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Forum Home > General Issues > Carmine's piece: A Media Circus

minuteman
Member
Posts: 3

I take issue with several unsupported statements in "A Media Circus: In Every Sense of the Word".  As anyone who has ever seen the musical 1776 (or read their history) knows, if the actual conservative Founding Fathers had prevailed in Philadelphia, there would be no USA. The conservatives were the holdouts who were against declaring independence and almost derailed the whole process. It took radical progressives to forge a new vision for their future based on a new system of government. Thus, the Founding Fathers were clearly NOT conservatives, nor was the Constitution they created. That was, if anything, a radical document, in that it was a novel departure from what was, at that time, the norm.  

November 16, 2011 at 3:59 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Carmine Torchetti
Site Owner
Posts: 9

First, let me state that the main idea behind the Constitution and the Founding Fathers was to limit the impact and size of government.  This is the greatest argument brought forth by any Conservative.  Secondly, the term "conservative" has changed as history has progressed.  During the time of the American Revolution, "conservatives" were those who desired to conserve the current order, the British empire.  These were not conservatives, as the term has come to be known in America.  In the current age, the term consevative is applied to those who want to conserve what the Found Fathers projected.  The meaning of the word "conservative" has changed political ideology as time has progressed.  So, you are right in saying that "conservatives" were against the revolution.  However, these weren't believers in the modern day "conservative" movement. 

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Carmine Torchetti "The Conservative Torch"

November 16, 2011 at 9:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

minuteman
Member
Posts: 3

The main idea behind the Founding Fathers was the repudiation of "taxation without representation" by seperating from England. A decade later the Constitution ratified this creation as a collection of states unified under a government whose power comes from "We the people".  It had nothing to do with "small" or "simple" government, which are ideas central to Tea Party conservatives. It was completely new kind of government carefully designed to ensure all voices were equally heard (just read the short preamble) . By any standards, such a radical break with the past could never be contrued as conservative. The impulse to graft such exceptional men onto the Tea Party's particular brand of conservatism (which might better be described as "political fundamentalism") requires a drastic rewriting, or willful ignorance, of history.

November 17, 2011 at 2:02 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Carmine Torchetti
Site Owner
Posts: 9

However, you just proved my point.  A new type of government that was against unfair taxation by the government and a government from "We the People" signifies less government.  If a government can't tax citizens without a citizen-representative, then this limits the power of the government to act on its own power.  Secondly, if a government is by the people, then it is controlled and given authority from the consent of the governed, and therefore governmental power is at the discretion of the people, once again limiting the power the government has itself.  It is about smaller government.  The Founding Fathers, in an attempt to break away from the control of England and from the opression of the British empire, sought a more controlled government with less opression for the people.  Since they were opressed by the British empire, they wanted to form a government that would limited power and form a system that gave optimum rights and powers to the people.  Once again, it is important to understand that the actions of the Founding Fathers were not "conservative" by the meaning of the word in the 18th century.  Conservatives back then sought to conserve the British empire, you are right.  However, Conservatives such as the Tea Party and conservatives in the modern day seek to conserve the principles of the Founding Fathers.  A conservative in general is one who wants to uphold the traditions and established order.  In the 1700's, that was the British empire.  Today, it is the Founding Fathers.  The term "conservative" has changed as American society has changed.  So, it is fair to say that the Founding Fathers were conservative, by the modern day term "conservative."  This includes limited government, as I previously explained. 

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Carmine Torchetti "The Conservative Torch"

November 18, 2011 at 12:20 AM Flag Quote & Reply

minuteman
Member
Posts: 3

Let me first say how much I appreciate the civility of our dialogue. What passes for debate these days typically involves no listening, whereas I feel you're actually hearing my points and responding with reasoned rebuttal. Which helps me deeper understand your positions. That being said, it’s one thing to point out, ironically, that certain modern conservative goals are similar to those that motivated the radicals of 1776. And it’s fair to emulate them by naming a movement based on those similarities the “Tea Party”. But it’s an error in logic to flip that around and presume, therefore, that they were conservatives. They were not, by your own stated (and universally accepted) definition. It’s only “true” if you close one eye, disregard history, and view them through the narrow lens of that similarity. But it’s a little like saying Eisenhower was the father of O.W.S. because he warned against the growing might of the military-industrial complex.

By taking such liberties (pardon the pun), you encourage readers to think the Founders would endorse your cause (like Mormons baptizing the dead into their religion), which, given the drastically different contexts, is impossible to know . And you mislead those who, unfamiliar with the complete historical picture, may extrapolate a portrait of the Founders quite the opposite of reality. In short, you slip into the realm of propaganda.

November 19, 2011 at 9:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Carmine Torchetti
Site Owner
Posts: 9

I do not feel that I mis-lead anyone with my statements regarding the Founding Fathers.  My viewpoint is simple, the Founding Fathers and the modern Conservative movement both have the belief in small, limited government.  Both the Founding Fathers and the modern Conservative movement belief in personal responsibility and individual freedoms.  Therefore, when I believe that the Founding Fathers would support my and others conservative's ideas, I feel I am accurate as we both desire the same or very similiar reality for the country.  I also do appricate the civil nature of our discussion.  If you would like, please feel free to call into the program and we can discuss this in great detail.  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the next broadcast is next Thursday, December 1st at 7:00 P.M. 

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Carmine Torchetti "The Conservative Torch"

November 21, 2011 at 12:59 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Doc
Member
Posts: 6

I noted minuteman's attempt to desparage the "radical" ideals of the founding fathers, which are now recognized as the basis of modern conservatism in the United States. No one called them "conservatives" back then and they probably couldn't imagine what Mormonism would become either. Looking back, with one eye or two, we would certainly call them "conservatives" by our modern day definition. If I want to call the founding fathers "conservative", I'm not wrong. Even as certain individual founders might have preferred a "king", the experiment in democracy was only that, an experiment. What it became as it was tested by actual practice, is what it really was and has become today. To single out one moment in time to label our founders and their evolving principles in any particular way, is simply not valid. And that is "Universally" accepted, but probably not "University" accepted.

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www.foxteeth1.blogspot.com/

December 18, 2011 at 7:11 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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