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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Founding Fathers Are Role Models For Progressives?

In the midst of whining about how sick and tired she is about progressives who whine, a blogger at Firedoglake writes that progressive activists need to be more like the Founding Fathers:

I’m so torqued off right now I could spit. Perhaps it’s because I’m a mom and I’ve dealt with enough temper tantrums to last me a lifetime. But I’m tired of the whining I see and hear about the lack of democratization in progressive organizations, and about the ineffectiveness of these groups, specifically Organizing for America and MoveOn.org.

Yeah, these groups are in tough shape. But the challenge is really YOU....

The founding fathers didn’t sit around whining about the lack of democratization; they got off their butts and they did something about it. They swore with their lives and on their honor and committed themselves to making change happen. They certainly didn’t wait for some big all-powerful organization to come to them and ask how they could get their wish for democracy granted. I know my kids are learning about the founding fathers in their history and government classes right now, and they aren’t hearing about who waited and talked about democracy and the process of realizing one; they’re learning about activists who actually made democracy happen.

To realize democratization both as a progressive and as a citizen, it’s going to take the same kind of commitment from you.

Too tired for analysis and snark. I'll leave it to you.

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  1. I'd comment and analyze, but I actually haven't got the foggiest idea what "lack of democratization" means.

  2. The Founding Fathers as Progressives. Well, if you must. But I can't see Patrick Henry running the "Ye Olde Soup Kitchen" in his parts. But, then again.. Give me Liberty or give me a hot steaming bowl of soup. Doesn't ring right..

  3. The founding fathers recognized the difference between opportunity and outcomes. Progressives are locked into the the concept of equal outcomes. The truth of life is that outcomes are not equal. Some people, given the same opportunity, don't realize the same outcomes. And the fact that unequal outcomes are OK is the basic concept that progressives fail to grasp.
    We are all good at different things. The trick is to figure out what you are good at and do it. Expecting others to subsidize your pursuit of things you are not good at is fantasy.
    Success is finding what you are good at and doing it. The frustrating thing is that progressives continually want go intercede in this process.

  4. Oh, the irony! Does she even know that the Founding Fathers would have tarred and feathered her (and the rest) for even breathing what Progressives/Lefties say are "rights." Pelosi, et. al, say "Heathcare is a right" and "everyone has a right to equal housing" - hah!

    Maybe she should read some of her kid's textbooks.....nah, that is probably where SHE learned what she thinks she knows about American History and democracy.

  5. Oh, and....don't even get me started on taxes. Tyranny like the IRS, the abuse of the Executive Branch, the usurping of power by the Legislature from the states and the people....

    What was it that Benjamin Franklin said? "You have a republic - if you can keep it!" We have a democratic republic, NOT a democracy. That is just one of many incorrect things taught in so-called US history classes. A Constitutional Republic, where the people vote to make their voices heard. Our Founding Fathers were too wise to leave the country with a pure democracy, where the "tyranny of the majority" could be so easily swayed by emotion. Logic, facts, and reason - that is what the Founding Fathers wanted for posterity to use to run this republic.

    Are her kids learning that in school?! We can only hope. When she says the American Revolution was fought by "activists" what kind of delusion is that? They were rebels, but with reason, which they outlined in the Declaration of Independence for all the world to see and understand.

  6. If she's really followed the analogy through, understands it and means it... well, I have to admit: I find myself torn between a reluctant admiration for the honesty and the cojones, and a disquieting fear for the future of the conflict.

    The Founding Fathers started the War of Independence. Be kind of ironic if people seeking to emulate them started a War of Dependence.

  7. I've noticed the meme of the founding and progressives in lefty comments and talking points lately.

    In the last 24 hours on my blog and another, I've seen reference made to how our founding fathers were progressives. (I think they clearly mean that in the modern progressive sense, too).
    And that our founders were not even close to being "conservatives" (today's definition). As a matter of fact, one of my commenters claimed that progressives have made all "progress" in this country including the American Revolution, slavery, social "justice", Civil Rights, and more. And that conservatives fought it all at every turn.

    While I am not a historian, I do know enough to know that progressives, conservatives, Tories, Republicans, Democrats...all of the labels have different branches and different meanings in our history. And I do know that our Founding fathers were the antithesis of today's "progressives".

    Me thinks some progressives are on the wrong side of our founding principles and are trying their darn best to propagandize that they are the true "Patriots".


  8. mmm, ironic. the liberals who oppose the right to bear arms are what? advocating for revolution?

  9. Bob has said: I actually haven't got the foggiest idea what "lack of democratization" means.
    I'm with you, Bob.

    Yesterday's Summit was instructive to the public in three ways: It was a good lesson in what tyranny of the majority means, what the issues were really about and a model demonstration of the dynamics at work in the confrontation between the Socialists and the Republicans.

    Long live the Senate as conceived to prevent tyranny of the majority!.

  10. I seem to recall learning all about the ones that "talked about democracy and the process of realizing one." They talked a pretty good deal about it, actually, and I seem to remember them writing down the important parts. Does anyone remember what that document was called?

  11. The Founders (many of them well-to-do) risked everything they had in opposing the Crown.

    When the city installed cameras here at the busiest intersection in town the local progressives squealed like stuck pigs because they didn't want their occasional protests at that intersection to be videotaped by the authorities.

    In my casual observation of progressives they rarely risk anything in espousing their views (except perhaps that their employer will catch them blogging from the workplace) and in fact will typically protest even louder over any perceived consequence of their protesting activities than whatever injustice they were protesting in the first place.

    They have nothing in common with the Founders and likely know more about Mumia's plight than that of Adams (even if McCullough's book sits in their bookshelf).

  12. I agree with you Bob - I don't have the foggiest idea what "lack of democratization" means. But given the progressive blog, I would assume she means she needs to work harder at getting hand-outs instead of just working.

  13. It is hard for me to label slave owners as "progressive"

  14. Meanings of words are very important.

    For their day, the Founding Fathers were incredibly lowercase-progressive: Federalist Paper 14 is Madison basically cheerleading people to accept this radically new form of government because he believes it's better than anything anybody had come up with before. They had to persuade people to venture into the American Experiment instead of resting on the familiar, if deeply flawed, forms of government with which they were familiar.

    However, the progressive ideas that the Constitution represented were solidly based on acceptance of the fallibility, corruptibility, and avarice of men. These principles are either orthogonal or unrelated to many of the fundamental precepts of modern progressivism.

    Yes, the term 'progressive' can be applied to the Founding Fathers, and it can be applied in some measure to the modern American Left. It does not consequently follow that the quality of the ideas of the Left are at parity with those of the Founding Fathers, however.