Dear conservative reader,
Today as I was perusing my personal social media site, I came across an advertisement for a popular second amendment rights group, The National Association for Gun Rights. I have been a donor to that organization for quite some time and they have a pretty good crew of organizers at that particular 501(c)(3) organization. Today’s fare was an oft repeated meme: Howard Chandler Christy’s Painting in oil Signing the Constitution. I’m sure you recall the one? Richard Dobbs Spaight of North Carolina signing with feathered quill, William Blount of North Carolina waiting to sign, George Washington standing tall presiding over the convention, Ben Franklin sitting in front of the dais…We have all (hopefully) seen this dramatic painting. The heading text remarked rather cheekily: “Let’s leave the Americans defenseless against tyranny” and the footer gave answer to that cheek: “Said no founding father ever!” But what really grabbed my attention (let us be honest I have seen (and shared) that particular sentiment hundreds if not thousands of time so it held little new for me) was whoever at NAGR posted the meme did so asking a question. It is a question I would like answered myself and it is one that we all should be thinking about: What would they (assuming the founders are “they”) say about today’s politicians? Of course the NAGR fine organization that it is, has a particular axe to grind in their pursuit of protecting our second amendment liberties. However, that question can be and should be applied to all of our liberties. So I asked myself: “What would the founders say (not what they thought (even I cannot take quite that much salt) about today’s politicians) but just what would their remarks be?
Then it occurred to me how the founding fathers might react or what they might impart on seeing what passes for politics in this day and age in America.
Conservative reader, I mean no disrespect to any who should read this missive but the founders words would not be kind. Considering the trials they went through — the birth pangs if you will– of a nation carved out of nothing more than a dream to govern ones own affairs without interference or burden by an autocratic bully some five thousand miles away, and having come fresh from battles that for the time were so bloody as to shock the conscience and atrocities at the hands of Imperial Britain and the scoundrels and scallywags appointed to govern colonies that had become unwieldy under an iron fist, who’s sole purpose having defeated that enemy to have brought about that setting sun that so plagued George MacArtney in 1773, then to find among themselves dissension, little heed paid to laws between states, no standards or means of proving the worth of a commodity except the holder’s own say so, no commerce that could be found between the several states that did not differ broadly from one state border to another, the founders did a mighty work. They came up with a framework that was rigid enough and sturdy enough to build the makings of a country to be proud of and an economic power that has no equal on this planet past or present, yet flexible enough to be adaptable to the time we live in.
Yes conservative reader it has its flaws, our constitution. A quite glaring one showed itself early on in the country’s history. George Washington had had two terms in office and could have run (and probably won) a third election but chose not to. His Vice President ran and won the Presidency, then ran for reelection the following term (election of 1800) and lost to Thomas Jefferson in a very close race that could have gone either way and because of the language of the original Article II of the constitution could have and did end in a tie between Jefferson and Burr for President and Vice President. So the congress (not wishing to have to polish that particular piece of dung every election cycle that did not show a clear majority in the electoral college) drafted the Amendment XII that prevented that eventuality from occurring in later elections. All of that said though just goes to show you how very flexible that framework is and that like the willow tree in a storm will bend and sway but does not loose its hold upon the earth to be blown to kingdom come by every crisis that occurs in law. Strong Sturdy Flexible and today nearly totally ignored by those sworn to uphold and defend it from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
So what do I, conservative reader, think that the founding fathers would say or how would they react to the politicians of today?
I imagine the likes of Washington, Adams, Madison, Monroe, Jefferson, Henry, Haines, Hancock, Spaight, Blount, Clay, Gerry, and all the rest turning towards us, some with a teardrop on their cheek much like Iron Eyes Cody of the 1970’s anti pollution/anti littering psa campaigns, and others with blood in their eyes saying to us: “What have you bloody fools done?” I imagine Patrick Henry leather wrapped spring club in hand whacking us over the head and about the shoulders and knocking us down into the ditch and then orating in the voice of Strother Martin’s Captain from Cool Hand Luke: “What we’ve got heah is failure to communicate.” “Some men you jess caint reach.” “So you get what we had heah last week.” “He wants it, so he gets it!” “I don’t like it any more than you men.”
You see it is not the politicians fault for being a politician. No more so than it is a dog’s fault for humping your leg or chewing on your slipper. It is in the nature of the animal to do such. As it is with dog’s so it is with politicians. It is in their nature to be thus. What I fear is that our founders would say to us that we missed the point. We were not supposed to change pieces of the framework that gave it strength and flexibility. We were not supposed to vote for politicians. We were supposed to elect the best men and women for the jobs and to keep a close eye on them so that when corruption raised its ugly inevitable visage, that we would see it and club it back down again, not give in to it entirely like some soiled dove plying her trade.
How would the founders react? They would be appalled. Not at the politicians. At you. At me. For failing to do our duty to each other and to the country we are supposed to love and owe fealty and allegiance to.