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“We the people of the United States’. These are the first 7 words of the
Constitution of the United States of America. As I stood in the reception
area of the Pentagon in Washington D.C. early this year, a large recreation
of that Constitution was posted on the wall. It’s the first thing you see as you
enter the building. “We the People of the United States”, I stared at it and
said: “I’d die for that idea”!
If we were to name a few of the most important humanitarians among the Founding Fathers, we might list such well-known figures as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry, and Richard Henry Lee. One of the most important of the Founding Fathers is rarely mentioned, however. He is the one in whose memory no large monuments have ever been erected in Washington, D.C. His portrait does not grace any U.S. currency and he did not even have a postage stamp issued in his honor until 1981. That man was George Mason.
George Mason was described by Thomas Jefferson as “one of our really great men, and of the first order of greatness.” Mason is the most neglected of the Founding Fathers because he ignored political glory, shunned office, and was never famous for his oratory; yet he stands as one of the most farsighted of the men who created the American nation. After the Revolution, George Mason opposed the plans of Hamilton and declared that Hamilton had “done us more injury than Great Britain and all her fleets and armies.”
It was George Mason who pushed hardest for the adoption of a federal Bill of Rights. The ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution which constitute the Bill of Rights are based upon Mason’s earlier Virginia Declaration of Rights written by him in 1776. The Bill of Rights almost did not make it into the American Constitution, and it would not have done so had not Mason engaged in a heated battle to ensure its inclusion. Despite his chronic ill health, Mason published influential pamphlets denouncing the proposed Constitution because it lacked specified individual rights. Most drafters of the Constitution, including Alexander Hamilton, declared a Bill of Rights unnecessary due to the balance and limitation of powers imposed on the federal government by the Constitution.
Mason persisted and was supported by Richard Henry Lee and Thomas Jefferson. With the backing of James Madison, the Bill of Rights was finally pushed through to ratification in the final hours. When we consider how the federal government has grown since then and how crucial the Bill of Rights have become, we can appreciate what a man of vision George Mason truly was. His far-sightedness and humanitarianism were also manifested in his attempts to completely abolish slavery. At a time when even his friends George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slave owners, George Mason denounced the slave trade as a “disgrace to mankind” and worked to have it outlawed throughout all of the states.
George Mason did not succeed in this quest during his lifetime, but his dream did come true less than a century later when slavery was abolished in the United States by the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution.
Although most American schoolchildren do not hear much about George Mason in their history lessons or have his portrait hanging in their classrooms, he was one of the great heroes of human freedom.
Originally posted by randyjoy2000
Thoughtful, well informed and well spoken.
It does seem that we (America), are headed down a slippery slope and IMHO, if Obama is elected Tuesday, there will be no stopping the train wreck.
I voted last week and it sickened me to push the button for McCain/Palin, but my values wouldn't allow me to vote democrat. Obama and crew are dangerous for Amercia.
Thanks for posting.
Originally posted by HankMcCoy
These aren't his words unless he is Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. which I doubt.