If the founding fathers came back to life

Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me

    Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me Jedi Lives Matter

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    i can't take credit for this thread idea because someone else created it in another forum, but I thought it was pretty good. Here's the questions posed.



    What do you think they would be most happy with how the United States is today ?

    And What do you think they would be least happy with how the United States is today ?
  2. Barack Obama

    Barack Obama Fresh Meat

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    Well, they'd have been surprised by my election as President for sure!
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  3. M. Bison

    M. Bison Philosophize w/a Hammer

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    You were 3/5 the man Trump is.
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  4. K.

    K. Sober

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    They would be shocked and dismayed at the amount of power accumulated in the office of the President.

    They would take several years to understand the modern welfare state.

    Free black people would surprise them a lot less than voting poor people.

    They would be disappointed by seeing the standing army, and shocked by its size.

    They would be surprised by the freedom of the press, which they hadn't conceived of when they wrote the First Amendment.

    They wouldn't understand why Internet Providers were privately owned companies, because they had specifically said that the Post Office was a function of the Federal Government.
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  5. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    The anti-federalists would be very, very dismayed.
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  6. Mrs. Albert

    Mrs. Albert demented estrogen monster

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    Most happy? Well they are men, so I'm thinking the at-your-fingertips porn situation would be a big plus.

    On the negative side, I imagine the current population of the US would be pretty overwhelming to anyone from that time.
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  7. Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me

    Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me Jedi Lives Matter

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    I'll take up the free press point. Madison actually did have a pretty good concept of a robust free press. I don't remember the exact quote, but he talked about a large public sphere where ideas were discussed and debated freely and would influence people, sort of like a internet message board. Basically the more newspapers, the more opinions, the more you can make informed decisions. Theoretically that's what we have, but the press has become so partisan that most people just pick a side and defend it to no end.

    One response I saw in the other forum was that they'd be happy with the abolition of slavery, which I agree.

    Hamilton would probably be mostly happy with the creation of the Federal Reserve.

    Franklin and Jefferson would like our inovations and inventions.

    Washington would hate political factions/ parties.

    Monroe would be happy with coast to coast expansion of the nation.

    Jefferson and Madison would hate the welfare state.

    Eldridge Gerry would be happy with gerrymandering.

    Okay, that last one was just a funny.
  8. Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me

    Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me Jedi Lives Matter

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    You damn right, especially Federal Farmer.
  9. 14thDoctor

    14thDoctor Listen here, Jack

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    Anyone with an internet connection has likely seen more naked women than all of their ancestors combined. :async:
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  10. K.

    K. Sober

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    Yeah, but the difference is he thought of it as an individual right of anyone to say publicly, and thus be printed as saying, their piece. That's not the same as introducing special privileges for members of the press.
  11. Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me

    Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me Jedi Lives Matter

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    Special privileges? Explain please. I agree with the first point though.
  12. K.

    K. Sober

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    Ever since American courts recognised a specific freedom for the press in the 1st Amendment, you could start a legal argument with saying, "I am a journalist and therefore --" or "The defendant isn't a journalist, and therefore --" or, "The defendant wasn't acting as a journalist in this case, and therefore --". That's a difference that doesn't appear in the 1st Amendment, and I daresay nowhere in Enlightenment thought.
  13. tafkats

    tafkats That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo! Moderator

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    They'd probably be surprised to see people insisting that the way the country worked in 1789 is the only way it should ever be.

    It'd be the equivalent of somebody insisting to them that the way governments worked in the 1520s was some kind of ideal state that should Never, Ever Be Changed.
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  14. Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me

    Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me Jedi Lives Matter

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    Yeah, Madison didn't envision that, but likely would support it.

    I thought you meant something to do with whistleblowers.
  15. Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me

    Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me Jedi Lives Matter

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    I'm guessing you mean strict construction interpretation of the Constitution? If that's what you mean, you're wrong when it comes to the Democrat-Republicans vs the Federalists. I.E. Jefferson and Madison in particular, believed in interpreting the constitution as written based on the writings of the founders. That's what Scalia called or associated with originalism. That's not to say that the Constitution can't change, but it should be consistent with the amendment process. They never thought things shouldn't change with the times.

    If that's not what you were referring to then please elaborate.
  16. M. Bison

    M. Bison Philosophize w/a Hammer

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    The journalist's privilege protects journos from being compelled to name sources and reveal confidential info.
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  17. Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me

    Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me Jedi Lives Matter

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    That's a good thing.
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  18. K.

    K. Sober

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    Why is it a good thing that this only applies to one subset of the population?
  19. K.

    K. Sober

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    This really demonstrates which parts of the past I have a hard time imagining seriously. So let me try again: Neither of those would surprise them as much as women voting and owning property.
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  20. Tuttle

    Tuttle Listen kid, we're all in it together.

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    Yup, all one of them (that one being your fevered imagination).
  21. M. Bison

    M. Bison Philosophize w/a Hammer

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    Several professions enjoy similar privileges, doctors, therapists, lawyers, etc. It's a good thing, in my opinion, when it encourages people to speak truth to power, without consequences. It's a bad thing when it encourages unverified allegations or outright lies, the most recent example being the Trump-Russia-dossier hoax, again without consequences.

    Ultimately, whether you prefer facts or fake news, this law makes our society freer and hopefully better informed.
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  22. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    Franklin loved whores and sought them out every where he went. Seriously, even as an old man he couldn't be in a town for 5 minutes without trying to find where the house of ill repute was so I suspect he would be disappointed that prostitution is outlawed in most states. That said he'd probably love the internet especially after he discovered free porn sites and places like backpage.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
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  23. K.

    K. Sober

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    It did for a while. I see cases now in which the logic isn't "you have the freedom to do X because you are a journalist/lawyer/doctor/priest", but "that freedom doesn't apply to you, because you're not a journalist/whatever". I think we need to reexamine which essential freedoms are now limited rather than guaranteed by focusing them on special professions.

    The Founding Fathers just assumed that almost anyone speaking their mind freely would basically be a somewhat affluent white male. That turned into professional distinctions. What each generation really wants is freedom for all, but the 'all' always turns out tricky in implementation.
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  24. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Banned

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    I agree with pretty much all of these. Jefferson would probably be appalled at so many people living in cities.

    Overall I think that Alexander Hamilton would be the least surprised and happier with the way things turned out thus far.
  25. Diacanu

    Diacanu Comicmike. Writer

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    All the righties that pretend to worship the founders would despise Thomas Paine for his religious views, and his ideas on welfare.
    They'd want him expunged from the school history books.
    Oh, wait, already have done.
    Or else, they'd try to revise history, and co-opt him as a righty, oh wait, Glenn Beck already did that bullshit.
    Yeah, you guys didn't miss a trick.
    You never do.
    Pat yourselves on the back.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
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  26. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    The problem with speculations like this is that we don't have a full picture of what shaped the Founding Fathers original ideas. We know some of what did it, of course, but we don't know everything, and it's probable that when they saw the modern world, their opinions might shift on many things.

    Take something like modern medicine. Back in the Founding Fathers' day, your barber was your also your dentist and surgeon, and people routinely died from things which barely affect us today. Can you imagine the look on Washington's face when someone told him that he would die from an infection which today is easily treated and that the bloodletting he asked for probably hastened his death? Show them operations which are painless thanks to anesthetics, custom-fitted dentures, dental implants, modern prosthetic limbs, heart-lung machines, dialysis machines, and all the other benefits of modern medicine and how would they react to that? Would they look at one another and say, "What a wonderful world we've created!" or would they say, "My God, they can do things we never imagined, should we have put a requirement for funding the sciences in the Constitution?" Or, would they freak the fuck out, scream, "The power of Christ compels you!" throw holy water on everything and flee for their lives? We don't know. We can guess, we can speculate, but that's all.

    I'd like to think that if you sat down with Jefferson and Franklin and showed them how easy it is to dramatically reduce the spread of disease using methods which could be employed in their time, that they'd add something to the Constitution to ensure that such things were always done, but I don't know if they would or not. They were men of science, but that doesn't mean they'd accept the truth of what you're showing them. After all, Einstein, for all his brilliance, rejected much of quantum mechanics because he found it too strange to accept. This was a man who was dealing with discoveries in his own time, and understood the topics better than any of us ever will, but it appears now that he was very wrong in his views towards quantum mechanics. Would the Founding Fathers do any better with technology far more advanced than anything they'd ever seen? I don't know.

    I'd like to think that Jefferson and Franklin would approve of our space program and be disappointed that we've not returned to the moon since the '70s, but I don't know. Perhaps they'd see it as something the government shouldn't have done, that it should have been a private enterprise which went to the moon and is sending robotic probes to explore the solar system.

    And what would Washington, who in his farewell address warned against foreign alliances, make of our involvement in two World Wars, and the military bases we have scattered all over the planet? Would he recognize that his advice might have been applicable at the dawn of the nation, but in a world where weapons of destruction can rain down on a place half-a-world away in just a few minutes or hours after the order is given, calls for at least some foreign alliances? I don't know.
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  27. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Banned

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    I don't worship the founding fathers. What they accomplished was quite amazing.

    For their time.
  28. Diacanu

    Diacanu Comicmike. Writer

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    If the founding fathers came back to life, serious answer.

    They'd be screaming in pain that death and decay hurts, and would be begging for the sweet return to oblivion, or the soothing ointment of human brains.

    Should have brought them here in a time machine instead.
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  29. Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me

    Obiwan-Can-Blow-Me Jedi Lives Matter

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    There were free black people that lived amongst whites during their time.
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  30. Dayton Kitchens

    Dayton Kitchens Banned

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    There was a good science fiction short story set in the 21st century called "Bushido" where a Japanese scientist, afflicted with a fatal hereditary disease courtesy of his American father and disgusted at the commercialism rampant in Japan brings Admiral Yamamoto forward in time (from before the Battle of Midway) and shows him what has become of Japan.

    He sends Yamamoto back with the information needed to win the war with the Americans. Unfortunately, Yamamoto is impressed with Japan in the 21st century and the moment before he is sent back in time says "We did win".

    Yamamoto subsequently changes nothing in the Pacific War. Including his own assassination by the United States.