Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Naive Historical Projection


Recently a little item from the Miami Student came to my attention.  In it, some poor little mixed-up soul named Aaron Turner writes:

“I would first like to start by saying thanks to the founding fathers. . . . the founding fathers were very liberal. Our founders were more liberal than Nancy Pelosi, Dennis Kucinich and Keith Olberman combined. They were rebels, for crying out loud! All too often Democrats quickly concede that conservative values are the same values in which our founding fathers believed. In fact, the principles of the founders-freedom of speech and worship, open government, freedom from injustice and the right to property-are all pillars of the Democratic Party.”

While you can’t blame a university for every student who is enrolled there, this has to be a bit embarrassing to some professor somewhere who had this poor child in his class!

The not-so-sharp Aaron does not seem to recognize the very different meanings of the term ‘liberal’ then and now.  And I don’t want to quibble, but ‘right to property’ pillar of the modern Democratic Party is more like a ‘right to what is left after hefty taxation’ view of property.  Isn’t there just a hint of injustice in taking what people have earned and handing it out to others?  (Not that any modern Democrats – or Republicans for that matter – want to do anything like that!)

Can you imagine what a Washington, Madison, or Jefferson would have said to the likes of Nancy Pelosi!  There is a conversation I would love to hear – think about it very carefully for a few moments.

Then our young under-educated Aaron goes on to tell us how Madison and Jefferson were in essence the founders of the modern Democratic Party.  Anyone who has even sampled the writings of either Madison or Jefferson would realize that many of their views would not be tolerated for a microsecond in today’s Democratic Party.

I can only guess, but I seriously doubt that Aaron has read Madison’s parts of the Federalist Papers, for example.  For that matter, I doubt if Aaron would even agree with much of what Madison says there.

Think of the views of Madison implied in this passage from Federalist No. 46:

“But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm. Every government would espouse the common cause. A correspondence would be opened. Plans of resistance would be concerted. One spirit would animate and conduct the whole. The same combinations, in short, would result from an apprehension of the federal, as was produced by the dread of a foreign, yoke; and unless the projected innovations should be voluntarily renounced, the same appeal to a trial of force would be made in the one case as was made in the other. But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity.”

Plans of resistance against the feds, Aaron, or anyone?  They are very Madisonian.  And the modern Democratic Party has helped give us so very much that needs to be resisted!

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