Society Magazine

Happy 237th, America

By Berniegourley @berniegourley

IMG_9111America is the product of a set of exceptional human beings. Some may wish to humanize the founding fathers and to deflate the mythology that has grown up around them, but deflate the myth and one still has impressive facts. Who turns down a salary for the most sleepless and thankless job in the universe? George Washington, that’s who. Who writes a political document so artfully that its turns of phrase still chime poetically  in the ear 237 years after the fact? Thomas Jefferson, that’s who? Who can invent the lightening rod and bifocals, convince the French to move toward the sound of the guns (just kidding, France), and get the chicks despite the most hideous comb-over ever? Benjamin Franklin, that’s who.

Now this may be Golden Age fallacy talking, but today’s ruling elite seem a bit… well let’s just say “pathetic” by comparison. Sure modern-day rulers still have charisma out the wazoo, but Franklin had charisma plus a world-class intellect. Jefferson had charisma, and he didn’t need a speech-writing team and focus groups to craft his words for him. Washington had charisma, and–quite frankly–he could scare the shit out of a grizzly bear. It’s the rare modern-day leader who is  qualified for any alternative career besides ambulance chasing.

Still, I will remain optimistic about the fate of the nation as long as great ideas prevail. Checks and balances is a great idea. The compromise to appease both populous and small states is a great idea. The Bill of Rights is a set of great ideas. I’m a little amused whenever I hear people say that America needs to revise its Constitution if it wants to keep up in the modern world. I heard this most recently from a scholar who said that because it was relatively difficult to make laws and spend money, America was going to fall ever behind the likes of Scandinavian countries? What? Really? Seriously?

Tags: 4th of July, commentary, Founding Fathers, history, ideas, Independence Day

By in America, essays, ideas, Politics on July 4, 2013.

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