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Obama’s Vision and the Constitution – Jeffrey Folks

08/14/2011

In To Begin the World Anew (2003) Bernard Bailyn writes that “the founders of the American nation were one of the most creative groups to appear in world history” (page 4). They were indeed a brilliant and creative group of thinkers, often espousing conflicting opinions but finding ways to arrive at consensus. And they were inspired by the grand opportunity presented to them by history: the grand chance, for the first time in human history, to establish a nation dedicated to liberty and economic opportunity for all its people.

Where, by this same standard, would one rank Barack Obama? Certainly, Obama likes to portray himself as bold and intelligent. In 2008 he received the support of two-thirds of those young voters who like to think of themselves as members of a creative class. To those on the left, his unwavering promotion of increased spending and higher taxes seems courageous and bold. Yet a comparison of Obama with the Founding Fathers — Washington, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton among them — reveals a lot about the current occupant of the White House. Obama is neither brilliant nor creative, and, as the recent budget crisis showed, he is incapable of bold leadership.

The Framers of America’s Constitution were divided on many issues, and they fought to defend the interests of their individual states. Of the 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention, three (Gerry, Mason, and Randolph) even refused to sign. Rhode Island did not even send a delegation. But, as a group, the Framers were mature, experienced men who had played a prominent role in colonial society before arriving in Philadelphia to write our Constitution. They were men of substance, both intellectually, morally, and financially. Having risked their lives and fortunes by, in many cases, signing the Declaration of Independence and participating in the Revolutionary War, they were men who truly had “skin in the game,” to use one of President Obama’s favorite expressions.

Read More at American Thinker.

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