Do the Founding Fathers Matter?

Many of us spend a lot of time looking to the founding generation for answers to contemporary political problems.

The left doesn’t care.

In fact, they don’t think the founding generation matters. Period.

You see, for years progressives have conditioned people to think of the founding generation as little more than a bunch of dead slave-owning white men who never believed in progressive ideals.

When it became clear that our side was making an impact by pointing out how the founding generation would have recoiled at the size and scope of our current government, they changed the game.

That’s right, they would say, and so what?

The United States was refounded in 1863 with Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and then codified by the “Civil War Amendments.”

Many scholars are starting to emphasize this point, including “conservatives” like Randy Barnett.

In other words, they would argue that we have been right about the founding–to the sheer horror of the Straussians and neocons–but that everything changed in the 1860s, just as the Straussians and neocons have argued.

That is why I have been hammering the point that if you put your faith in some fantasy Lincolnian “conservatism,” you get progressivism.

This is why the Michael Anton’s of the world will always lead us to more progressivism.

You can’t conserve a radical revolution, and that is exactly what the 1860s did to America.

I discuss this point on Episode 796 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

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