I published my Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers in 2009 knowing that it would only be a matter of time before the left fully embraced tearing down what I consider to be America’s greatest generation.
They are as relevant today as they were in 1789 or 1776. But to the left, the founding generation always presents problems.
Some leftist historians admire the generation, even when they don’t and wouldn’t support a modern progressive agenda. Those people are rare.
Instead, we have mainstream historians like Lindsay Chervinsky, a popular leftist historian who just published a book on Washington’s cabinet.
It’s not bad and she is a decent writer, but she has become a minor star for the left because of her willingness to write op-eds and other political commentary.
Take for example a recent piece she wrote titled, “Why the Framers Never Intended is GARBAGE.”
I agree with a few of her remarks, but most of the piece comes across as a juvenile rant. Why, the Founders would not have wanted me to wear pants! Or, they “desperately” wanted to find solutions to things they deemed impossible to end, like slavery. Desperately is an emotive term. I’ve never considered the founders to be “desperate” about social issues. The record reflects it. Edmund Randolph “desperately” wanted to save the Union, but that was it. This makes them seem like whimsical romanticists who just couldn’t understand why people would be so mean.
And they did agree on the structure of the central government. It was to be a federal not a national government with strictly delegated powers. They said it, many times, during the ratifying conventions. The opponents didn’t trust the statement so they ensured this would be the case by proposing what became the Tenth Amendment.
The Bill of Rights was added to ensure the proponents of the document didn’t backtrack on their promises.
It just hasn’t worked out that way. And yes, some founders lied.
But that is beside the point. The Constitution would not have been ratified without those promises, promises that formed the basis of our understanding of the powers of the general government.
This was a good topic for Episode 500 of The Brion McClanahan Show.