Can we ban the term “the founding fathers wanted…” from political discourse?


Seems to be a new and annoying catchphrase that lots of people are throwing around lately.
a. Anyone can take an out of context George Washington quote and apply it to their argument. Just because they do it, doesn’t mean you have to listen.

b. While Americans are eternally grateful to the founding fathers’…

You are partially correct, we may not know what they would have allowed but they left a very accurate and clear picture of what they didn’t want and we have passed the pale, so to speak.

“Whereas the American Dream was once equated with certain principles of freedom, it is now equated with things. The American Dream has undergone a metamorphosis from principles to materialism. … When people are concerned more with the attainment of things than with the maintenance of principles, it is a sign of moral decay. And it is through such decay that loss of freedom occurs.”

“I subscribe to a patriotism rooted in ideas that in turn gave birth to a country, but it’s the ideas that I think of when I’m feeling patriotic. I’m a patriotic American because I revere the ideas that motivated the Founders and compelled them, in many instances, to put their lives, fortunes and sacred honor on the line.”

“We hear much today about the American dream. By “the American dream,” most people mean buying a big house, driving an expensive automobile, and making a lot of money. However, this was not the dream envisioned by the Founding Fathers. Remember that, for the most part, America’s founders gave up their material wealth and substance for something they considered of far greater worth. Unfortunately, this hedonistic generation knows little of the kind of sacrificial spirit personified in the lives of America’s patriarchs.

In the minds of the founders, liberty–with all of its intrinsic risks–was more desirable than material prosperity, if that prosperity was accompanied with despotism or collectivism. So strong was their desire that they were willing to give up the latter in order to procure the former for themselves and their posterity.

How dare Americans today refer to material gain as “the American dream.” It is not! It is the freedom to honestly pursue one’s goals that should be celebrated. Material gain is only a fruit of freedom, not its root.”

And I am offended when intellectual elitists. Conveniently ignore the fact. That the founding fathers provided documentation so that we would. The founding fathers knew that the easiest way to circumvent the constitution. Would be reinterpretation. So they wrote the Federalist Papers. To explain what they meant. And several individuals including Benjamin Franklin and (ahem) Thomas Jefferson. wrote individual books on the subject. So 230 years in the future, people like you couldn’t claim we can’t know what they meant. Things have change since then? So has the constitution. [13th amendment abolished slavery] They provided a means of adapting the constitution to changing times. That puts control in the hands of the people. Not government or elitists like yourself . Who would circumvent the amendment process by reinterpreting the constitution to say what you want. Arrogantly declaring people who actually read the books that explain the correct interpretation ignorant. The only ignorant person here is you.

Reading the limited powers given to government in the constitution, its pretty clear what they wanted. We have all rights, and government as strictly limited duties.

If you use that as your base, you can assume what they would want in today’s modern political system.

For example… Has free speech changed? No. Has the right to bear arms changed? No. Does the federal government somehow magically have the power to regulate marriage? No. Does the federal government have the power to maintain 800+ bases in 130+ countries? No.

I do FULLY agree that people often use the term ‘what the founding fathers would have wanted’ too often and mostly for things the founding fathers probably wouldn’t have wanted.

no i would not want the founding fathers wanted taken out of our political conversation. that is like taking the foundation out of the conversation of a home remodeling project you will lead yourself to trouble. the founding fathers wrote the constitution and set the foundation for this countries government, and we must pull ourselves and our conversation back to it and the wisdom that it gives us and work out from there. our founding fathers wrote the constitution and formed the federal government in such a way that the governments rights were more restricted than the citizens. and locked the government out of our rights to speech religion arms and pursuit of individual success. while writing into the system the ability to create changes to improve it because they knew that they could not fix everything at once(most of them knew that slavery was wrong but would have to be fixed after the new country was solidly on its feet). they set up the senate to move slow and remain stable to prevent emotionally driven knee jerk reaction type laws. as we ggrow our government and feed it more and more power that undoes the most important thing they gave us the chains to hold down our own government.

Well Jefferson was a Democrat but during those days that meant sticking to the Constitution which would probably make him a Libertarian or Democrat because of his position on state rights. Washington wouldn’t be in one because he didn’t believe in them. Franklin would be a more than likely a Democrat because of his push for science over religion. And I see many of the others not fitting in anywhere.

Absolutely. With each amendment, we have acknowledged that the Constitution is a living document and not some paradigm set in a single epoch. They built it so, wisely, because they knew that America in 200 years would not be the same as their America. They knew America was good and could always be better, and created the framework to make that possible.

I think you make a very good point. I think that when someone claims to know what someone who’s been dead for 200 years would apply to a certain situation, you should automatically be wary of them, because it means they have nothing of value to personally add to that situation.

Also, I would like to see the word patriot/patriotic removed from political discourse. It’s a divisive word that again, is completely open to interpretation.

I swear only a liberal would be ‘offended’ by the Founding Fathers.

What else do you want to ban besides freedom of speech?

Edit: So history classes that have been taught for the past 200 years based on the actual words of the Founding Fathers themselves are ‘garish’? No, I didnt miss the point at all, in fact I nailed it.

Ignore Vinny. He’s not a very intelligent person.

To answer your question – I agree. It is so annoying and not the valid support needed to win a debate.

The founding fathers wanted freedom of speech, so no.

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