Thoughts on Our Founding Fathers

In light of the debate that continues about the status of health care in the United States, I’ve been considering some of the thoughts of our Founding Fathers. They founded this nation on freedom, self-reliance, and accountability. Those are character traits that were important to them. Now we are considering how everyone can have adequate health care at the cost of the whole citizenry.

In my reading this week I came across an article that was printed around 1950. I found it astonishing in light of our current debates. I thought you might enjoy the feelings of our patriots in the 1950’s. read more

Abraham Lincoln Loved Books

Lincoln was an avid reader. He always kept a book nearby. He read the newspapers voraciously. He loved books. His favorite books included the Bible and books about his beloved George Washington, especially the biography by Reverend Mason Locke “Parson” Weems.

It was through reading books that Lincoln learned how to speak, but he understood that speaking was useless unless people would actually listen to you. That’s why most of his speeches were filled with anecdotes and stories.

Have you ever considered that Abraham Lincoln became President of the United States because of his ability to find the truth by public discussion. Abe Lincoln was not a governor of any state as were Wilson and Roosevelt. He had only served one uneventful term in Congress. But he achieved his prominence through his debates with Stephen A. Douglas. read more

Abe Lincoln and Donald Trump

There’s been a overwhelming amount of vitriol in the voice of the people and the media these days. Who would have thought it could ever be this bad about a man who just wants to make America great. Even if Donald Trump just makes it better, wouldn’t that be great?

Abraham Lincoln had a similar problem in his presidency. The Civil War was fought on the battlefields and in the press. At that time the newspapers were also full of descriptions of the feats of a well-known tight rope walker named Blondin. read more

The Revolutionary War

Why did the Colonists win the Revolutionary War? America was not at the center of the world at the time. England was. Great Britain was slow to understand the nature of the threat of war with America and its colonies.

Americans were a bunch of rag-tag but hearty fighters dedicated to an idea. The idea was quite real. It was an idea of personal liberty, freedom and self-government.

The soldiers fighting for England were fighting for their empire or they were being paid to fight for it. When you are fighting for something more personal you are more devoted to the purpose of the fight. It is more personal. It means more to the fighters. read more

Morality, Freedom, and Liberty

The Founding Fathers of our nation established a republic, a democracy that turned the power to the people. It was a new nation that said that the citizens, the people, would come first and would therefore choose their own leaders for the new nation.

In and around this rich new culture, there was faith and morality. The Founders hoped that culture would continue to allow America to become a light on the hill for the whole world.

The combination of the Spirit of the Revolution, Declaration of Independence, the new U.S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and the foundation in law was new in the world. As Benjamin Franklin said: “It’s a Republic—if you can keep it. The most fervent desire of the Founding Fathers was that we, as a people, would watch over this nation, with these founding documents, culture, and faith, and keep it strong forever. read more

The Founding Fathers and the First Amendment

Patrick Henry didn’t like the U.S. Constitution. He spoke out forcefully against its adoption in the Virginia Constitutional Convention. He spoke nearly every day –18 of the 23 days of the Convention, arguing against its adoption. Why didn’t he like it, you ask? It wasn’t because he was not a true patriot. He was known as America’s first patriot.

He didn’t like it because he thought it didn’t protect the citizens as well as it should. He thought America would descend into a monarchy just like Great Britain unless it provided more written proofs of the citizens’ rights. read more

Amendments to the Constitution

Looking back on it, many would agree that the two Amendments to the U.S. Constitution which were both ratified in 1913, were the worst Amendments ever adopted (some say they weren’t actually properly ratified). Those were the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments.

The Sixteenth is the one that approved the previously unwanted collection of an income tax (see discussions about this in our early history). For some reason, we, the people, approved this burdensome tax. That has been the subject of many disputations—and I won’t continue that here. read more

Thomas Paine and Character

Thomas Paine had a great influence in the hearts of early Americans, especially the soldiers serving under General George Washington. George expected obedience and loyalty from his troops. He wanted them to quit the use of foul language, to show respect to others, and to do their duty. The soldiers grew to love their leader.

Thomas Paine wrote a couple of highly touted booklets that raised the spirits of the colonists, especially Washington’s troops, who would soon fight the battle of Trenton. read more

The Founding Fathers and the Constitution

When I took Constitutional Law (a required course) in law school, I had been looking forward to it. Of all my classes in law school, this was the most disappointing. We never once read, or were required to read, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, or the Federalist Papers.

We learned in our Contracts class, that to understand a contract you had to look into the “four corners” of the document to understand the basic premise. That apparently isn’t the case with the most important document in the establishment of the nation, the Constitution. read more

George Washington and His Donkey

Here’s something I didn’t know before. In addition to being the Father of our Country, George Washington also gave America the first “Mammoth Jackass.” Yes, the large donkey. In Washington’s time the donkeys were short in height and lacked the stamina Washington needed them to have for work.

He imported donkeys from Spain and France. He received one donkey from the Marquis de Lafayette, which was named the “Knight of Malta.” But this animal was only 4 ½ feet tall. Washington was very disappointed. read more