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Old 03-12-2020, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Redwood Shores, CA
960 posts, read 399,680 times
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I just think such a complicate issue, what are the odds that the founding fathers did it one time and it worked out all good...

While the 3 branches of govt idea might have festered for years by then, there were plenty of concepts that they invented, such as the Senate having same representation from every state; the split of rights between federal and state; the checks and balance principle...

The people at that time also showed personal quality way ahead of their times. George Washington could've hang on to power longer, but he voluntarily returned the power to the people. Everyone else voluntarily followed his example. Will anyone do that today?

It's like they said "let there be USA", and there was USA...
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Old 03-12-2020, 07:12 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
6,681 posts, read 4,477,129 times
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How do you define quality. We’re talking about two totally different time periods with unique issues and problems. Are you talking about leadership? I think we’ve had leaders all through our history who had the courage and determination to recognize national goals and make a difference.
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Old 03-12-2020, 10:18 PM
 
12,128 posts, read 10,999,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
I'm talking about people like Ben Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Sam Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, etc.; people who made monumental impact in the country's history.

Who in today's America might attain same stature in the 22nd century? Or if no one, why might that be, considering there were so many around 1776?
Nope, we don't.

In one of Gore Vidal's books, he mentions JFK musing on how we happened to have that extraordinary group of men.

I think that one reason it's impossible now is that because we have so many distractions to amuse ourselves with (Facebook! Netflix!) fewer people sit down for any serious reading and thinking, and because we have so many trendy but unimportant short-term professional avenues (inventing a cool new app!) people are less likely to sit down to the serious long-term work of creating a better nation.
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:30 PM
 
8,758 posts, read 4,980,224 times
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Sure we do. They're out there. Doing their ordinary jobs every day. Among the nameless, faceless, everyday people in flyover country. Or perhaps those teenage Scouts teaching younger boys and girls the Oath and the Law. Or among those kids taking their place in the long gray line.

You won't find them in Hollywood. Or wearing pink hats in protest marches. Or self aggrandizing for the cameras. They are there if you look for them.
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Old 03-16-2020, 12:07 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
10,330 posts, read 5,542,533 times
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First and foremost we are talking about a minuscule portion of the population educated during the enlightenment period who were trained in the classics, law, history, and reasoning. Some, like Franklin and Jefferson, were extremely curious and studious by nature. They were well read and were avid writers. We have people like that today but they are usually branded as elitist “eggheads” and kicked to the curb by our pop culture and political stakeholders (politicians, corporations, lobbyists, etc.) who control and shape public opinion.
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Old 03-16-2020, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Alabama
2,219 posts, read 3,038,477 times
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Education was completely different back then.

The Founders were educated and extremely well-read in the classics, Latin, and Greek. They understood the concept of virtue and knew philosophy.

People nowadays are not educated. They are schooled. Rather than studies in philosophy and virtue, they learn social studies with a Marxist bent and light bunsen burners.

Find me a politician in 2020 who can translate the Iliad from Greek to Latin.
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Old 03-16-2020, 06:00 PM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
23,129 posts, read 22,200,244 times
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They're still out there but we'll probably never see them. There are still good people who are kind and helpful, non corrupt-- people who learned and studied and have high ideals. But with the advent of tv and then the internet, appearances and gimmicks are more important than content. Now you have to look good to the public, yell louder, be more like a Hollywood star.

Our original leaders were unique though. They often were the best educated and they read books instead of sitting in a daze in front of a tv or a computer. Education used to be important, not just as a means of getting a job, but for its own sake. And back then, people didn't specialize so that they would know a lot about one topic and next to nothing about the rest. They were the descendants or maybe they were--Renaissance men.

Motivation was also a strong force with our original leaders. They strongly disliked what they were seeing. It was a perfect storm of discontent, smart, educated people with leadership skills, and no mundane distractions for the masses who followed them and supported them.
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Old 03-16-2020, 10:04 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
6,421 posts, read 3,472,126 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
First and foremost we are talking about a minuscule portion of the population educated during the enlightenment period who were trained in the classics, law, history, and reasoning. Some, like Franklin and Jefferson, were extremely curious and studious by nature. They were well read and were avid writers. We have people like that today but they are usually branded as elitist “eggheads” and kicked to the curb by our pop culture and political stakeholders (politicians, corporations, lobbyists, etc.) who control and shape public opinion.
I don't think I am alone in having studied the classics, law, history, and reasoning. I couldn't have gotten my degree without having done so.

I am, however, hyper-curious and focused on learning.

While Marie Kondo would not approve, I still have the 11-volume hardcover set of the The Story of Civilization by Will Durant on a bookshelf, so if the Internet goes down, maybe I'll get to it again.

https://archive.org/details/TheStory...plete/mode/2up
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Old 03-19-2020, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
5,280 posts, read 4,206,761 times
Reputation: 10452
Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I have always believed that its the times that make people. When challenging circumstances are present many people are able to rise to the challenge. In more placid times, these people are generally pursuing personal and family interests. We have plenty of talented people in America.

In short, if a war or crisis were present, people you have never heard of would emerge and deal effectively with the problems of the day.
A 'crisis,' real or otherwise (I don't care to debate it on this thread in-detail) as to the gravity...is upon us.

I see the President rising up after his usual dumb gaffes and statements early on. He learns, fast. We have some CNN people praising the Administration as of this week for their response which keeps getting better, but will never please everyone. I'll stop there, I have high hopes. No Madison or Jefferson there that I can see.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is rising in my mind as a steady, obvious genius, slightly irascible subject matter expert (immunologist). He has a distinguished record in many administrations, around AIDs and other serious matters. A 'Founder,' no. A leader and excellent speaker, you bet.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:07 AM
 
4,159 posts, read 4,100,478 times
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With modern communications and the 24 hour a day spotlight that people are in today I don't think the Founding Fathers would be viewed the way we view them. A rabble rouser in the same style as Bernie Sanders, a philanderer to equal Clinton (or any of several high profile politicians), an older gentleman that would be considered a sexual predator. The owner of a large multifacited industrial enterprise who took advantage of enslaved and indentured workers. Then there was the wife of one who took advantage of the financial markets to make money by buying the promissory notes issued to discharged soldiers instead of the pay they were owed.


But because the media of the time was not as 'developed' as it is now those faults were not brought into full light and they were able to work together 'for the greater good'. The 'Brilliance' of the bicameral legislature was a political deal. The small states were afraid of being overwhelmed by the large states (combined with the states that were afraid of their 'special institution') and forced a compromise to b e developed.



And does anyone think that we could take the 'leaders' and lock them in a room to put together a document to organize and run a nation AND NOT HAVE ANYONE RUN OFF AT THE MOUTH for months while the 'deal' was put together? Even today we know very little about how the 'deal' was put together because no one wrote about the process for years and by then there was no one left to dispute his views. That 'deal' was the Constitution. Yes there were some ugly fights to get it approved but no one pointed fingers about how the deal was put together.


So I think there could be people who rise to the occasion but it will be in a different manner and with a different combination of skills that represent a the modern times if we need it. Just don't be blind to the weaknesses of the ones that rose to the occasion in the past.
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