Wisdom of the Founders and "Staying the Course"


Patrick Henry

One of the major omissions in today’s government is common sense, especially in the United States Congress, but it occurs too often at state level government as well. That and allowing those that operate OUR government to “interpret” the Constitution and its amendments in a fashion that tailors legislation produced for special interests. The ideas and mindset of those that created a nation from a conglomerate of colonies is enlightening, and despite what you have heard from the sociocrats here in America, it still applies as the fundamental principles of a constitutional republic. The following are examples of such men, and what they wrote that can be applied to today’s issues that threaten our nation from within instead of without, like in 1776.
The American Crisis, written by Thomas Paine, is a collection of articles produced as pamphlets during the American Revolutionary War:

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country … Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. 


What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly … It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. …who shrinks back at a time when a little might have save the whole … There are persons, too, who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful. It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, … we ought to guard equally against both. … In the progress of politics, as in the common occurrences of life, we are not only apt to forget the ground we have traveled over, but frequently neglect to gather up experience as we go. … Were a man to be totally deprived of memory, he would be incapable of forming any just opinion … The success of the cause, the union of the people, and the means of supporting and securing both, are points which cannot be too much attended to. He who doubts the former is a desponding coward, and he who willfully disturbs the latter is a traitor. … Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, … undergo the fatigues of supporting it.

T
homas Jefferson is the most quoted of the founders, mostly because he was the most prolific writer, including his personal correspondence concerning political affairs, it adds up to about 27,000 pages. Yet, he never authored or published a book, except the self-published and for personal reference, his version of the Bible that has been entitled Jefferson’s Bible. He wrote about democracy, the concept of a republic, good advice to society, and what government should represents – serving the People …

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and government, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle.Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you… From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death.
Thomas Jefferson,
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, 1785
I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.
That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.That government is the strongest of which everyone feels himself a part.
Educate and inform the whole mass of the people … They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call her tribunal every fact, every opinion.
He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.Information is the currency of democracy.The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.The following certainly applies to the so-called War against Terrorism, Islamic Fundamentalism. …
It is our duty to endeavor to avoid war; but if it shall actually take place, no matter by whom brought on, we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others. … It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. … I never considered a difference in opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

B
enjamin Franklin is a well-known founder, and admired for during his long life he accomplished so much covering a myriad of topics: science, journalism, publishing, invention, statesmanship, et cetera. His response to a woman as he left the Constitutional Congregation when she asked what type of government was decided upon – a Republic, if we can keep it. His far-reaching wisdom surpassed generations through many progresses in technology. He was the first United States ambassador to France, speaking and writing French fluently. His philosophy is still cherished today – and applies, if only people will read and comply. Here is a brief list of what he wrote …

In those wretched countries were a man cannot call his tongue his own, he can scarce call anything his own.Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.
When the people find they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.
No man’s life, liberty, or fortune is sage while our legislator is in session.

G
eorge Washington was our first President of the United States and first general of the United States army; but he is revered for his wisdom, fairness, honesty, and other virtues above all. Two of his famous and interesting quotes:

Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth. …Some day, following the example of the United States of America, there will be a United States of Europe.

Much of this wisdom can be applied to issues of today, just as the presidents of the past did: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. All who applied the principles that the Founders used to establish our government. As Bob Basso portrayed in a popular video a while back:

Our Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves. There are no bombs falling on our city, no large enemy armies at our gates, but we are facing a disaster of monumental proportions exceeding the tragedies to all former calamities combined. We face the end of America. A representative democracy is dead replaced by a swampland of party politics ignoring the will of the People, playing games with the future of our children, bailing out failure and taxing success. Traitors and cowards in elective office seeking only to appease advocacy and ethnic interests who promise to deliver the most amount of votes at the next election, Let us not be fooled, sir, that a failed economy is the central issue. It is not. The economy will rebound. But the issue is how much more dependent on government to satisfy your every need will we be when it returns.

We the People can make it happen. It just takes resolve and self-taught knowledge of the Constitution, and as “stay the course”. 

REMEMBER: Wisdom is ageless, useful generation upon generation no matter how far civilization progresses in advanced technology. The main principles of any successful society is family values, individual virtues, and retaining the principles of what makes a society great and a nation enduring. Thinking that wisdom no longer applies, whether made known 2,000 years before the Common Era (Christ) or 4,000 years after is foolish and dangerous to the success of a society and the retention of its freedom and prosperity.

Advertisements