Is America one big mistake? As we celebrate Independence Day 2020, many young people are calling on us to wipe our history away. They look at the failings in our Founders’ lives but fail to see their own offenses. Many Americans have never studied the treasure in our founding American documents. Students have been taught that America is a failed experiment at best; at worst, a colossal error.
Every time I read stories of the founding from primary sources, I’m inspired. None of those people were perfect, but neither are we. They sacrificed so much for the cause of freedom. And yes. The Founders knew slavery was wrong. They signed a document saying that ALL men are created equal. They didn’t erase those words. Instead, they left them in there. The Founders knew that they would have to admit and confess that they must regard every person as equal, regardless of race, color, nationality, or creed. Not easy for a bunch of sinners. History shows their attempts, their arguments, flaws, and failings. Succeeding generations fought, bled, and died for equality. It’s still a noble goal worth fighting for. Meanwhile, some would slowly and methodically take our liberty from us. Each generation has to guard it to keep it.
Let’s read some quotes dating back to the founding years. Match up what you have seen and heard the past month about America to the grit, courage, perseverance, and loyalty of our Founders to the cause of freedom. What would our Founders think about America today?
The Law… will not bend to the uncertain wishes, imaginations, and wanton tempers of men. -John Adams, Founding Father, the first Vice-President, and second President of the United States
(That’s because it’s called “Law” and not “Feelings”).
“To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” -Thomas Paine, Founding Father
(Thomas Paine #nailedit).
“It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among our opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political & social opposition, who transferred at once to the person the hatred they bore to his political opinions.” -Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States
(The voice of Jefferson still speaks today as we witness hatred daily).
“I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”- Patrick Henry, first governor of Virginia and Founding Father (Patrick Henry, with these words, fired up a young nation to fight for their right to self-govern).
“Freedom can exist only in the society of knowledge. Without learning, men are incapable of knowing their rights.”-Benjamin Rush, Founding Father
(Look around today. How many know their rights? Our Founding Documents? What are our young people learning in school)?
“It will be a terrible night for those who have no shoes…Some of them have tied only rags about their feet: others are barefoot, but I have not heard a man complain,” -George Washington’s aide commenting on the Crossing of the Delaware, December 25, 1776
(These were real men, not whiners).
“Victory or death” – George Washington’s password at the Crossing of the Delaware
(Washington didn’t ask for a holiday off. He and his troops spent Christmas night being willing to fight to the death for our country).
“I have not yet begun to fight!” -John Paul Jones, founder of the United States Navy
(In other words, “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”)
“It seems to be a law of nature that those who will not risk cannot win.” -John Paul Jones (What are we willing to risk to keep the liberties we enjoy)?
“I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?”- Benjamin Franklin, Founder, and the “First American”
(We are greatly deluded if we think that we are sovereign and in control of all things. Benjamin Franklin got it right. He knew the reality of Divine Providence).
“Never since the fall of Lucifer has a fall equaled his.” -Nathaniel Greene speaking of betrayer Benedict Arnold.
(Being a traitor was not applauded but scorned).
“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.” -John Adams
(Now, that’s a man who cares about his offspring and descendants)!
“Dirty and ragged” (a European ally speaking of American troops during the War for Independence) “What does it matter!… These people are much more praiseworthy to fight as they do when they are so poorly supplied with everything.”
(They regarded extreme hardship as worth the fight for liberty. Their courage, bravery, and selflessness is a debt I could never repay).
“What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a republic? an inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws. “-Alexander Hamilton (writer of 51 of the 85 Federalist Papers.
(Hamilton said it is our duty and a most significant security source to respect the Constitution and laws. Do we)?
“The happy Union of these States is a wonder; their Constitution a miracle; their example the hope of Liberty throughout the world.” James Madison, the “Father of the U.S. Constitution” and 4th President of the United States.
(The founding of our country is a wonder. I agree with Madison. The founding documents and the debates were brilliant).
What would our Founders think of America today?
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.??