...If there were a letter
THE FOUNDING FATHERS
To: THE CURRENT GENERATION OF AMERICANS
by the Creators Syndicate, Inc.
On this the 225th anniversary of our independence, those of us whom
you call the Founding Fathers have assembled in Continental heaven to assess
the condition of the republic we bequeathed to you. It's true America
has become the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth. But so
was the British Empire in 1776.
Before we get specific, we must confess that we are annoyed by your
habit of misinterpreting our words. Take the First Amendment, where
we said Congress shall make no law "respecting an establishment of religion."
You usually neglect the other half of the injunction, "or prohibiting the
free exercise thereof."
As anyone in the first Congress, which passed the amendment, could
have told you, "establishment of religion" means an established church,
which all are forced to support. We never intended to create a virtue-less
republic, by prohibiting public expressions of faith.
In the Declaration of Independence, we acknowledged that rights are
endowed by our Creator. Absent a Creator, there are no inalienable
In the Second Amendment, we said the right to keep and bear arms
shall not be infringed. In our day, if private citizens hadn't owned
guns there would have been no Lexington and Concord.
Why would we bother guaranteeing a collective right to arm state
militias? The rights enumerated in the first 10 amendments are restraints
on government, not grants of power to it. If you ever wake up to
what's going on, your leaders will have cause to fear an armed citizenry.
We viewed elective office as a sacrifice. For your politicians,
it's an opportunity. We rid America of a monarchy. You've established
an elected aristocracy. We were farmers, merchants and professionals
who resumed our careers after a brief term of service and never lost touch
with our constituents.
You are governed by an elite so different from you as to almost constitute
a separate species. Your elected rulers hold office for 20 or 30
years, becoming increasingly detached from their roots, while rewarding
themselves lavish emoluments and pensions.
We revolted over a modest tax on tea. Your tax burden is staggering.
Despite the enormous expenditures of your prodigal politicians, even they
can't spend it all. And still, many resist returning the federal
surplus to its rightful owners. We rejected taxation without representation.
You condone your own serfdom.
In the Declaration, we complained that King George III had "sent
hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance."
You complacently tolerate a bureaucracy that resembles all Four Horsemen
of the Apocalypse.
Eat out their substance? Today, almost one in 13 Americans
works for a branch of government. Harass our people? There
are bureaucrats to tell you how to run your business, build on your property
and raise your children. Government makes decisions for you regarding your
health, safety and welfare.
We envisioned the judiciary as a coequal branch of government that
interprets laws based on the clear meaning of language. Your courts have
become a law unto themselves -- raising taxes, deciding elections, ordering
private relationships and substituting their will for that of legislators.
We warned you against entangling alliances. You are eager to
form defensive pacts with postage-stamp countries whose security couldn't
conceivably be related to your own. This will only serve to drag you into
their petty quarrels, sapping your strength.
We recognized that government and society must rest on divine wisdom.
George Washington observed, "Reason and experience both forbid us to expect
that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
You cultivate national immorality, in the apparent belief that compulsory
acceptance of perversion will somehow lead to a society whose citizens
have the self-discipline to sacrifice for the common good.
Benjamin Franklin said we gave you a republic "if you can keep it."
From our vantage point, it does not look promising. Were we alive
today, we'd raise another rebellion.
©2001 Creators Syndicate, Inc