What were the founding father’s major intent? Was it personal liberty or the building of an empire? Hamilton favored a strong national government; my opinion is that he would fit in quite nicely with our modern collection of scumbags, but even he could talk a good game when he needed to (see quote below). I just can’t see how those historical figures (particularly, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Washington, Paine) could be characterized as a group who envisioned that they were building a great imperial power, rather than a haven for individual liberty. Which would they favor? Compare them to the national leaders now. Give me a quote, a story, a verified fact, anything that shows the kind of trust in the federal (i. e. national) government that the power elites of today have, not to mention the yearning for more regulation by a large sampling of our current population (and when I say federal I mean national). I am not a historical scholar, but I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading the intent of the founders, and postings of the likes of Tom Woods, Thomas DiLorenzo, Brad Birzer, et al., and half my day searching for a snippet of an example that they thought a leviathan national state was a good thing. It certainly wasn’t their intent when they seceded from England. Here are a few quotes I found:
“if we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.”–Jefferson
“Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!”–Jefferson
“No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” Thomas Jefferson
“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers, may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual state. In a single state, if the persons intrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.” Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers # 28.
“…those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”–Washington’s Farewell Address 1796
First, read Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Thomas Paine, or Ben Franklin’s words, then try picturing their approval of an NDAA that allows for indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial, or 900ish overseas bases in 130+ countries, or of a federal government that can spy on its population with drones. Imagine what they would think as they were introduced to the modern NSA, CIA, and DHS. Hell, imagine how much coughing you would hear if they knew about a graduated income tax (look at #2 at this site, then read the rest…uggh!).
Frankly, I could care less at this point in my life what the founding fathers thought. I don’t necessarily need THEM to prove that individual liberty is more valuable than building an empire. OK, let me rephrase that: Individual liberty and free Human Action are the ultimate good for humanity and giant nation-states are a source of pernicious evil. You simply can’t have an overbearing national government and freedom, too. Pick your poison. You can enlist in the military, wave your flag, patriotically say you “Love America,” just don’t say it’s about liberty.
If you believe in individual liberty, then work for it, fight for it, spread the word and educate.
If you are not in favor of individual liberty, then at least be honest with yourself. You prefer the collective over independence. Stop waving the flag and saying you believe in freedom. The Stars and Stripes are NOT a symbol of freedom any longer…they represent something far different in a large portion of the world.
Oh, and if you prefer the collective over the individual you are horribly in error.