Post by Taildragger on Jul 4, 2020 12:22:05 GMT -5
I have a framed copy of the Bill of Rights on my wall.
Though they were (like the rest of us) flawed humans, the men who wrote that stuff were also amazing visionaries, IMHO.
Without a system buttressed by such documents in place to curb our worst impulses and attempt to settle our internal disputes in an orderly, civil fashion, we would devolve into a state of being far less pleasant than the one we enjoy.
the men who wrote that stuff were also amazing visionaries
I keep a copy of the Bill of Rights on my reading table, so that whenever I think about something that is going on in the country at a moment in time, I can reference the actual documents. You read some of that stuff and it's...WOW!...we should be doing such-and-such RIGHT NOW to fix XYZ.
Anyway...yes the guys were visionaries. But I don't actually think they had a clue as to the magnitude of what it was they were doing and what the long-range implications of what they unleashed at that moment in time would be. Let's face it...it was a bunch of rich, white, Christian, males who didn't want to pay taxes and chose to own slaves. And those are the eyes they saw the world through. However, what they established as founding documents ultimately went beyond their own kind to impact the lives of many who had yet to set foot on the continent; not to mention women, immigrants, and various minorities. Obviously there's still plenty of work to do on a number of these fronts. But as long as those documents are in place, and we hold them as a standard, there's hope that we can rectify our faults. So, yeah...I don't think they had any idea what doors they would ultimately be opening for various segments of mankind by what they did. They chose ideas and wording that ultimately transcended who they were (again...unknowingly) to set the bar quite high for generations to come.
Post by funkykikuchiyo on Jul 4, 2020 14:09:44 GMT -5
I think about it from time to time. Random thoughts:
1. Much of this is mined from the philosophy/political philosophy of the prior 50-100 years leading up to that time. If you start going into those other writers, you'll find snippets almost word for word in other places, John Locke is one in particular that comes to mind. These were bleeding edge ideas that few people would have dared to put into practice, but then you had this rag tag group of colonies under a European monarchy sick of everything that decided to throw it to the wind and give it all a shot and see what happens. This wasn't based on anything they'd seen before, but only read about and talked about, likely over hard cider late into the night. This was some seriously edgy stuff.
2. What we came up with in 1776 isn't where we landed. It morphed into the Articles of Confederation which was scraped in favor of our current constitution which has been amended several times. From the early days state control vs. federal control was a big deal and we find we keep trying to parse it out, from the Federalist papers to SCOTUS arguments and beyond.
3. I wish the people in power these days had the philosophical capacity to think of government in the abstract like this and apply higher levels of thinking. It seems the more credentials one has, in politics or academia, the higher their capacity to warp it in favor of their bizarre agenda. I'll leave that there.
Post by rok-a-bill-e on Jul 4, 2020 15:16:20 GMT -5
I read it this morning, as I do privately every July 4th. What is so essential about this document is that is lays out the basis for the legitimacy of government. Not just THIS government---ANY government. They were possessed of the then-heretical notion that certain Rights were inalienable from Humans, by virtue of their nature, and that the first and foremost purpose of any government was to secure those rights. These Rights were not privileges bestowed by Royalty or any elected government, subject to be revoked when convenient. And that any government which failed to secure those rights or attempted to abrogate them was at that point an illegitimate government. People, that was HUGE! And they said it and signed it and sent it to the most powerful military on the planet at the time.
Post by rickyguitar on Jul 4, 2020 15:36:07 GMT -5
It is an inspiring document. My family has a history of military service to this country and I take our constitution quite seriously. I fear we have many politicians who do not, as well as a mass of ignorance who do not give it a thought. I suspect the founding fathers would have been in awe of some of this countries accomplishnents.
Yup. I remember when I was a kid you bought those when you went on a trip to DC to see the "real" documents. Funky, yellowed paper...all crinkled and everything. There's no way that souvenir exists anywhere in my stash of stuff. That's gotta be at least 60 years ago. I wonder if they still sell those things?