Do We Still Have The Country Our Founding Fathers Created?
Our forefathers risked their lives to create our nation and give us the freedoms
they outlined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Have we protected the
legacy they left us? What kind of men were they? They were radicals by their
actions. Most people would have a hard time disagreeing with the principles they
outlined and fought for. They valued privacy and didn't want anyone prying into
their personal matters, didn't want people to be arrested on a whim and denied
due process. They believed as long as something anyone else did wasn't directly
harmful to them, everyone should mind their own business and just "live and let
live." They didn't want a state religion like they had in England, because they
saw how those who wished to worship in a way that differed from the state's
mandate were persecuted. They felt religion was something very personal and all
should be free to worship as they saw fit without being ostracized or persecuted
in any way or having any part of a state religion forced on them. Since those
are the same opinions held by most people, they could be called the Mainstream.
Is it possible to be Radical and still be in the Mainstream? Apparently so. We
know they were Liberal because they believed in protecting each citizen from the
more powerful government and building those protections into the Constitution.
We know also that they didn't believe in wealth accumulating in the hands of
just the few, creating an elite, wealthy aristocracy because they had just
rejected the ideas of an hereditary aristocracy since they had seen how the
wealthy could corrupt government that catered to wealthy interests in King
George's England. They didn't want the political power to flow into the hands of
those who possessed the most wealth and away from the average people. The
country they left us had a government of, by and for the people, the average
They boarded ships in Boston Harbor and dumped 342 crates of tea from three ships into the waters of the Atlantic at the Boston Port because King George signed the Tea Act of 1773, which was a massive tax cut for British East India Company.
Again, they wanted the people to come first not corporations, As James Madison said, "There is an evil which ought to be guarded against in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by corporations. The power of all corporations ought to be limited in this respect." Today, the Right Wing administration and Congress allow corporations or their lobbyists to write most of our legislation. Our politicians cater to their interests rather than what is best for "we the people". These Right Wingers seek to see corporate and state interests merged, which is the definition of fascism, not democracy. By catering to wealthy corporate interests, our politicians can get large campaign donations. That isn't what democracy is about and certainly not what our founding fathers intended. Their service in government is not intended to be just for their benefit. They are servants of the people, and are supposed to see that the interests of the people are served and those things held in common by all of us, like our roads, bridges, parks, police, fire, schools and our environment, the air we breathe and water we drink. Our environment should never be contaminated for the convenience of corporations. Our health should never be jeopardized because wealthy corporations can make large contributions to corrupt politicians who allow the money to influence the decisions they are supposed to be making for us. That is an abuse of power and they cater to the wealthy to get campaign donations so they can keep that power. They benefit, the corporations benefit, and the only loser is the people. They main thing we've lost is what our founding fathers fought and died to give us, a representative democracy.
What are we willing to do to regain our democracy? Our government is supposed to be of, by and for we the people. Are our elected representatives listening to us and acting for our best interest? Since it's also of and by us, it means we have to participate. When is the last time you checked up to see how your representative voted? Write to or call your representatives and tell them how you expect them to vote. If they voted differently, write or call again and tell him/her you were disappointed and ask why they voted the way they did. If they constantly vote opposite to what you feel is in the best interest of all of the people and our commons, make sure you don't vote for them in the next election. They work for us and our taxes pay them $154,700 per year with majority and minority leaders paid about $20,000 more. Their average retirement benefit is $52,464. Hold them accountable. We pay them well. Call and write to your newspapers and ask them to publish a monthly recap of the bills in Congress and how your representatives voted, as well as a list of the upcoming bills to be voted on. We have a power that the corporations, for all their money don't have, and that's our vote. Insist on fair elections with a verifiable paper ballot receipt like an ATM receipt.
We all have to be willing to be as radical as our founding fathers were in creating our democracy if we want to regain our democracy. We cannot simply accept the status quo. If our founders had done that we'd all still be English citizens. Good Grief! Then we'd have to learn the language.