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Disagreements The Founding Fathers Had

But myths become dysfunctional when they paralyze instead of inspiring. The cult of the founding fathers has become masochistic, since we call them to blame us for having such petty politicians. We put the founders on an imaginary base to look down on our own politics, as if they are despised. It`s all too easy to call Mrs. Clinton a non-Jefferson or to denigrate Mr. Trump as a sad declination of Hamilton`s airy height. We scourge ourselves not to risk our lives or property for a higher ideal. As a result, the label of the founding fathers, born in the nineteenth century as a quasi-religious and almost impressive appellation, has become a more controversial term in the twenty-first century. Becoming a U.S. citizen is not a matter of bloodlines or genealogy, but a matter of approval and acceptance of the values established at the time of foundation, which is of particular importance to the men who invented those values. Second, the U.S. judicial system links all pioneering constitutional decisions to the very language of the Constitution and often to the “original intent” of its authors. Once again, this legal tradition gives American founders permanent relevance in current foreign and domestic policy discussions, which would be unthinkable in most European countries.

Personal and political differences undermined the unity of the founding fathers and undermined their attempt to form a classical republic. These conflicts arose in the face of both domestic and foreign policy issues and irreparably divided the founders along partisan lines. . . .