View Poll Results: What should be done with the Founders' ideas?

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  • We should build upon them, but not completely transform them.

    50 70.42%
  • They need to be fundamentally transformed.

    6 8.45%
  • They're dead. Who cares what they thought?

    7 9.86%
  • Other (please elaborate)

    8 11.27%
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Thread: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

  1. #161
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Nymphetamine View Post
    Well of course they are going to be glorified, because despite their flaws, the contributions they made are still legitimate. Every one of our presidents can be characterized the same way you just described Jefferson and Washington. Isn't it funny that you never see the positive with the negative, only one of the other from the same source?
    A man may say that our recent presidents were "winos", womanizers, cheaters, but not slave holders or murderers.
    I think man is improving little by little.
    Man should learn how to criticize; its always positive and negative.

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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by LiberalAvenger View Post
    Do you know anything about his sex life or drug use. Is he still an addict?
    Well, the woman he dated is probably somewhat promiscuous, so I would assume he was gettin' some. That's all I can tell ya.

  3. #163
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Exactly. Where is the right for women to vote and slaves to be free guaranteed? In the Constitution. Thus proving that if necessary, the Constitution can be changed to include more modern ideas. That sure was a good idea of theirs, huh?

    I said that the Constitution is the best that has come since. You mentioning things that are now guaranteed in the Constitution as proof that this is wrong is a bit odd.
    It took 76 years for people to get around to amending the Constitution to eliminate slavery, and it took 131 years for them to give women the right to vote. Furthermore, when slavery was abolished, it was done so at the barrel of a gun...not because three-fourths of the states ACTUALLY wanted it abolished. That's a pretty major flaw, both in the original absence of those things and the amendment process itself. The amendment process is grossly insufficient for allowing necessary changes to the Constitution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    Yes, for the reasons I mentioned. And as it happens, our country was founded at such a setting; if we completely ditch any trace of respect for the founding fathers, we're no longer a country. We don't have the ethnic or historical similarity that defines most countries.
    I'm not going to worship the Founding Fathers just because you think it might be bad for the country if I don't. That's just a fallacious variation on Pascal's Wager. The Founding Fathers were human beings who made mistakes, and the document they wrote was far from perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    No, they didn't need to know the future to create a document meant to last.
    Actually they did. The world has changed in unimaginable ways. Suppose you were writing a Constitution from scratch that you intended to last until 2200. What would you include?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    Again, many of them were abolitionists, but they couldn't put that in the document or it wouldn't go through. It was in fact mostly the abolitionists fighting for slaves not counting as people; the slave owners wanted to fully count slaves so that their state would have more representatives. Under the circumstances, the compromise made sense. It became irrelevant only after slavery was abolished, which in case you didn't notice, is in the Constitution.
    Yes, it was in the Constitution 76 years later, after a bloody civil war and southern states grudgingly ratified it under the barrel of a gun. It certainly was not one of the Founding Fathers' ideas. The existence of SOME Founding Fathers who were abolitionists is irrelevant, as I'm sure you could find SOME Founding Fathers who supported any number of ideas you'd reject which didn't make it into the Constitution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    It was supposed to be ridiculously hard to amend the Constitution. Only if almost everyone agrees that something is a good idea can it be put there now. For the same reasons, it was ridiculously hard to write the Constitution. Reasons which I mentioned in my post.
    That's fine as long as we use a living document approach so that we don't have to amend the Constitution. But if you demand an originalist interpretation AND an incredibly difficult amendment process, our government would never evolve much beyond what it was in 1789. This is impractical. There was nothing special about that particular moment in history that made it the ideal time on which to model a government.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    We haven't had more than 17 good governance ideas that we could all agree on; the Constitution is supposed to be lasting, not added to on whim (this was done once, at it was later repealed, proving my point). And none of this has anything to do with a "strict" interpretation of the Constitution, since the Constitution was made to be vague anyways, thus interpreting it strictly still gives a lot of wiggle room. Hmmm, making a vague document sure was a good idea of the founding fathers, huh?
    If you accept a living document approach then we are in agreement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    That's just plain not true.
    It is. The Founding Fathers didn't give a damn where the president was born, the anti-federalists just hated Hamilton.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    So what the hell is your point? Because they didn't solve every problem at once, therefore they were wrong?
    I'm saying that worshipping the Founding Fathers as omniscient sages (which is exactly what is happening in this thread), or venerating the document they wrote as nearly perfect is ridiculous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    For God's sake, you're not making a point by responding to every comment with "oh yeah well slaves and women so HA!". You might as well say that Lincoln was wrong to want to give blacks the right to vote, because he didn't do it for women as well.
    I don't think people should worship Lincoln any more than I think they should worship the Founding Fathers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    Because some of them were wrong about some things, therefore they were all wrong about something else. Not sound logic.
    If they were wrong about some things, then what makes you think that everything (or almost everything) that made it into the Constitution was infallible? Just because they AGREED on certain things doesn't make them right, as they could've all been in agreement on the same wrong ideas. And it CERTAINLY doesn't make them right for what policies work best for the United States in 2010, which looks nothing like the country they founded.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav
    The fact that it was 1789 was justification for it not being included. Those issues would be solved later. They were there to solve other problems.
    OK, here. I'll write a constitution, and I'd like your assessment of it:

    ARTICLE I:
    I am the all-powerful dictator. Anyone whom I dislike may be executed or imprisoned at my sole discretion.

    ARTICLE II:
    This Constitution may be amended with a 99% majority vote at any time.
    There, I included an amendment process. If there are any problems in this document, they can be addressed at a later time. My constitution is pretty much the perfect document, right?
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-16-10 at 05:14 PM.
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  4. #164
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I'd rather just streamline the process and regulate the environment in the first place, instead of trying to micromanage every single incident of interstate environmental damage in the country and trying to assess a monetary value to it.
    A state can manage the overall process, if there is something that affects their neighboring state, the Feds have to power to arbitrate or regulate it.

    It already exists, your streamlining is applying strict rules to different parts of the country that may not be able to comply with your ideals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    And yet if I were to suggest some equally plausible applications of the interstate commerce clause, would I be correct if I guessed that you'd criticize me for judicial activism or changing the meaning of the Constitution?
    Saying something is equal doesn't make it so.

    Regulating something that actually affects interstate commerce or making something up that doesn't affect interstate commerce are two different things.

    So it depends.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Nothing. Except our interstate highway system covers 48 states, not 2 states.
    Yea and then they can extend it to other neighboring states if they so desire.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    In this case, they clearly do. We have the best highway system in the world.
    At the expense of a more energy efficient public transit system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If I own a radio station in Arlington, VA and someone in Bethesda, MD decides to broadcast on the same frequency (and we both have the approval of our respective states), the result is that no one hears anything other than noise.
    I happen to live on the border of three states where this is a regular occurrence.
    You usually hear the different radio stations bleed over into one another.
    The Feds don't do much about it.

    The could though because it crosses state lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    If I host a music piracy website in Delaware (where, suppose, it isn't illegal) can a record company in California sue me?
    Uhh yea, the Feds already have the power to regulate the "arts and sciences" in terms of copyright.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    We need the federal government, not the states, to set these kind of standards.
    They already do that, legally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Faulty comparison. Unless you think you can get most Americans on board with adopting an Amish lifestyle, the more accurate comparison would be Americans with health insurance versus Americans without health insurance.
    You mean eating foods high in saturated fats?
    Yea the Amish do that too and they in line with the trend of being overweight, like everyone else.

    You can't regulate people to be healthy, no matter how hard you want them to be.
    Insurance doesn't make people healthy, personal lifestyle choices do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I'm not talking about enforcing the contracts, I'm talking about the systemic market failure that occurs when you have a patchwork system of insurers and providers that are incompatible with one another and no one willing to coordinate anything among them.
    They seem to do fine right now.
    The cause in price increase is the third parties getting between the consumer and the service provider.
    The price mechanism is not being fully implemented.

    That's a classic economic situation that regulators have failed to address.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Human behavior has changed as a result of technology. Most of us aren't farmers. Most of us don't have 10+ children. Most of us have at least finished high school, if not college. Most of us live well into our 70s. Most of us have ventured more than 20 miles from our home at some point in our lives. Etc, etc.
    Nothing has changed in regards to how people respond to their environment.
    Situations have changed but not the human behavioral response system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    And what makes you think that those human interactions are the same now as they were 200 years ago? People do NOT interact with each other in the same manner. 200 years ago it was considered dishonorable to have debt; now we can hardly live without it. 200 years ago dueling was the preferred method of settling a dispute; today lawsuits are. 200 years ago employers would have been horrified at "intruding" into their workers lives by making sure they earned a living wage; today companies are vilified for NOT doing this.

    Times change, technology changes, people change, human interactions change, and governments need to change.
    Dueling wasn't that popular, it was mostly for the elite members of society and even then it wasn't that common.

    Human behavioral response is still the same.
    You make credit easier to obtain, people will get it.

    People flow through the path of least resistance.
    Human behavior has followed this paradigm for centuries.
    It hasn't changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Where the Founding Fathers really fell short (as the Constitution applies today) are in the following areas:
    1. Human rights
    2. The scope of congressional power
    3. The scope of presidential power
    4. The constitutional amendment process itself

    #2 and #3 need to continually change as society changes and government must regulate new industries and/or solve crises in old ones, in order to keep up with the times. And #4 needs to change because the Founding Fathers grossly miscalculated how difficult it would be to amend the Constitution. I can't for one minute believe that any of them would have expected us to only amend their document 17 times in over 200 years.
    Why do they need more power?
    Why would any rational person give them more power, when they have grossly abused the power they have?

    I think some of you need to have your heads checked, you seem to all be self destructive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    That doesn't work so well anymore, since pollution has unintended consequences that are difficult to measure but reverberate across state lines.
    Your just creating reasons but the feds have the power to regulate pollution that crosses state line already.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  5. #165
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    You know, it always strikes me odd that people invoke the thoughts of our Founding Fathers to define our "liberty and freedom." It's more of a convenience and an exercise of re-interpretation from event to event. Did our founding fathers have the problems we face today? What about the problems of the entire twentieth century? How many would have approved of a Civil War or freeing slaves (since they owned them or profitted from free labor)? The truth is that most of our founding fathers would be ashamed of us.

    Do people actually think that they appreciated treason as an American celebration of liberty? I guess Benedict Arnold was merely misunderstood and really only exercising his "rights." Today, our Benedict Arnolds come in the expressed opinions of Senators like Pelosi who would rather pat Iran on the ass than sincerely applaud our troops. The politicians of our founding fathers differed on opinion too, but not at the expense of American unity against enemies.

    I wonder how they would have felt about getting involved with European affairs (both World Wars)? Many things change. The opinions of our founding fathers were what they were in the time period in which they lived. Everything since has been re-interpretation in order to advance them through time and to explain away events or legitimize decisions.

    Oh, but the argument is that it is the "spirit of our founding fathers that matters." What a crock. Stop seeking the approval of dead men, whose spirit was about owning slaves and shoving Europe as far away as possible, and take responsibility for your decisions.
    Last edited by MSgt; 05-16-10 at 05:47 PM.

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  6. #166
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    You know, it always strikes me odd that people invoke the thoughts of our Founding Fathers to define our "liberty and freedom." It's more of a convenience and an exercise of re-interpretation from event to event. Did our founding fathers have the problems we face today? What about the problems of the entire twentieth century? How many would have approved of a Civil War or freeing slaves (since they owned them or profitted from free labor)? The truth is that most of our founding fathers would be ashamed of us.

    Do people actually think that they appreciated treason as an American celebration of liberty? I guess Benedict Arnold was merely misunderstood and really only exercising his "rights." Today, our Benedict Arnolds come in the expressed opinions of Senators like Pelosi who would rather pat Iran on the ass than sincerely applaud our troops. The politicians of our founding fathers differed on opinion too, but not at the expense of American unity against enemies.

    I wonder how they would have felt about getting involved with European affairs (both World Wars)? Many things change. The opinions of our founding fathers were what they were in the time period in which they lived. Everything since has been re-interpretation in order to advance them through time and to explain away events or legitimize decisions.

    Oh, but the argument is that it is the "spirit of our founding fathers that matters." What a crock. Stop seeking the approval of dead men, whose spirit was about owning slaves and shoving Europe as far away as possible, and take responsibility for your decisions.
    I almost would've thanked this post, if not for the gratuitous Democrats-are-traitors jab.
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I almost would've thanked this post, if not for the gratuitous Democrats-are-traitors jab.
    I stated "Pelosi." You stated Democrats. Even Democrats shied away from her remarks.

    But since you brought it up....where's the self-righteous labeling from the Democratic Party in regards to Gitmo now that their guy graces the halls of the White House? I guess that situation just dissapeared. Where's the Nazi labels and the expressed exaggerated concern for "torture?" Where's the "concern" for troop safety in a warzone? Has Iraq just dissapeared from the face of the earth as soldiers, Marines, and Corpsmen sweat and bleed still? Certainly none must die in Afghanistan. Obama wages war and receives a Nobel Peace Prize. Apparently all it takes is a few slogans of BS to continue policies that used to be criticized to no end and at any expense.

    Let's throw in another example. How does it look for a former President to travel across the ocean without consent to talk to enemies of the state? What does Carter happen to be? Would this have been overlooked in decades past? Nope.

    How about another. What party did the recent politician come from that made the comment on revoking the American citizenship of the Time Square terrorist wannabe? Obvious foriegn terrorists in Gitmo get lawyers and the benefit of the doubt by those far removed from this fight, but an American is to be stripped of right and status? There appears to be contradiction in what people's rights are now that Bush isn't the political target of scorn by a certain politicil party as they tug on the nose of the average American.

    You make the call. There seems to be a certain understanding these days. But Pelosi took the cake. Her remarks were traitorous. ...and they were quickly forgiven.

    Argue against it, but you know I'm right.
    Last edited by MSgt; 05-16-10 at 06:43 PM.

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  8. #168
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    Oh, but the argument is that it is the "spirit of our founding fathers that matters." What a crock. Stop seeking the approval of dead men, whose spirit was about owning slaves and shoving Europe as far away as possible, and take responsibility for your decisions.
    Here we go again.

    Agreeing with the ideas of the enlightenment ≠ seeking approval of dead people.
    Being an imperfect human ≠ you are always wrong.

    You're being ridiculously infantile.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Here we go again.

    Agreeing with the ideas of the enlightenment ≠ seeking approval of dead people.
    Being an imperfect human ≠ you are always wrong.

    You're being ridiculously infantile.
    Doubt it. Just not mired in an illusion of thinking my opinions are exactly what was intended by long dead men who had different ideas.

    Our founding fathers idea of enlightenment was very white centered. We are not what our forefathers intended. We are what we intend. It amazes me how both sides of the argument seem to insist that the founding fathers would be on their side.

    You're just being ridiculous.
    Last edited by MSgt; 05-16-10 at 06:53 PM.

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    Re: Our Founding Fathers' Ideas

    Quote Originally Posted by MSgt View Post
    Doubt it. Just not mired in an illusion of thinking my opinions are exactly what was intended by long dead men who had different ideas.

    Our fonding fathers idea of enlightenment was very white centered. We are not what our forefathers intended. We are what we intend. It amazes me how both sides of the argument seem to insist that the founding fathers would be on their side.

    You are being ridiculously foolish. Own your own achievements.
    Yet they managed to craft a Constitution with Amendments that has for the most part stood the test of time. Extending the vote to blacks and women may very well have been on some of their minds as a future amendment. That's enlightenment. That's the real brilliance. Not whether they would approve of us now.

    The Constitution is something for us to honor.

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