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Founders were a liberal bunch

Published: Sun, December 12, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

Founders were a liberal bunch

Much has been said about what the intent of the Founding Fathers was when they wrote the Constitution. Those right wing conservatives would have us believe that they wanted a weak central government with all the power given to the states. They would have us believe that the authors of the Constitution were conservatives themselves and the liberals have weakened what the Founding Fathers wanted our government to be.

I take issue with the Right based upon how the Constitution was written. I believe all the writers of this great document were liberals through and through. Who else but liberals would have come up with the First Amendment granting us freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and the freedom to express it, and the right to present our grievances to our government? All freedoms that just irritate the right wing. Who else but liberals would have thought of the Fourth Amendment prohibiting unlawful search and seizures of our homes and papers and the right to be secure in our homes? Again a freedom the Right would love to see abolished. The right to a fair trial by a jury and to have a lawyer as stated in the Sixth Amendment sounds pretty liberal to me. The Founding Fathers protected these freedoms by requiring two thirds of the states to ratify any amendment.

Over 40 years ago while I was learning about the Constitution, my teacher spoke of George Washington’s belief that the government of the United States should be strong and centralized. The Conservatives have often stated erroneously that Washington believed the opposite.

Perhaps the American people should wake up and pay attention before the right wing conservatives rewrite the history of our country and the Constitution!

Tom Hall, Lisbon

Million-dollar question and more

For two years in a row recip- ients of Social Security are being denied an increase in their benefits.

Little did I know when I made plans for how I hoped to enjoy my “Golden Years” I would find them to be as tarnished as the pennies I’ve been forced to pinch.

I cannot believe the greatest country that I love and live in is in the position that it finds itself today. I find myself questioning why are so many Americans struggling to survive due to unemployment.

Why should people have to make the choice of buying food or medicine?

Why are there homeless sleeping on the sidewalks of our cities? Why are people prisoners in their own homes because of the high crime rate that could cause them to be robbed, raped, or murdered?

Why should any veteran who gave so much for our country ever be given shabby treatment?

The million dollar question: Why do those who are voted into high positions of power by “we the people” have no problem when it comes for them to receive raises, perks and bonuses (while the needs of those voters are simply ignored)?

While I may never be given the answers to my questions the one thing I am 100 percent sure of is whoever said “Life is not fair” hit the nail right on the head.

Mary Lou Jurina, Youngstown

Remembering the candy butchers

The photo of Vindicator col- umnist Esther Hamilton in the Years Ago column brought back memories. She was all dolled up to be hostess of her annual alias Santa Claus show at the Stambaugh Auditorium. No other local person had the “in” she had with businessmen, civic leaders and the public in general.

Esther had drafted celebrities called “candy butchers” to canvas the crowds for funds to help Youngstown area families. The result was thousands of dollars for the needy.

I got to know Esther as a 23-year-old announcer at WFMJ. I produced her weekly 15 minute radio show. Everything went well until one Christmas Eve, the 15 minute program, produced on a 15-inch vinyl recording, disappeared. I think she forgave me.

Ted Conner, Youngstown

Alcoholism isn’t a crime

Since when is it a crime to be a alcoholic?

In his column last Sunday, Bertram de Souza seemed not to see that Kelly Pavlik brought the right kind of attention to the Mahoning Valley with his championships. He didn’t lie, cheat or steal — he worked hard to achieve his goals.

Kelly has many supporters who hope and pray he will be successful in his rehabilitation. We won’t kick a man when he’s down. We’ll be in his corner, rooting for him.

Marie Jones, Boardman


1Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

The Founding Fathers risked their lives opposing punitive taxation and oppressive government. Libs want you to believe they favored it. Please read on an decide for yourself:

"My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."

"I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive."

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."

"Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it."

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes."

"Never spend your money before you have earned it."

"No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms."

"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time."

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."

"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive."

-Thomas Jefferson

"When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

"God helps those who help themselves."

"The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself."

-Ben Franklin

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible."

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace."

"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."

-George Washington

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21Marine(29 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Tom Hall liberalism represents everything that is wrong with our country. Your letter was well written but you inserted conservatism where the word liberalism should have been and vice versa. The American people are awake and have had enough of the loony left and all the destruction they have caused to this great country. You are right about one fact; 40 years ago is about the time our country started on the road to hell but hopefully Americans will get it "RIGHT"..Merry Christmas

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3walter_sobchak(2209 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Hall,
With no respect, you made a fool of yourself.
The First Amendment, as with the entire Bill of Rights, grant no rights to anyone. The rights already exist and are endowed to us by the Creator (God?). The Bill of Rights are guarantees that the rights already exist and cannot be infringed upon by the Government. How else to explain the Founder's inclusion of the Ninth Amendment?

George Washington, from my studies, did not desire a strong and centralized government that trampled on the rights of the individual. He was concerned that if the people, wholly or severally, objected to some portion or rule imposed by the Constitution, that the portion should be changed by amendment to the document, not changed by usurpation which could destroy the government. He also believed that the Constitution "was sacredly obligatory upon all" and, thus, this country would have no royalty that could do as they wish. Not a strong and cenralized government but a belief that the Law was king and that the Federal Government would have certain outlined powers and duties that were the supreme law of the land, controlling all.

Now as far as amending this most legal document, I'm afraid that you either missed that day inschool or you just didn't bother to read Article V. An amendment to the Constitution is approved by two-thirds of both Houses and ratified by the legislatures or conventions of three-fourths of the States. But, as a Conservative, let me scare you. Now that so many of the State Legislatures are being controlled by Republicans, if we can get two-thirds of them to agree to it, we can call on the Congress to order a Constitutional Convention with the express purpose of proposing amendments to the document. Then the Right Wing can wring our hands together and by lawful means (with Dick Cheney as our leader), mold the Constitution to outlaw Liberalism!

Please, don't embarass yourself with anymore insane and uneducated letters, you moron!

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4300(573 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Of course the Founding Fathers were the liberals during their day. The conservatives were all monarchists, even today a number of Tories would favor a return to a monarchist form of government (as opposed to the current system in which the Queen is largely symbolic).

It's pretty ironic that Walter's calling anyone "uneducated." Anyone with even a modicum of the US's historical context would know that the Revolution was led by liberals, and for most of our history we've been on the leftist side of governing. It's only been in the last 30 years that conservatives have been making inroads, for example the weakening of labor, increased gini co-efficient, lack of regulatory bodies, etc.

Great for investors, lousy for workers.

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5walter_sobchak(2209 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes, I would also consider you uneducated. If you want to use today's classifications, the Founders were mostly Libertarian. You want to define it by saying that since the Founders wanted a new form of government, they were Liberals, but that is far from the truth. They wanted self-government to be supreme, a concept that had not been tried in our world. Unfortunately, Articles of Confederation were insufficinet to address the needs of the many, so new rules were drafted wherein those areas that were best addressed collectively (armed forces, coinage, post office, foreign affairs, import/exports) could be managed countrywide. But, the collectivism that has emerged today is what current Liberals are all about as they believe only the government can solve our problems and all the money is theirs. (Read Kennedy-complex!)

But, when a letter writer makes factual mistakes, they are either uneducated or lying!

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Liberals do not edear freedom . They like to be held captive by big government . The choice of freedom demands that one does things for themselves to enhance their quality of life .

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7piak(508 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

I recall a prof of mine remarking that the English language of the time of the American Revolution didn't exactly mean what it means today. In the late 1700's the word "revolution" was more of a physics term, with the meaning being more like ROTATION back to an earlier time when man recieved his "rights" from the Creator and not by the leave of an earthly "sovereign".

A rereading of Forrest McDonald's "We the People" tells you something interesting about the people who attended the Constitutional Convention in 1787. They had experienced the failure of a Confederation type government. To that extent, the Federalists wanted a government with a "framework"; to jump to a conclusion that "big government" people were "Liberals" is a bit of a stretch. They really were seeking order in governing. Under the Confederation, the individual states could and often did ignore requests for monetary support to repay the Confederation's war debts. What the Federalists wanted was some form of government with enough authority to impose necessary taxes. The operative word is "necessary". At this point in time, many of the new states had learned that during the Confederation period, they could not stand alone economically. Their only salvation was in a strong national government BUT they still wanted the freedom to control their own state's destinies. The necessity for SOME regulation of commerce was apparent, but they certainly didn't want it to be micromanaged as our government does today it today. The delegates were libertarian to the extent that they would have resisted governmental micromanagement of their businesses or other economic ventures.

I think it's a stretch to consider them to be Liberals in any stretch of the word.
That's just my take on it.

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8300(573 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Stan-- Where on the political spectrum do you think self-governance was during the 18th century? I'm not trying to say that this a black and white issue, since viewpoints were hardly homogeneous during that time. What I will say is that the vast majority of Tories, also the conservatives at the time, left the colonies to return to the British Isles when it became clear that the Crown was going to lose.

As for whether they'd fit the Libertarian model, I wouldn't take that too far. While they might not have wanted a government that was overly powerful, most of the Founding Fathers also were disciples of Locke. The Social Contract is an ideal that is not highly respected by Libertarians. (Truth be told, Libertarianism was only able to become a school of thought once the modern state was already firmly established. Only then was life safe enough for some people to start demanding that the state play only the smallest of roles. The Dark Ages were still strongly remembered back then, and nobody wanted to go back).

Piak-- Unless you went to school at Grove City or Malone, I'd be surprised to hear a professor espouse a "rotation back to the Creator". Only Christian revisionists would push a thought like that. I suppose that a case could be made for the Puritans, but they were never a major force affecting the Revolution. Also, at the time, there was no such thing as an "earthly sovereign." The Kings and Queens at the time were assumed by many to be direct representative of God in charge of ruling their kingdom.

At the time they were labeled Liberals, because that's exactly what they were. I know that Liberalism has been successfully branded by Conservatives as embodying all that is "bad," but the actual meaning of the term related to individual freedom and rights, in addition to the ideals pushed forth during the Enlightenment.

Not that any of this will ever break down Stan's arrogance. It's a horrible combination; arrogance mixed with ignorance.

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9Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

So, the Founders opposed high taxes, debt, freely voiced their love of God, created and strongly supported the citizen's right to bear arms, respected man's right to property (ie, opposed confiscatory taxation), supported other individual liberties and fought a war against oppressive government, opposed the Federal government's role in a "social safety net" (see quotes above, many more available)....and these guys were libs?

I laugh at these feeble liberal lies....global warming...socialism would work here even though Europe is imploding and Hitler (National Socialism) and Mao "just didn't do it right"...entitlements stimulate the economy...the 2003 tax cuts were "for the rich"....

What are we going to debate next, if Lincoln supported southern secession? That Clinton and JFK were great husbands?

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10WarrenRicheyKid(167 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Revolutionary Tom Paine would put up a big fight if you tried to call him a conservative. He'd take it as an insult.

How many times does the word God appear in the US Constitution? Zero.

Our founding fathers looked aghast at the conservative, theocratic regimes in Europe. They wanted radical approaches to governance: the disestablishment of the Church, a free press,
and a government free from "entangling alliances" abroad. Frankly, these don't seem like modern conservative values.

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11Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

And now we have sunk so low as to have the tea (hate the black guy) party . The beginning of the end of this great County .

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12Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Remember the GOP came from the KKK

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13Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

It's hard work attempting to educate the libs.

From PBS.org (link provided below):

"...the Klan quickly became a terrorist organization in service of the Democratic Party and white supremacy. Between 1869 and 1871 its goal was to destroy Congressional Reconstruction by murdering blacks -- and some whites -- who were either active in Republican politics or educating black children."

In contrast, the GOP was formed as an anti-slavery party in the mid 1850's.

The Democratic Party platform in 1864 called for Union surrender from the Civil War and the continuation of the enslavement of blacks.

Democratic-Socialist Party = Racism


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14Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Read the history ruby . When the kkk when under most of them went into the republican party . And it is spelled jackass . Thank You

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15ojanet22(134 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

I can't believe there are people out there who believe that global warming is not a real threat to our planet. Yikes!

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16RealAmericanPatriot(56 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

republicans falsely believe that Lincoln would be a republican today or that members of the klan vote for Democrats.

I think Mr. Hall's letter is spot on.

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