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The Wisdom of our Founding Fathers

Updated on January 7, 2015

Our founding fathers were wise men and their quotes are as true today as they were when they were made. Two specific quotes from John Adams provided below and their application to our world today is a scary thought to say the least. The first quote provided below brings into focus about how it does not matter what we or anyone says it is the facts in any situation which impacts our lives. Below is the quote:

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

The recent scandals and events which have occurred in recent years points to a difference in what is presented in relation to the real facts which is now coming to light with recent investigations by Congress. Some examples involving the IRS, Benghazi and fast and furious have proven that statements made did not present the real picture of the facts and what has occurred regarding these events. These facts are now coming to the surface and efforts to spin the facts to the benefit of either political party are falling apart.

Another aspect of the above quote involves statements made by candidates about their opponents. Statements made about political candidates from both political parties are not always accurate or complete but the facts usually come out at some point. Facts and evidence in any situation cannot be ignored regardless of what any individual, groups of individual or organizations want to project to the American public.

The next statement from John Adams which is interesting is about the American Revolution. It made the statement the revolution was not about the war but it was in the minds of the people. Our views as a country on some issues can be seen through amendments added to the Constitution. While the principles on which this country was found our Constitution has kept up with changes in the minds of the American people on specific issues. While these changes may not be a revolution as in the beginning of our country they are none the less change. The recent election results with the sweeping changes in political power across the country including at the federal level amount to a revolution in the minds and hearts of the people. The quote which reflects this kind is presented below.

“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations...This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”

The recent efforts to restrict the right to bear arms engrained in the Constitution cannot be more eloquently stated than in a quote by Samuel Adams. He said: “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

The wisdom of our founding fathers again can be understood regarding the expansion of the federal government and its impact/control. Two specific quotes by Alexander Hamilton makes a statement as to the actions necessary to change the culture of Congress and what it calls a tyrannical use of powers. The quotes are below:

“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.”

“The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men.”

The second quote is directly related to the change in control of Congress in an effort to change the actions or inactions of past legislative sessions. Change not only the control but the philosophy of newly elected individuals in the Senate and the House of Representatives. It is hoped that new legislative actions or others that have been delay that will benefit our economy will see the light of day.

Our Constitution is the law of the land but at the present time much of it has been circumvented through legislation and/or executive orders which do not fall within the authority granted to the federal government. As Patrick Henry said in two statements

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government..” and

“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”

Government actions at all levels have restrained the ability of individuals and businesses alike to make their own decisions. The Constitution was created with the authorities contained within it to be a document to restrain the government not the people.

In addition to Patrick Henry two distinct quotes by one of the most famous founding fathers Thomas Jefferson refers to our national debt and the current overbearing powers of the federal government through laws and regulations. In reference to our national debt Thomas Jefferson stated we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt which seems to be ever on the increase without getting control of the spending habits of the federal government.

Another profound statement so true today as it was when he said it. He stated “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” We as citizens and as voters must put the fear in those who represent us that our liberties must be protected and if their actions attempt to restrict the liberties identified in the Constitution they can be replaced. We have seen a glimpse of such action with the changes in Congress from the past election of November 2014. In addition Thomas Jefferson stated: “The greatest [calamity] which could befall [us would be] submission to a government of unlimited


George Washington is another one of our founding fathers who is well known to most if not all of us if history is properly being taught in our schools. Two specific quotes from this founding father should be remembered by all of us. One quote says: “It is an old adage that honesty is the best policy. This applies to public as well as private life, to states as well as individuals.” A second involves the principle of truth. He said: “Truth will ultimately prevail where there are pains taken to bring it to light.”

The last series of quotes are from Thomas Paine. They are provided below:

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined, nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants. They serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides from an unarmed man, may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”

The above quote relates to the rights we have to bear arms in the 2nd amendment to the Constitution. Law abiding citizens should not be restricted from owning firearms. Creating laws to restrict or limit the ownership of guns will only harm citizens who will honor the law while criminals will pay no attention to the laws generating the restrictions. They will do what they want to do regardless of the law.

Another profound statement by Thomas Paine stated: ““A little matter will move a party, but it must be something great that moves a nation.” The last statement by Thomas Paine says: “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.” We cherish more what it took effort to achieve but if we obtain things too cheaply we tend to not regard the value of what we have achieved. When we work hard toward our goals we cherish reaching them. If we want something we must work hard to reach our goal.


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