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Do the founding fathers live up to reputation?

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posted on May, 16 2009 @ 05:49 PM
I would just like to hear peoples thoughts on this. I was perusing Wikipedia and Joseph J. Ellis was quoted as having this to say:

According to Joseph J. Ellis, the concept of the Founding Fathers of the U.S. emerged in the 1820s as the last survivors died out. Ellis says the "the founders," or "the fathers," comprised an aggregate of semi-sacred figures whose particular accomplishments and singular achievements were decidedly less important than their sheer presence as a powerful but faceless symbol of past greatness.

I couldn't help but notice this is the exact way we use the founding fathers today. Is it all an illusion, folk heroes for the plebs, or do 'the fathers' deserve as much respect and praise as we give them?

posted on May, 16 2009 @ 05:50 PM
I am not American, and my history on American politics is a little vague, but from what I have read the founding fathers had a very great idea and vision of the United States.

Since their departure, it has been manipulated and destroyed, all the while claiming it's in the same line of thought.


posted on May, 16 2009 @ 06:04 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

You're illuminating my point by giving that response. I don't mean to be rude, but you don't seem to know a thing about the founding fathers, so why give them so much credibility and respect? Why assume the America we have today isn't exactly in line with that the founders would have deemed a successful nation?

The only reason I bring this topic up, is because "the founders" are sacrosanct. They are exactly what Ellis described them as being. True in 1820, and true in 2009. Are they really deserving of this reputation, though?

It's an interesting question for us Americans, because to say the founding fathers were not that great is taboo. But does it deserve to be taboo, or are we just fooling ourselves.

posted on May, 16 2009 @ 06:16 PM
reply to post by Kaytagg

No, your not being rude, I apologize, I was in a bit of a rush when I wrote the post.

I have seen many quotes from the founding fathers that are in complete disagreement with the way the US is today.

From the seperation of Church and State, to the way your financial system is in the hands of private companies and right down to the manufacturing of Hemp which is taboo in your country even today.

"Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." George Washington


"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." Thomas Jefferson


So as we can see the views of the founding fathers and views of their United States, is very different from the men who are in power today.


posted on May, 16 2009 @ 06:49 PM
I've had the opportunity to read a bit about the Founding Fathers.
Several of them were important men of their time.
Benjamin Franklin being a obvious example.

That said, Franklin was a lecher.
He was a smart man, a motivated man, to be sure. Was he a good man? That's up to the person who's reading him.

Personally, I've found that Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson (Now that guy's one for the books.), John Adams, ect. were men who deserve respect.

However, I think that most people use them in a context similar to what you are talking about.

posted on May, 16 2009 @ 07:04 PM
It's not the man I respect but what they stand for, for me. They were human men and were therefore fallible, that doesn't matter to me because it's what they stand for that matters.

posted on May, 16 2009 @ 10:56 PM
There are stories of various founding fathers having children from their slaves while married to their wives . Is there private life a detractor to what they did ?


Any man like these men who stood up against tyranny fighting for freedom for the betterment of their home land has my respect . These men knew what real tyranny really was and they tried to build a Government that couldn't be subverted to tyranny here in the Americas . Why didn't we listen to them . These founding fathers many were very rich and powerful they put it all on the line for the betterment of their countrymen . If this gambit failed they most likely would have lost their fortunes and their power. I am sure by signing the Declaration of Independence was signing your own death warrant if their gambit had failed.

And yes the deserve our deep respect .

And I believe the founder do live up to expectations. What rich powerful politician in the last 50 year or 100 years has enough testicular fortitude to
actually sign a document that could end their career lose their home wealth and sign their own death warrant if it didn't work . I would be surprised if you had to use 2 hands to count them all. I seriously doubt it is more that 5 who would risk it all including death for the betterment of their country .

posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:02 PM
I've read a lot about George Washington and Benjamin Franklin lately and those two at least seem to stand the test of time and restrospect.

Benjamin Franklin was one of the greatest diplomats ever. Add to that his scientific discoveries and his writings and some of his Ideas such as public libraries and chambers of commerces etc. The list goes on and on.

George Washington and his ability to find great generals and actually listen to them.

It does no justice to write a list of thier accomplishments but I feel like quite a few of the founding fathers were no less than amazing. I agree, still just men and quite fallable and inperfect but great men non the less. I could list John Adams and John Hancock and Thomas Jefferson and so on and so on.

posted on May, 16 2009 @ 11:07 PM
In the shadow of every statue stands the truth that the man was a pig headed jerk. That doesn't take away from the idea that pig headed jerks can do great things.

Yes, Ben Franklin had problems with his Masonic brothers because he liked to party with little boys. Yes, old Tom Jefferson had a thing for the black women he owned. George Washington was known as an awesome dancer and ladies man.

There is an old saying: "Never get to know your hero's."

They were human beings with all the faults that each of us have. Like an old car they smoked, drank and run around.

I'd be disappointed if they didn't.

posted on May, 17 2009 @ 04:02 AM
reply to post by Kaytagg

Historical figures have to be viewed in the context of the era they lived in unless they tyrants such as Hitler and Stalin . This is why Washington isnt condemned for owning slaves and nor should he be . In some what more recent times nobody denies that Rommel was a brilliant tactician despite the fact he fought on the wrong side during WW2 . Few people have the guts to admit but all his colonialism the late Ian Smith could rightfully say
"I told you so !"

Cheers xpert11 .

posted on May, 17 2009 @ 04:37 AM
I think through time their vices, weaknesses, and faults have been illuminated, but despite those faults there record still stands the test of time.

The principles and ideas that they stood for were truly ground-breaking for there time. The risks they undertook can never be downplayed.

In fact I wish politicians today exhibited the same strengths. I am sure that the founding fathers would be rolling over in their graves if they could see the state of things in the US today.

posted on May, 17 2009 @ 04:50 AM
reply to post by Kaytagg

No human being lives up to their rep - except, I have to say here, our Ed Hilary, conqueror of Everest, did so. He wasn't perfect, because he was a human being. But he is the closest person to being perfect.

The founding fathers didn't because they were into seizing territory etc.
Also, think of the mind problems that they brought from England - bequeathed to the US.

posted on May, 17 2009 @ 05:33 AM

Is it all an illusion, folk heroes for the plebs, or do 'the fathers' deserve as much respect and praise as we give them?

Probably, more respect than they are given - by the masses, anyway. It seems much more time has been spent over the last few decades to discredit them then when I was in school in the '60s. All men (and women) are basically flawed - that is what makes us human. IMO, it is the concept and idea of the documents they founded that are important.

So as we can see the views of the founding fathers and views of their United States, is very different from the men who are in power today.

Exactly what is wrong with the government today!! For decades, the words of the documents they wrote have been twisted to suit the needs of the political parties and their agenda for our country. This is destorying the country and, maybe, the best reason - I can think of - for the people to stand up in revolution and take our country back to the way it was envisioned!!

What rich powerful politician in the last 50 year or 100 years has enough testicular fortitude to actually sign a document that could end their career lose their home wealth and sign their own death warrant if it didn't work .

Love the point you made here!!
In the beginning the founding fathers had one major mind set - FREEDOM!! Today? Much different and if this country was being run according to the founding documents we would not be in the situation we are in today - IMHO, that is!!

posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 05:16 AM
the people in authority often give more importants to prestige, honor and pride than you give to life itself. but you know full well that it is not yourselves who will be in the front lines
in time of war, no presidents, sovereigns, or ministers are ever present on the battlefeild, it is the ordinary men and women of this world who bleed and in wars over which they have no
control, when rulers talk about the neccesities of war, their not putting their own lives at risk or the lives of their families, their talking about risking other peoples lives,
those in power care little for those who die as a result of the foolish and boligerant decisions of their leaders, but ask yourselves, what good is a ruined country in a devastated population,
you would do well to remember that a nation is only a nation because of its people, and a nation can only be as good as its people, therefore that man
is but a fragile mortal, and that mankind is a fragile speices easily destroyed by its own fault.

posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 05:29 AM
Some of our founders were great men, I have no doubt.

I have a lot of respect for example: Jefferson and Washington.

I don't have as much respect for: Franklin and Hamilton- Hamilton was in love with Monarchy- he just didn't want the king. Franklin, as great as some of his writings were- I feel just jumped on the Revolutionary bandwagon and went against the King seeking a name for himself and because he felt shunned by the ruling class in Europe.

Having to choose, I would have fell along the lines of Jefferson as an Anti(sic)Federalist.

Our Constitution would not have been the great document that it is today without the likes of Jefferson demanding the Bill of Rights to be added two years later.

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