It has been famously said that “If you don’t know what you stand for, you will fall for anything.”
Ask a random person these days to name some of our Founding Fathers and you are likely to hear Washington, Jefferson, and maybe Franklin. If you are lucky you might hear Adams, Madison, or Hamilton. If you really want to be discouraged, go watch some of the “Jay Walking” videos (here, here, and here)from the Tonight Show on NBC to see how abysmal the level of civic knowledge has become these days.
When the current discourse on American politics is based on a shallow understanding of only a few of the dedicated men that risked all for their new land, we allow the principles of the founding to be forgotten or dismissed. The more that we know of the principles and philosophies of the founders, the better able we all are to make decisions that will keep America a bastion of freedom and republicanism.
I am not suggesting that we all go back and memorize the list of names of all those that signed the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, or Constitution. Lists of names and dates mean very little. However, having that list and then choosing to read a little about a founder that we may not know much about can better arm you for the debate on the principles behind the policy. Take a little time. Learn a little more about why the Founders chose to do what they did. I’ll be doing this myself in the coming months and I’ll share some of their stories here with you.