The founding fathers were 'Elitists'.

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  1. Doug Hughes profile image61
    Doug Hughesposted 13 years ago

    There's an implicit understanding among teabaggers held by most Americans that this country was founded by regular folks. The associated superstition for teabaggers is that government has been taken over by 'elitists'.

    It's true that in America, a man whose mother is from Kansas and father from Kenya can get the best education the USA can offer and rise to the highest office in the land. I don't agree that Joe the Plumber is equally qualified even though he meets the Constitutional requirements.

    But I digress. The 'founding fathers' as to historians is a bit more precise than the slur 'elitist'. The list of the founding fathers is generally accepted as - George Washingon, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Hancock and Ben Franklin. Look at the elitist background of the group.

    Jefferson - College of William and Mary
    Adams - Harvard
    Madison -  Princeton
    Hamilton - Kings College - (now Columbia)
    Hancock - Harvard

    Only Washington and Franklin did not have 'elitist' educations.

    I'm not suggeting that to be a governor, member of Congress, or president, you NEED a degree from a top university. But the absence of an education is not a qualification or an assset. It's a deficit that has to be overcome. Could a colonial 'Joe the Plumber' have written the Declaration of Independence or drafted the Constitution?

    It's an axiom among this group that ANYONE could do better then our current crop of legislators. On a football Sunday, I might declare, "I could have caught that ball!" But I know pro football calls for discipline and a skill set I don't have. My car mechanic could be a brain surgeon - with the right training. But I wouldn't trust him to do surgery on me without it. Is politics in DC any LESS complex than pro football or surgery, particularly with special interests in the background making changes?

    But the teabaggers are convinced that effective government will be the result of term limits and perpetually electing rookies to national office.  It's a nightmare scenario. Had the formation of this country been entrusted to amateurs, as the teabaggers think, the United States would have been stillborn.

    1. JOE BARNETT profile image60
      JOE BARNETTposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      teabaggers want inexperienced officials it gives them more control.(is there hope)

    2. TeaPartyCrasher profile image64
      TeaPartyCrasherposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      In some ways they were.  I don't think the Founding Fathers ever wanted the US to be a large-scale, participatory democracy.  They wanted a government of a landed gentry.  One need only see how many of the Amendments to the Constitution concern voting.

      This idea of a ruling elite appeals not so much to the Tea Party types, but the Corps that they have folks like Beck and Limbaugh acting as mouthpieces for to stir the tea.

  2. profile image0
    girly_girl09posted 13 years ago

    How can you consider someone an elitist based solely upon their alma mater? It is important to note that the colleges you referred to were some of the only educational options back in the 1700's. There weren't thousands of colleges to choose from.

    1. Doug Hughes profile image61
      Doug Hughesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      If you do the research, you find most of the  the founding fathers also came from wealthy families which is why they COULD attend those colleges. I don't consider Thomas Jefferson or James Madison to be 'elitist'. I'm pointing out that they have the characteristics of the class that conservatives sneer at as 'elitist'.

      1. kephrira profile image59
        kephriraposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        An elitist is different from an elite person.

        1. Doug Hughes profile image61
          Doug Hughesposted 13 years agoin reply to this


          1. Ron Montgomery profile image59
            Ron Montgomeryposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            An elitist would own slaves...

            Crap! That one doesn't work, let me try again...

            An elitist would only socialize with people of his own class...

            Damn! Another miss...

            I'm gonna go watch football. mad

          2. couturepopcafe profile image60
            couturepopcafeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            An elite is someone who has attained a superior position in his field or who has otherwise achieved a high status due to his own actions or natural genius.  Being in an elite class means you are set apart by virtue of your achievements or abilities and are in the top percentile in your field.

            An elitist is a person you sets themselves above others by virtue of his own mind.  This person looks down on others without regard for any accomplishment. 

            An elite is a deserved class.
            Elitism is an attitude.

  3. ddsurfsca profile image72
    ddsurfscaposted 13 years ago

    I can only hope and pray that those in power today do not make the same mistakes as those who came before them.  I get sick to my stomach when I find people sitting back doing nothing but being critical of somebody doing something.  If our president has done nothing else, at least he has made the sleepy eyed americans wake up and take a look, and finally have an opinion about something.
    I just wrote a hub about this topic.  Society has become so lazy as far as our government goes, that they are like sheep, following one after the other, right into whatever they are told, and accepting it.
    What happened to getting upset about what is going on, and voicing an opinion to others, and doing something that will make things change, DEMANDING CHANGE, and that is what our founding fathers taught us by example.  If you dont like something, make it change, not complain, and point the finger as to who's fault it is, what happened to the freedom fighters that used to be in the heart of each and every american?
    Is there anybody here right now that can say they were responsible for getting something changed?  The government trickles down to the local government, which is right outside your door.  Have you gotten anything to change in your neighborhood lately, or hell, ever?  Stop complaining about the man who is doing something whilst you sit on your buns.

    1. couturepopcafe profile image60
      couturepopcafeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I'm pretty sure that's what the tea party is all about.

  4. Doug Hughes profile image61
    Doug Hughesposted 13 years ago

    One of the early writers for the New Yorker in the 1920's, Ellin MacKay, might well have been writing of the word 'elitism' when she said,

    ".. has its place in the elderly mind beside Bohemia and bolshevik, and other vague words, that have a sinister significance and no precise definition."

    The word is just a slur, an insult with no meaning unless some one can explain to me how coming from money and having a superb education was virtue in 1750 and a disqualification for public offfice in 2010.

  5. psycheskinner profile image79
    psycheskinnerposted 13 years ago

    They were wealthy and priviledged.  But, given that, they were remarkably non-elitist in giving the vote to all and designing one of the most tyranny-proof governmental systems in existence.

    Assuming all rich, privately educated  people have a certain character and attitude is a stereotype like any other.

    1. Ron Montgomery profile image59
      Ron Montgomeryposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Gave the vote to all?  No, not really.

    2. couturepopcafe profile image60
      couturepopcafeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      And I'm pretty sure they didn't give the vote to all.  But, yeah, the stereotype comment I do agree with.

  6. JOE BARNETT profile image60
    JOE BARNETTposted 13 years ago

    i think an ethical quality is required for the position as president. obama reflects this quality. bush was a good ol'boy. did favors for cronies, all short term gains for his buddies at the expense of the country. no ethical quality!

    1. couturepopcafe profile image60
      couturepopcafeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Give examples of favors, please.  I like facts.  I'm pretty sure Congress called a lot of the shots in both administrations.  I recall a Congress that sort of tied his hands a bit. 

      Having said that, I think the biggest problem we face today where our government is concerned is the money culture.  Striving for and attaining money has become the predominant activity - and not just in electoral politics.  It effects the issues raised and their outcome.  It's led some people to do things that are morally questionable.  It's changed the concept of public service.

      Private interests have influenced legislation for a long time but there was a time even as near back as the Kennedy administration, when government servants left office and went back to being lawyers or whatever they did before.  Now they go on to write books, become broadcasters or go on the speaking circuit. 
      I think term limits are a good idea - maybe 8 years.  That way some new idealists might have a shot at making effective changes - assuming they can withstand the pressures applied by their more saavy counterparts.

      1. JOE BARNETT profile image60
        JOE BARNETTposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        bush knew about and blessed ENRON . cheney on the board of haliburton had the war contract in iraq.  the vice president of the invading country has his company in iraq gettin the money.any ethical person would have called that conflict of interest, NOT BUSH! need i go further.

        yes we do strive for making money. we are capitalist and i'm all for that. what i'm not for is a company selling medicine that  kills people, selling rotten meat forcing people to work for nothing.having people pay for insurance then when needed cancel you.thats like a las vegas racket . . . isn't it? but they were makin money but at whose expense? whenever you hear them saying de-regulate something, just go back and check to see how it was . . . before the regulation. you will find nothing but economically abused,sick and injured people. so they made money but at the citizens expense.

        term limits could be good especially for the president. this was to eliminate a dictator. but before you decide on a result( term limits or not) first uncover the benefit and only then will you be able to decide.

        remember the right is being funded by big business now (since citizen unite decision) and to put a limit on the terms means that corporations control more easily wouldn't it? opposition would be no more than a bump in the road and who would benefit from that . . . not the citizens, i assure you.

        1. couturepopcafe profile image60
          couturepopcafeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I guess I never heard any evidence that W. 'knew' about Enron.  Cheney I did know about, though.  That seems to be the way to go in Washington.  It's like inbreeding.  They're all tied up in each other's business.  I still think you're being too hard on Bush and I still say Congress is the big stinker here.

          I heartily agree with the need for more ethics and integrity.

          1. JOE BARNETT profile image60
            JOE BARNETTposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            well i'm here in texas . i lived in the neighborhood of some of the enron guys. our local ymca was named after ken ley or the ken ley we would hear things that were local. geo bush has other SEVERE scandals that simply were squashed.laura bush left him immediately after his term ended, look up g bush and missouri city your jaw will drop and then you will understand the reason for condolisa rice and probably his seperation from laura.

            i see the right as gangsters or a mob with one goal in mind  . . .get away with as much as possible for as long as possible to make a dollar. then when discovered make up lies and confusion on the person that discovered it and say it was their fault. if everyone would think clearly they would remember this countrys gov't is SUPPOSED to be of the people, by the people and for the people not corporations

            1. couturepopcafe profile image60
              couturepopcafeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

              Amen to that.  I will definately look up the Missouri City thing.  What do you mean about Rice?

              I know, that's how I feel about the unions.  I grew up in a strong Italian community and family - Sicilian if you know what i mean.  The unions were strong back then and were run by the mob.  Don't discount it, it's true.  It was all about you keep your mouth shut and we'll let you keep your job.

              It's really gotten so out of hand now and huge to say the least that we may never get to the bottom of it.  Have you been to some of the other forums on this subject?  You should add to them.

              1. JOE BARNETT profile image60
                JOE BARNETTposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                well once you read the missouri city thing then you'll be able to figure out all the rest. if not there then look up g.bush and ft bend county. that should do it.yeah that keep your mouth shut thing only benefits the one racking in the dough. the unions were for the people hoffa and walter reuther worked tirelessly to get better and more rights for the working class and are the foundation for the fast growing middle class after wwII. it wasn't till after hoffa went to jail that the mob really took over. but the unions are a good thing

                1. couturepopcafe profile image60
                  couturepopcafeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

                  JImmy Hoffa went to jail because he was a crook.  He was stealing from the people he was pretending to help.  He was backed by the mob as was Vito Stamato.  He was a front man so when he was sent up it appeared that the mob took over.  They were in charge all the time. 

                  You brought up Texas, your home state.  I'll need to throw in New Jersey, my home state, land of the racketeers.  In the 1950s they were everywhere and they don't disappear that easily.  In road and building construction, casinos, trash collection, and the state capital.  Once the bloody days were over, they cleaned up their act and went underground.  Today they work through lobbyists. 

                  The Cosa Nostra isn't as strong today as they once were.  The Italians are out of the business but others have taken over in a 'smart' society where they can work through lobbyists and loopholes.  The corruption of American politics began long before George W. Bush.  I'm not sure why you are so against him.  As I've stated, the president doesn't really have all that much power.

                  Haliburton was not Cheney's company.  He worked their.  This is minor corruption, but corruption nonetheless. 

                  And please let's not talk about invading countries.  Remember, I'm from New Jersey.  You can see the Twin Towers from the Jersey side of the Hudson River.  The trek out of the city on that day was like a country of refugees trying to leave, all transportation was shut down, bridges were packed - and I do meaned packed - with people walking from New York to New Jersey.  People were covered in ash and fear. 

                  And don't you dare tell me we deserved this.  Those people did not deserve it.  Government is what needs to be brought down, not people.  Congress made the almost unanimous decision to go to war, not Bush.  I know you're passionate about our president.  I am, too.  But keep an open mind. 

                  I agree with you about the favoritism with Haliburton.  The same thing is going on in the current administration.  I'll have to look this up again because I forgot the guy's name but the office next to Obama's is occupied by a very close friend of his.  Dirty?  Maybe he was the best man for the job and highly qualified.  Maybe Haliburton was, too.  There probably aren't too many companies that can fulfill a contract like that.  I'm just sayin'.

                  I think you'll agree that both parties are funded/lobbied by big business, it's really not just one sided.  It's not fair to say that ALL of either party is dirty.

  7. fineyounglad profile image60
    fineyoungladposted 13 years ago

    You are one of the Worst Americans I know.  Go to Russia please.

  8. ddsurfsca profile image72
    ddsurfscaposted 13 years ago

    Did anyone become upset or outraged when Bush illegally was listening in on phone calls, and when somebody did blow the whistle he said it was a "matter of national security" and that they weren't really listening to any of the average citizens calls, but only those from some list that they had been investigating?  --(profiling)? 
    All that is fine and dandy, but did he not have the option of doing this legally, by following the ethical protocal in place for this reason, by simply getting a warrant?  No he was more for pushing his weight around and due to the fact that he was president, and it was easier to not do something about it, we ignored it and even the media who usually is all for pushing a smear campaign, simply dropped it.  As far as I know it is still happening, although somebody may have actually gotten the warrant by now.

    1. couturepopcafe profile image60
      couturepopcafeposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Actually, I did not get upset.  I believe it was a matter of national security.  I don't think profiling is wrong.  If someone fitting a particular description in a blue chevy committed a crime, then everyone fitting that description should be questionable and every blue chevy fitting the description should be stopped. 

      Yes, it is a little weird to think that our calls can be listened to at any time but I doubt they do it all the time.  A few bad guys' plans were thwarted by listening to calls.  I remember that.  It always amazes me that there is so much hatred out there that you would rather hate your own president for trying to find these guys than hating the bad guys themselves.  If he used a legal loophole to get the job done, so be it.  No president is perfect and few can make the right decision all the time.  War calls for pressing decisions.

      1. ddsurfsca profile image72
        ddsurfscaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        My point was not that I hated anybody, it was just pointing out that our president could have done the same job legally, but chose not to, but rather to not only go the illegal route, but to not even bother to mention it to anyone.  Just seems unethical and sneaky to me.  Ususally if something feels wrong, it is wrong.

        1. ddsurfsca profile image72
          ddsurfscaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          how long does it take, if you are the president of the USA, to get a warrant?  If it was a matter of not having time a pressing matter, was it not possible to go back a little later and do it legally?  It is black and white, right or wrong, there is no room to debate it, or make excuses.  Mr Bush was doing an illegal act.

  9. Cagsil profile image73
    Cagsilposted 13 years ago

    The founding fathers were Elitists.

    How many were slave owners?
    How many actually had a moral foundation?
    How many were Christian?(don't confuse this will real morals)

    The political parties in America are a joke. Congress and Business in bed with each other.

    Sure.....who really is protecting citizens?

    As for something that someone else said- "They gave it to vote for all"- this statement is an out-right misconception.

    The "elitists" control who was allowed to cast votes in the beginning. Even women were not allowed to vote. So please...

  10. ddsurfsca profile image72
    ddsurfscaposted 13 years ago

    It is difficult to compare then with now for multiple reasons, a couple of which are vocabulary which has changed, not the words themselves but the meanings have.
    As Cagsil pointed out, being labled a christian then as compared to now are two different things.
    As far as putting it to the vote, I am afraid that our government is corrupted to the point of no matter who votes it will be decided by the powers that be, no matter how many times the votes are counted in Florida.
    The words "and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." spoken by Lincoln, is such a different government than the one he spoke of that day, and the officials working in the governmentmental  capacity are doing a much different job than they were in that day, almost cannot be compared in the meanings represented.


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