What Would the Founders Say?

Drew Alexander | Jul 15, 2013, 6 a.m.

In a special corner of heaven, the architects of the United States of America gathered on Independence Day for their annual evaluation of the nation they formed.

“Sorry to say, gentlemen, they’ve made a real mess of it,” said Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the Declaration of Independence. “Our aim was to break away from a monarchy, not to replace it with a political ruling class as this newer bunch has done.”

“It’s upsetting,” commented John Adams. “Our idea was that a citizen would leave home to briefly serve the nation in government, not make a long career of it like they’re doing in Congress, and where they get rich in the process.”

“As I wrote in Common Sense,” said Thomas Paine, a monarchy is a preposterous thing. Over 200 years after we started our American experiment, these fools today have created a monstrous federal system of nearly three million bureaucrats. That’s more than the entire population of our original 13 colonies!”

The originator of the nation’s financial system, Alexander Hamilton, was greatly disturbed. “It’s abysmal,” he sighed. “They’ve recklessly gone $17 trillion in debt and continue to spend like inebriated British sailors, and their so-called public servants squander millions of dollars to entertain themselves without any regard for the purses of the taxpayers.”

“Their cavalier attitude reminds me of my friend Marie ‘Let them eat cake’ Antoinette,” said Benjamin Franklin, who spent considerable time in France. “The French have a reputation for being haughty, but the brazen arrogance of the little kings and queens in Washington these days makes my French pals seem humble.”

“What do you think about what’s going on in the capital they named after you, George?” asked Jefferson.

The first president of the United States appeared dismayed. “When we gave birth to our noble republic, we pledged to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. Succeeding generations have lost sight of what we meant by those words. Look at the lack of forthrightness, openness and personal responsibility by those now holding public office. They have callously abandoned their countrymen stationed in an African outpost to a deadly enemy; they have used the power of their tax collection agency to suppress and persecute those who have opposing political views; they are violating the First Amendment by spying on and intimidating journalists; and they are intruding in every aspect of American life. I warned them long ago that government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

“Alas, today’s Americans seem poorly informed about their Constitution and their history,” Franklin lamented. “I remind them that a nation of well-informed people who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”

Washington, in his general’s uniform, went down on one knee in prayer: “God save the American people—from themselves.”

Drew Alexander, also known as “The Curmudgeon,” is a monthly columnist writing about political issues. Send comments to drewalexander@cox.net or to Drew Alexander, in care of Lovin’ Life After 50, 3200 N. Hayden Road, Suite 210, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

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