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An Ovation for the Founders!
On the eve of our nation’s birthday, it is time to give a standing ovation to our Founders. When we look back at them, it is easy to view them in the context of today. But, they lived in a very different world.
First, these men had lived under a monarchy for their entire lives. To come up with a totally different system of government than had ever existed took tremendous courage, dedication and creativity. They were able to think and argue and struggle through the birthing process of a great nation. Their desire for personal, economic and religious freedom drove them, and has benefitted hundreds of millions of people since then.
Second, power is a heady thing. George Washington had many admirers who wanted him to be king – not President. Amazingly, he declined and walked away from his office as President after eight years. That was one of the first transfers of executive power in the history of the world that did not involve death, a military coup, or a major uprising of some sort. Subsequently, all of our Presidents have done the same.
Third, although not all of the founders were deeply religious, they all recognized the importance of Judeo-Christian religious traditions. They embedded scripture and religiously-based words and customs into the foundation of our country. For instance, both houses of Congress open with prayer and have chaplains available for counseling and planning memorial services. Traditionally, they have been Christian. The resulting system of justice, order, and truth – although imperfect – protects our citizens in ways rarely seen elsewhere.
Fourth, they learned to compromise and get along, even when they disagreed. For example, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were very serious political opponents. Yet, in the end, they grew to deeply respect each other. In a fascinating aside, they died on the same day, July 4, 1826 – the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
Often, people dwell on the imperfections in our founders, and in our society at that time. Many would like to think that they might have done a better job. I know it is unlikely that I would have. I am grateful for what our Founders accomplished. Thank God for them!
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend