What If They Were Alive Today?

ScreenHunter_28 Jul. 04 14.25

If the people who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 were alive today, they would be vilified by the government and press, hunted down, and tried for treason.

About stevengoddard

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36 Responses to What If They Were Alive Today?

  1. darwin says:

    If the founders were alive today democrats would call them “extreme” and “crazy”.

  2. DarrylB says:

    It is still nice to know that I am endowed by my creator with certain unalienable rights.
    I will not let those rights be taken away.

    • squid2112 says:

      Darryl, thank you for using proper wording. There is a big difference between unalienable and inalienable. I am sick and tired of people using the incorrect term. Words do matter.

    • squid2112 says:

      This kind of discussion does not occur often these days, mostly because our government has seemingly disregarded the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as the supreme law of the land, and because people would rather watch “reality” TV shows and text each other than think about where America is and where she is headed.

      We celebrate the public pronouncement of our independence from Great Britain on the Fourth of July and there will be a reading of the Declaration of Independence at the Callaway Community Farmer’s Market (by a special guest), so I figure it is appropriate to discuss the discrepancy. Here are is a definition and some case law.

      “Unalienable: incapable of being alienated, that is, sold and transferred” — Black’s Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 1523. “You can’t surrender, sell or transfer unalienable Rights, they are a gift from the Creator to the individual and can’t (under any circumstances) be surrendered or taken. All individuals have unalienable rights.”

      “Inalienable rights: Rights which are not capable of being surrendered or transferred without the consent of the one possessing such rights. Morrison v. State, Mo. App., 252 S.W.2d 97, 101.”

      I don’t put much stock in precedent, but I was privileged to stumble onto some original letters between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams tucked away in the back of an old book at the University of Virginia. (I should have tucked them in my pocket, but I figured it was providence that I found them and maybe someone else would, too).

      The “In” vs. “Un” debate was a major bone of contention between Jefferson and Adams. When Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration, he said they were inalienable rights because your God-given rights could not be transferred, taken away or abdicated without your approval. Adams would not sign until it was changed to unalienable because, since these rights were God-given, therefore you could not choose to relinquish or transfer them.

      You can choose not to acknowledge them, but they still exist. Jefferson was a master of “get-along truth.” Adams was much simpler and just believed in “truth,” and to heck with who cared. The two were at odds for years until about age 60, when they finally came to agreement and became great friends. I, being a UVA grad, tend to agree with Jefferson on most things, but I think Adams was correct on this one.

      Regardless, we are facing troubling times in America (in case you didn’t notice), but we are still Americans and heirs to the greatest experiment in liberty that has ever occurred on this earth. Do we preside over her downfall or rise to the occasion, mount up on wings of eagles and restore her glory? Only time and our fortitude will tell.

      Panama City


  3. When I watched Olympus Has Fallen I was puzzled by the fact that the movie makers believed they could sell the idea that the government would let millions of Asians die in order to save one US president. At what point did the president of the United States cease to be an easily replaced elected official and some sort of god/emperor/king?

    • DarrylB says:

      Will N. The unique intentions of the founders of the United States is manifested in so many ways; some, I am sure we never consider. Here is one.
      Almost all countries have on their coinage an image of a king, queen, emperor, etc.
      No coin minted by the United States Government had the image of any person until that of Lincoln and that did not happen until 100 years after his birthday in 1909.
      it replaced the popular ‘Indian head’ penny as it is called, but even at that there was much reluctance to do it then. Liberty-yes, An eagle – yes, a buffalo, a wreath – yes, but not an image of a leader. — Because it is supposed to be a government by the people.

  4. Robert Austin says:

    The founding fathers of America were an incredible assemblage of intellects, the like of which would be completely squelched in today’s America. Darwin claims that it would be the democrats that would vilify them but I suspect that both sides, Democrat and Republican would repudiate them. Democrats would repudiate for the founding fathers sacred valuation of freedom and Republicans for the father’s staunch first amendment views.

    • DarrylB says:

      Robert, I agree, except that I question your statement of Republicans repudiation of staunch first amendment views. Would you explain please?

      • Robert Austin says:

        I am only speaking from my impression as as a Canadian as to the First Amendment separation of state and religion. American politicians seem to feel obligated to mention the Abrahamic God and display their piety whenever speaking to the public. While this penchant, while not a direct legislative attack on the First Amendment, is a de facto insertion of religion into the workings of government. And my impression as an outsider is that Republicans in general would expect their politicians to openly speak the “correct” religious dogma more so than Democrats. Correct me if I am wrong, though. Watching our superpower neighbour to the south is both fascinating and sometimes perplexing as we share so many cultural values and ideologies and yet are sometimes mysteriously and subtly differ in thinking. Never the less, God Bless America!

        • squid2112 says:

          Your interpretation of the so-called “separation of church and state” (which is never referred to in that form in any of our founding documents) is very much incorrect.

          The first amendment simply says that the government (specifically congress) shall enact no law that establishes a religion, or restricts the free exercise of ones religion. That is all. There is nothing that says that the government cannot engage in religion, use religious icons, or anything of the sort. As is quite evident, our federal governmental bodies, agencies, currency, etc, have been heavily sprinkled with religious icons, slogans, scripture, and the like since our very founding. Above every federal court judge bench are the words “In God We Trust” (just like our money). The atheist assholes that continually try to remove these things do so by completely twisting the meaning of the first amendment. Look, I am not a religious person myself, however, the first amendment is extremely clear in this regard. For example, there are absolutely no grounds by which the ten commandments must be removed from a courthouse steps. Atheist assholes like to try to use the first amendment argument to do such things, and I don’t see how they get away with it, as the first amendment (like all amendments) is extremely clear on this issue and does not, in any way, prohibit the federal government from displaying such religious icons. Displaying the ten commandments is not the same as establishing a religion.

        • squid2112 says:

          Also, often times the argument of activists that like to remove religious icons, slogans and scripture from federal properties, or documents, like to use the argument that the federal government cannot favor one religion over another, therefore, the ten commandments must be removed from federal grounds (as an example). But this is complete bullshit. The federal government absolutely can favor one religion over another if it so chooses. There is nothing in the constitution that prohibits this, and such favoritism is driven by the people. Congress simply cannot enact a law that establishes a religion or restricts the exercise of ones religion…period…end of story.

        • I. Lou Minotti says:

          Thank you, squid. Well stated. Happy Fourth.

        • squid2112 says:

          Thank you I. Lou Minotti … Happy Independence Day to you too!

          Enjoy your independence and liberties while they last! Freedom is a very difficult thing to keep.

        • squid2112 says:

          I would like to just reiterate a very important concept here. I am not myself, what one would call a “religious” person. I do not attend a church, I do not ascribe to a particular religion (I have my own views on this subject). However, I unequivocally respect others that have their own religious views, may attend church and may ascribe to a particular religion. I do not attempt to impose my own views upon those individuals, and I reserve respect for those that do not impose said same upon me. I will gladly engage in intellectual exchanges on these subjects, but I will not attempt to forcefully impose my own views upon others.

          With that said, one of the most important fundamentals to a free society includes the fundamental right for individuals to express their feelings, their faith, etc. Any attempt to squelch such expression (like atheist activist assholes do), is a clear violation of this fundamental right of expression. A fundamental right that is guaranteed to us through our federal Constitution. And this would include our federal government, which is, of the people, by the people and for the people, in and of itself. We are a country founded by Judeo-Christians based upon Judeo-Christian principals and values. This is our heritage. While I would not be considered a Judeo-Christian myself, as an American it is my heritage, and I agree with the Judeo-Christian based principals that have made this country what it is (or at least what it was). This all comes down to first principals, as the declaration of independence, so cited above, is based wholly upon first principals. Erosion or loss of these principals is only to usher in tyranny (which, unfortunately, is precisely what we see happening today).

          Cheers to all!
          – In God We Trust –

          Happy Independence Day!

      • I. Lou Minotti says:

        Squid, I agree that tyranny is pure evil, and anarchy moreso. What’s the absolute worst, however, are tyrants who try their damnest to incite anarchy among peace-loving, law-abiding people by stirring up the idiots among us.

    • darwin says:

      Only McCain and Graham. McCain would call them “wacko birds”.

      Sarah Palin would definitely have them over for dinner and … tea.

  5. jeffk says:

    It’s sad to see political and economic oligarchs continue to commingle and centralize their powers exactly like the Old Europe our ancestors fled.
    But I’m optimistic in large part due to free speech on the intertubes like here, speaking truth to power.
    Those like the court jesters of old times can only tell the truth to the kings, without fear of retribution.

  6. gator69 says:

    We might have some real leaders whom we would want to follow.

  7. …instead of the socialist collaborators, of both parties, which run our government now.

  8. Andy DC says:

    What has gone very wrong is that the “free press” has not been doing its job. They have become ideological lap dogs rather than truth seekers.

    I have no trouble with the Ten Commandments as long as no one forces me to read them. In a free country, you should have a right to post or display whatever you want, as long is the message is not hateful, pornographic or forced upon you against your will.

  9. Richard T. Fowler says:

    One has to be careful to distinguish between liberal and conservative Founding Fathers, since there was a divide back then as well.

    But I do think that if certain of them could have gone into a deep sleep around 1795, and awakened today …

    I am thinking specifically of certain individuals … namely Paine, Madison, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, Sherman, Livingston, Morris, probably Washington, possibly Jefferson, and regrettably, probably Rutledge …

    I think they would immediately insist on preparation for a new declaration of independence, to be created out of new committees of correspondence that would not utilize the lazy crutch of the internet.

    I think they would regard the TEA party movement with a certain satisfaction, though with skepticism for how seriously they take the task of separation from an evil and anti-American power and of the urgency of it.

    I think they would not be quite as focused as their fellow Americans on the political issue of gun control, since in a separation context it is irrelevant and until such time as separation occurs it is an unnecessary distraction.

    I think they would be very concerned for the precedent that a third separation would create, and to avoid the trap of thinking that all serious problems can always be solved by separation, even if the struggle to separate is successful. But I think that they would conclude that a serious preparation for separation is necessary as a precaution, so that if it should be decided that it is necessary, it is available as an option.

    I think that furthermore they would not be the slightest bit interested in associating politically with Americans who eschew God or try to project their own invented beliefs onto Him. I think that they would recognize that such behavior dooms any otherwise valid political effort to failure. I think that this would immediately reduce their coterie by approximately 55-65%, but I do not think that such considerations would affect their decision, nor overly concern them.

    I think that they would take note of similarities between the path of ancient Rome and the United States, but that they would conclude that such similarities are ultimately irrelevant to the question of what path should be followed in the present day.

    I think that they would be much less concerned with how much space or how many people they could draw in, than with the quality of the people that they were able to attract into a single space, and with the need to present a moral, ethical, and philosophically consistent face to their opposition.

    I think they would go into such a task with an eye toward how they could get as many people as possible in unfriendly regions of the U.S. to sympathize with them on a human level, even though such people may not be prepared to align with them politically.

    Finally, I think that they would remain very mindful of the fact that if it weren’t for the support of a foreign power that at the end of the day did not really share their values, their philosophy, or their life goals (namely, France), there never would have been a successful revolution, and there never would have been a truly independent United States. Thus they would be anxious to remind their friends that while standing on principle is important, it does not guarantee success, and indeed sometimes there is nothing one can do to guarantee success. Thus I think they would tell us to remember that we are judged not by whether we win or lose, but by which side we ultimately choose, and by how hard we try relative to our abilities. Therefore what is more important than a collective declaration of independence is really the personal declaration of independence that every supporter of liberty must first make privately, and then try to live up to — the latter being, after all, a prerequisite of the former.

    In the 1990s, I once asked my late father who was a native Missourian and thus not excessively prone to diplomacy, the same question that is posed at the top of this page. His reply, which I have cleaned up slightly, was approximately this: “If the Founding Fathers could see the system that we have in place today, they would excrete bananas.”

    I would like to think that the things I have set forth above are a reasonable extension of the sentiment that he expressed to me almost 20 years ago.


  10. Blade says:

    What if they were alive today? Well for one thing, Adams would say “I told you so” …

    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    … but of course liberals would stop at the word “religious” and their brains, such as they are, would seize up. They would miss the entire point.

    Suffice it to say, they would jump into the nearest Delorean, return to 1787 to Independence Hall and start over. This time they would be armed with the knowledge of the future intentions of the parasitic liberal cancer, and they would be much more successful in constructing a limited framework for the federal government.

    Daydreaming aside, this is something we will have to do ourselves. It’s the last possible off-ramp on the road to a second American revolution.

  11. michael says:

    “If the people who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 were alive today, they would be vilified by the government and press, hunted down, and tried for treason.”

    This kind of unsupported comment is carefully designed to elicit a knee-jerk reaction. It only appeals to the emotions of those who think it must be true.

    But in fact if you look, you’ll find that most people out there have a thoughtful approach to the Jefferson-Hamilton divide, or the Federalist-Antifederalist split. Even today, these are proper subjects for debate.

    So Steve, I would suggest that if you want to support your assertion in some scientific fashion, you might produce even ONE page we can read, out of the many billions of pages now on the web, that says that our Founding Fathers should have been tried for treason. Politicians in particular take great pains to always honor those men and their ideas, whether or not they believe in them or even are familiar with them.

    • I take it that you have never actually read the Declaration of Independence?

      • michael says:

        That’s your page, Steve? Because your original comment was “If the people who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 were alive today, they would be vilified by the government and press, hunted down, and tried for treason.”

        Yes, I have read the Declaration. Now please tie it in, as I asked that you do, with your contention about contemporary Americans. We do not consider it to be a treasonous document but a statement of our aspirations.

        However, if you consider it to be a call to arms, I would urge that you march on Washington and demand a redress of your grievances. It’s the American way. It’s exactly the method used by people like the Occupy Movement.

        • squid2112 says:

          It’s exactly the method used by people like the Occupy Movement.

          Bullshit … The “Occupy Movement” (to call it a “movement” is a sad joke) is nothing the same.

          You are delusional and have no grasp of the events of our history.

        • michael says:

          Here’s the part where the Declaration addresses the rights and duties of the people when faced with an oppressive government:

          “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,— That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism , it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.— Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.”

          The only difference is, the Occupy Movement chose to use peaceful means, demonstrating to the government their desires that it govern better. The text of the Declaration strongly implies that armed action is an acceptable means for forcefully overthrowing an onerous government.

          Which method would you endorse, if the goal were to “alter or abolish” our current government? The ineffectual one? Or the violent one?

        • phodges says:

          Maybe you skipped the mostly non-partisan discussion started by Steve’s post, summed up nicely by this comment:

          righttimewrongplace says:
          July 4, 2013 at 10:53 pm

          …instead of the socialist collaborators, of both parties, which run our government now.

        • michael says:

          I guess I did skip that. I’m having some trouble wrapping my head around the thought that the Republicans in Congress are a bunch of “socialist collaborators”. Aren’t they the ones who want to choke the federal government until it expires?

          I would like more information on the thoughts and beliefs of people who consider today’s batch of Republicans to be socialists. Please, tell me more.

        • Almost half of the people in the US are on the government dole. This happened during 50 years of Democratic and Republican administrations.

          It really isn’t that complicated.

        • phodges says:

          The wealth redistributed to the working class is a tiny fraction relative to the institutional funneling of wealth from the working class to the corporate-financial elite…the bare minimum bread and circuses to keep the edifice of theft alive, the distracted masses from rising up.


          phodges says:
          July 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm

          Ah but you completely missed the point.

          It was a financial recovery plan….and the banks have indeed recovered!


          Notice that they gave all that money to banks, not to your purported Obummer base of working class, blacks, and illegals

        • Ben says:

          RE: michael – “Aren’t they the ones who want to choke the federal government until it expires? I would like more information…”

          In word only sir…

          Take a look at their deeds. Big spenders all…


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