Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington. These are a few of the truly great men of our nation’s history.
What what is about that time, that place, which caused these great men to coalesce into a group that created one of the greatest nations to ever exist?
There will be many theories, probably more theories than there are historians. Let’s not dwell on those.
Instead, lets pretend that these were extraordinary men who came together under extraordinary circumstances.
Furthermore, let’s be reasonable about humanity. At any point in time there must always exist some number of extraordinary men. And women. AND Women. Yes, I always mean both!
That means that right now, at this instant, there are extraordinary men who could be the equivalent of Ben Franklin and George Washington.
If you are addicted to the news, as I am, perhaps you feel, as I do, that no one in the public eye has quite the same level of class or intelligence as any of our founding fathers.
So what went wrong?
Is it perhaps that today’s extraordinary men do things other than public service?
Or could it be that there is nothing today that these extraordinary men consider to be extraordinary enough?
What’s your theory?
Mine is that the men still exist. If we look hard enough, there is someone just as brilliant as Ben, eloquent as Tom, steadfast as John and as unselfish and unifying as George.
The problem is our system. Back then there was no system, no political parties, no entrenched lobbyists or industries looking for protection. There were no academics with false facts and no large voting blocks whose sole aim was to keep themselves in power.
No, back then it was just, them. Nothing kept these men of character and brains from tackling the problems of the time as directly as they could.
The sad thing is that, when I read the histories, you can see these ugly fences already being formed. Tom was one of the worst offenders. He was canny, tricky, and power hungry. His Democratic-Republicans became one of the strongest parties of all time for any nation. Men who liked the power were attracted to politics. Lobbyists were created, industrial guilds to protect industries. You can see them being born.
So the next time we salute our founding fathers, take a moment to secretly salute those hidden men (and women!) living today who are just as brilliant, just as patriotic, and just as honorable as the founders. Well, except for Tom. Guys like him still run for office.