This is a response to a July 5, 2011 article in “The Blaze” by Jonathon M. Seidl, “ABC News Tries to Trivialize the Founders…”
ABC News correspondent John Donvan should study history a bit before airing in error. Women’s suffrage was not an issue in 1776, for even regular citizens could not vote. Elections were held by aristocratic caucus or during legislative sessions. The abolition of slavery, the hotly debated human bondage issue set in stone for 100 years prior, threatened widespread economic calamity from the liberation of thousands of slaves who were the backbone of colonial enterprise. The sudden loss of essentially free labor would be devastating to the entire American economy. This serious issue seldom realized by our modern society, made emancipation a difficult political problem. Jefferson was instrumental, along with many founders against the injustices of their day, in realizing the gravity of the situation and set the stage for eventual universal voting rights and abolition of slavery. Change in deeply entrenched traditions always comes at a slow pace and no leader can perform social or economic lobotomy without creating disaster.
The founders wisely refrained from extremist action and smartly greased the wheels of reform in hopes the future would afford the necessary changes essential for a strong and healthy nation. Moreover, the founders were wary of strong central government for it could lead to the dreaded monarchy from which they risked so much to escape. Jefferson, as vice president, and again as president, struggled against many in government who desired adopting a monarchial system. In addition, Jefferson and many of his independence struggle allies had to fight against Alexander Hamilton and his political cohorts to ward off a considerable effort to augment the size and power of central government. In conclusion, one must take great care when assessing social dilemmas of centuries past, for those colonial leaders endured far too many pressures beyond our comprehension.
Jerry Clifford, the Word Guru
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