted to make George Washington King and he refused.  he was even a reluctant President.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 08:54:21 AM PDT

  •  Hamilton was neoconish (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth

    Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists opposed the Bill of Rights:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 was worse than anything that could get passed under even Bush's neocon:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...
    Here is full text of Sedition Act section:
    http://en.wikisource.org/...

    There were definitely elements of radicalism in the Revolution and most can be seen in the overlap with the French Revolution (Thomas Paine being a good example) but there were other more conservative factors that lead to it.

    At the same time politics was pretty nasty back then, with Jefferson openly accusing Hamilton of being a secret agent of Britain and Hamilton accusing Jefferson of being a secret agent of France. Not sure how true it is but from a college history class I remember hearing that Jefferson insisted on the clause in the Constitution preventing naturalized citizens from becoming President mainly to prevent Alexander Hamilton from becoming president. If true it is a bit sad that we have a part of the Constitution purely designed as a political vendetta against a single person.

    Obviously one can also look at racism, slavery, sexism, property requirements of voting etc... But even if we do not try to apply our current moral standards to the world back then it is worth realizing that they were politicians and comparing things now to back then usually involves mythologies built around the people rather than the real people.

    •  I think the beauty is that we are both at once (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JW in Dallas

      it's like having your cake and eating it too.

      The extremists would have it one way or the other. In that light, I suppose I am a progressive liberal extremist in some regards, LOL

      The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

      by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:32:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant analysis MoT (3+ / 0-)

    the founders did NOT leave "well-enough alone"!

    QED!

    They foresaw the need for a strong Social Fabric too!

    thank goodness

    Cheers!

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

    by jamess on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:31:52 AM PDT

  •  another moment from MOT (3+ / 0-)

    that we enjoy. thanks for another good one

  •  you must have read some zinn (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth

    and the history of the american people.

  •  The Declaration of Independence (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alpolitics, MinistryOfTruth

    actually spells out quite clearly that the government had become destructive.

    The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    It goes on to list the King's offenses. You can read the full text here, or at a number of other sources.

    So, yes, in my mind there is no doubt that our founding fathers were progressives, trying to move themeselves forward and not be held back by an oppressive reign.

    Now just a note on the so-called "bible study" requirement here in Texas. It's not as it appears on the surface. Granted, it was initiated by the religious right, but progressives were able to get the original law amended to prevent actual biblical teachings. The requirement is actually to teach the bible's impact on history. This is flawed because it focuses on the bible, rather than on religion itself. Personally, I believe that a requirement to teach religion's impact on history should be added to all curriculums, and until that happens, this law does more harm than good, by implying that the bible is the basis for all such influences. So, it's not even really a start. An understanding of religios diversity, I believe, would go far in reducing the bigotry and stereotyping in our country. Please see this link for the Texas Freedom Network's response to Keith Olbermann's segment the other night. Here's an excerpt:

    In truth, it’s a bit more complicated that Olbermann suggests. First, the law on Bible classes is a product of the Texas Legislature in 2007, not a requirement of the State Board of Education. The Texas Freedom Network succeeded in getting the legislation amended so that public schools would not be required to offer separate courses about the Bible. The Texas attorney general has said, however, that the law requires public high schools to provide instruction about the Bible’s influence in history and literature somewhere in the curriculum.

    TFN also succeeded in getting various safeguards for religious freedom in the bill. Those safeguards, if obeyed, would keep instruction about the Bible from turning into opportunities to evangelize in public schools.

    My point is that yes, we still have a strong religious-right influence in this state, but we also have quasi-progressive efforts that are successful in countering them at least to some degree. I'm confident that we will continue to get stronger in this regard, so please bear with us as we fight our demons. We're not going to get there overnight.

    Coming to you from under the bus.

    by JW in Dallas on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:38:19 AM PDT

  •  No a CEO. They'd Have Sold the Country to (2+ / 0-)

    the East India Tea Company after executing the Tea Partiers.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:42:30 AM PDT

  •  Except for these guys MoT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth

    "As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression..." William O. Douglas

    by Patricia Bruner on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 09:54:12 AM PDT

  •  The way to stop the neocons is to prosecute (3+ / 0-)

    those that violated Federal Laws like
    our Federal torture Laws.

    SIGN THE PETITIONS

    SIGN THE PETITION To Prosecute Torturers ANGRYVOTERS.ORG ASK your favorite Dem politician Why they support Torture?

    by 1stProtestInTheStreet on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 10:32:16 AM PDT

    •  You mean this one? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      walkshills

      Petition Badge
      Get Badge

      Hey, if you got one I haven't seen, e-mail me. I'll sign it if it means bringing Bush/Cheney to justice.

      Cheers

      The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

      by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 10:55:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Learning curve (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MinistryOfTruth

    As has been said many times, the Constitution is a much more conservative authoritarian document than the Declaration of Independence. Why? Because between 1775 and 1789 a looser weak central government was tried and it didn't work very well. And the economy was in the tank. And the thirty-something hot-heads became fifty-something statesmen. And the "Unruly Americans" (book title) were making trouble over things like evictions and veterans who got paid in scrip and promises that they couldn't collect on. So "Founding Father" has a lot of different meanings, and it depends on which ones and when.

    Of course to the GOPers who can't get straight which language came from the Declaration and which from the Constitution (and which they just made up), none of this nuancing matters much.

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