Founding Fathers VS Current Politicians

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The founding fathers are revered in this nation, and rightfully so. In the absence of cable television and 24 hour news channels they had time to do things like think, and write thoughts down. Subsequent generations of Americans have let this thinking pastime slip away. In the current environment of constant and unrelenting information coupled with what seems little time we have opted for quantity over quality. We have done this in both our personal lives and in the people we choose as successors to those founding fathers we so revere.

bors411It isn’t fair in many ways to compare the current crop of candidates running for president of the Untied States to the people that broke away from their homeland and came to this wild and distant place to carve out a nation. Lacking the demands and distractions of this modern world the founders had time to think on things. They had time to absorb an idea, and formulate a useful opinion. They then had time to write their thoughts down and share them among one another much in the same way we currently do on social media, but also, so very different.

As I stated, the comparisons are not completely fair, but they are dramatic. After all we have gone from, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,..” [1]  to the likes of a current presidential candidate, Ben Carson, saying, “Because 9/11 is an isolated incident. Things that are isolated issues as opposed to things that fundamentally change the United Sates of America and shift power from the people to the government. That is a huge shift. You have to take a long-term look at something that fundamentally changes the power structure of America.” – (this is Carson claiming that “Obamacare” is worse than 9/11. [2]) Or Trump saying simply “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”[3]

070315coletoonIn the interest of full disclosure I would add that this is just one of the many things Trump assures us that God has created him to do. And also, that Ben Carson has many ideas regarding many things that many of us think are nonsensical, and borderline insane. But those things aside, the falloff from founding father to current politician is tremendous. It is such a precipice that, were a lowly human to plummet off the edge of it, that human would surely perish. In other words, the chasm between the ability of the founding fathers to form and then express thoughts, when compared with the ability of the modern presidential candidates to do the same, is so vast as to make Evil Knievel quake in his grave were someone to suggest he could safely have jumped this particular river canyon.

I stated earlier that I am being unfair in my comparison, but, am I really? I mean, do we not have some right to assume that the people wanting to lead this nation the founding fathers created can think? Is it selfish of us to want them to give thought to some of the things that leaders of the free world might be expected to give thought too? Or am I being naive?

When I think of an orthopedic surgeon fixing my damaged knee I visualize delicate hands, and small, precise instruments. I see in this vision a Dr of great skill with magnifying lenses over his eyes as he adjusts the minutia that is the damage in my knee thus resurrecting it to full use once again. Then, awakened from my dream state I turn on the discovery channel and watch as, in real life, this orthopedic surgeon enters a knee. He takes from a  tool box a sledge hammer and a chisel and pounds on the knee. He then takes out a drill and a power screwdriver and does unspeakable things. He eventually pronounces the knee repaired and I pronounce my vision destroyed and my naivette defunct.

Am I living in my dreamland when I ask of our potential leaders to have some useful thoughts? I merely want some profound and moving ideas about what might be a good way to make the country function again. I am not asking for a new Declaration of Independence level document espousing the direction of this nation as it hurtles to the future. But something past, “I will be the best guy God ever gave you” in the voice of James Earl Jones might be nice.

cb4dee3772083ecd61ac3155331458daRight now when looking for profoundly moving or inspirational thoughts I could look to Lincoln, or Jefferson, or Adams, or any of the old time politicians, when being a politician was a calling someone had or something a person was thrust into out of need in a moment in time. That was before politician was a career choice. That was before politician made you a celebrity.

I can, for the sake of voting, set aside my need for the myth and the legend. No unicorns and fairies and magical endings this election cycle. But I am left to wonder if the founding fathers, with all their spare time, with all their deep thought, did they ever imagine that politician would become a career? Did they ever imagine a Bush, or Kennedy family? I bet they didn’t. And I bet they wouldn’t approve, but, who can say for sure? No one in this generation it seems.

 

[1] http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

[2] http://www.forwardprogressives.com/5-ben-carson-quotes-proving-hes-too-crazy-to-be-president/

[3] http://mic.com/articles/120785/best-quotes-from-donald-trumps-2016-presidential-announcement-speech

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