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Skeptical About The Founding Fathers? Maybe You Should Be

August 29, 2014

Former Congressman Ron Paul was the guy for me for the 2012 presidential elections, but unfortunately he did not win. Ron believes in limited government but admits that those ideas are not original. The idea of living in a free society under a strictly limited government, was the original spirit which gave birth to North America. “We owe our Founding Fathers a tremendous debt of gratitude.” says Congressman Paul. “They created a society based on the radical idea that the purpose of government was to protect the rights of the individual, preexisting rights granted by God rather than the state. For the first time in human history, a government was designed to serve the individual, rather than vice versa. This triumph of the individual over the claims of the state, the King, the collective, or society represents a great gift to humanity. The principle of a servant government is the ideal that made America the greatest nation on earth.” While I agree with these ideas I am not sure that the Founding Fathers agreed with them wholeheartedly.

I recently read a good book that you can purchase to the right of this article called The Renegade History of the United States written by Dr. Thaddeus Russell where he outlines that many of the Founding Fathers hated the fact that people in this country loved to drink and in the Philadelphia area there were plenty of saloons and whore houses. Benjamin Franklin and William Penn did everything in their power to change that behavior using their government powers. Dr. Russell argues that since its inception the United States was always run by moralist type of characters such as the Founding Fathers who wanted to change peoples behavior. With the freed slaves it was all about them behaving more white if they were going to be free. Add to the that the history that many immigrant groups have had to go through in order to become accepted as whites: Jews, Irish and Italians to name a few and it makes you wonder if being accepted for your ethnic background and lifestyle was ever respected by the Founders because certainly if they did, that energy was not left behind. I venture to guess that they did not because United States history has always been mired in a puritanical history of how one should and should not be, included with that was race.

For example, there was always this debate about the biological claims that Italians from southern Italy were Black or at least of African descent according to Dr. Russell. In Venezuela there are plenty of very dark skinned southern Italians and yet it has never been an issue in that country, but when southern Italians immigrated to the United States it became an issue.  I also believe that Italians like many other ethnic groups in the United States have gone through a phase of “blanquizando” or “whitening” of their ethnic genealogy even if its on a subconscious level and a differentiation between them and the African-American community. Just take a look at the history of animosity between Italian-Americans and African-Americans in the city of Philadelphia. There was a time when a Black man walking through South Philly or even Bensonhurst, Brooklyn was asking to get assaulted. Yet what we dont learn from school but we do learn from Dr. Russell in his book is that Sicilians and Blacks coexisted together in the neighborhoods of Chicago in the early twentieth century.

I believe I may be digressing a bit from my original point of this essay which is to ask the question: at what point in the history of the United States did the government not regulate our personal lives? Was it during Prohibition when it was mostly Italians who were thumbing their nose up at the government and were unwilling to live up to the standards of “good” North Americans?

I am not dismissing or neglecting that there was some wisdom in the writing of the Constitution and I do believe in the ideals proposed by Dr. Ron Paul, but what I am saying is that we may be giving way too much credit to the Founders. I believe we should accept the Constitution as the document that guides our nation which it should be but is totally ignored by our fascist government. I dont believe that North America is prosperous and free because of the Founding Fathers. I agree with Dr. Russell in saying that I believe our country has been prosperous and free through immigrant groups such as Italians thumbing their nose up at the government and via free market principles that we have more successfully practiced in the past than we do now.

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