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Progressive Myths About the Founding Fathers, and Hating Whitey

October 27, 2009

Not everyone admires the Founders.

As a reflection of his rebranding as a “progressive,” Ed Schultz accused Glenn Beck of “Psycho Talk” for thinking well of the Founding Fathers. After Beck mentioned his appreciation of Samuel Adams, Ed lectured Beck that the Founders deserved no honor, because they were evil white men.

[M]ost of these Founding Fathers that you think so highly of were actually slave owners themselves, and the ones that didn’t own slaves weren’t exactly abolitionists…[C]omparing progressives to slave owners while idolizing actual slave owners — that’s “Psycho Talk.”

In his remarks, he also indicted the Founders for allegedly believing blacks were only three-fifths of a human being.

There are three problems for Big Ed: He’s wrong about Sam Adams; he’s wrong about the Founding Fathers; and he’s wrong about the three-fifths compromise.

First, in the segment for which Schultz raked the high-rated Fox News host over the coals, Beck referenced one Founder specifically: Samuel Adams. As David McCullough wrote in his bestselling John Adams, “When Samuel Adams and his wife were presented with a black slave girl as a gift in 1765, they had immediately set her free.” Oops.

Second, Ed misinterprets the three-fifths clause. I refuted the common-yet-erroneous belief that this was a racist law deeming a black man “three-fifths of a human” here.

EdSchultz-LookAway

Watch Ed Schultz exercise the First Amendment against the men who authored it.

Finally, Ed falls back on the old saw that, yes, some of the Founders held slaves. In fact, there were more than a few abolitionists among our Founders. This obscure fellow named Benjamin Franklin wrote a biting satire of slavery. Founder and Presbyterian physician Dr. Benjamin Rush ardently preached abolitionism. Alexander Hamilton (he’s on the ten dollar bills Senate Democrats stuffed into Ed’s pockets) hoped black soldiers would be recruited for the Revolutionary Army, but an essential part of the plan is to give them their freedom with their swords.”

The future Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Jay wrote in 1780, “An excellent law might be made out of the Pennsylvania one for the gradual abolition of slavery. Till America comes into this measure her prayers to heaven for liberty will be impious. This is a strong expression but it is just.”

Hamilton and Jay famously collaborated on The Federalist Papers. They also led the New York Manumission Society.

At the Constitutional Convention, several delegates expressed their hope that the Constitution would outlaw the slave trade. George Mason condemned slavery like a fire-and-brimstone preacher:

Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven on a Country. As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes & effects providence punishes national sins, by national calamities. He lamented that some of our Eastern brethren had from a lust of gain embarked in this nefarious traffic. As to the States being in possession of the Right to import, this was the case with many other rights, now to be properly given up. He held it essential in every point of view that the Genl. Govt. should have power to prevent the increase of slavery.

John Dickinson of Delaware counted it “inadmissible on every principle of honor & safety that the importation of slaves should be authorised to the States by the Constitution.” John Langdon of New Hampshire could “not with a good conscience leave it with the States who could then go on with the traffic.”

Maryland’s Luther Martin so opposed the trafficking that he tried to tax the importation of slaves.

Even some from South Carolina, like Henry Laurens the second president of the Continental Congress, came to oppose the peculiar institution.

So, too, did slaveholders Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Washington wrote among his “first wishes” was “to see some plan adopted, by the legislature by which slavery in this country may be abolished by slow, sure, and imperceptible degrees.” He declared, “I can clearly forsee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union.” Even Jefferson wrote, “there is nothing I would not sacrifice to a practicable plan of abolishing every vestige of this moral and political depravity.” The common image of the Deist slaver must contend with this quotation: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events.”

JeffersonMemorialBookOfFate

As Gen. Schwarzkopf might say, Ed Schultz “is neither a constitutional lawyer, nor is he schooled in history, nor is he a political scientist, nor is he thoughtful. Other than that, he’s a great historian and prescient talk show host, I want you to know that.”

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27 Comments
  1. October 27, 2009 3:46 am

    Further, it was the Yankees that wanted the 3/5ths provision – they feared that, otherwise, the South would have greater political representation in Congress.

  2. Jack Hampton permalink
    October 27, 2009 6:30 am

    What else would you expect from SGT. Schultz. The man is an absolute clown a joke.

  3. October 27, 2009 8:54 am

    Let’s not be coy about this. There are much more than just a few wacky leftists and progressives who think the U.S. Constitution is a bogus document drawn up by white hegemonic slave holders. They’d repeal it in a Michael Moore second if they thought they could get away with it.

  4. October 27, 2009 9:22 am

    Now that is a nice thing to wake up to! Thank you!

    You provide much detail the average citizen needs to know.

    I wish you had had enough space to insert a small explanation of the 3/5 clause. It is so unexpected to the “common-sense-wisdom” that you risk being accused of being racist by those who do not even bother to read your other piece.

  5. In the know permalink
    October 27, 2009 10:50 am

    So, let’s play the history game. Which party advocated slavery? What party was Lincoln’s assassin affiliated with? What party advocated poll taxes/tests and Jim Crow laws? What party gave us the IRS and income taxes? What party voted to raid the social security trust fund? That’s why their symbol is a jackass.

    • The Inquisitor permalink
      October 28, 2009 11:57 am

      Don’t go there In the know. You may be asked which party began the shredding of the constitution. There are a host of other questions one could list but you get the point.

      The notion that Republicans have been angles and Democrats have been demons throughout American history is not only false it’s counterproductive.The issues of liberty and rule of law are the issues that ought to concern us, not petty party politics.

      • In the know permalink
        October 28, 2009 1:50 pm

        Actually, that was this spirit of my post. The lefties pick and choose their “evidence”. My point was that they should know history before they try and use it against someone else. Only a “jackass” would pick up a firearm without being trained to handle it.

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      October 28, 2009 12:23 pm

      In The Know
      I disagree with Inquisitor I think your have some very good points but we should concentrat mostly on what lies before us but your right in that your comment refutes the democrat line.

      • The Inquisitor permalink
        October 28, 2009 12:44 pm

        Just curious, Jack. What do you disagree with?

      • Jack Hampton permalink
        October 28, 2009 12:56 pm

        About your comment not to go there. Nothing stops the democrats from going there. You have to respond to them if not all that people will hear is how rotten everyone else is and how great they are. I do not see anything wrong with pointing that out. They surely will. But it is not a big deal.

    • October 28, 2009 12:37 pm

      Right on In The Know. That is putting the jackasses in their place via factual history. I have to ask though. Why does the American Negro refuse to leave the plantation of these same Jim Crow Democrats, we now call libs, progressives, far left wing nuts, Marxist humanists, leftist radicals, etc. etc. etc, who keep them enslaved with their plantation welfare system. It is a tragedy when one of the house Negro’s rises up to lead the party and free world only to keep his people enslaved. Did you see the huge line in Detroit on Beck’s show queing up to collect ‘Obama money’. Hey, I rest my case.

      The Turban Torpedo

    • October 29, 2009 4:34 am

      Ooo, oooo, It was the Democrat Party?

  6. October 27, 2009 1:04 pm

    Great article Ben!

    As addendum this video explains clearly the reason why leftist liberals don’t like the founders.

    They want a Demoncracy, while WE want a Federated Republic under law!

  7. Michaelle Maloney permalink
    October 27, 2009 2:04 pm

    Ed is a continual idiot. I don’t label the lefties progressive-because they isn’t any progress with their ideas-but a big dead end and marxism! Its called REGRESSIVE.

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      October 27, 2009 3:10 pm

      You nailed it lady right on the head.

  8. shane comeback permalink
    October 28, 2009 2:47 am

    Ed needs to be darted and tested for rabies. That said, what do you suppose he would have done for a living,what would have been his mores,beliefs,had he lived in those times? I think he would have been around mercury quite a bit,perhaps as a hatter.A horsebarn mucker,maybe. He probably would have been a staunch Royalist.
    Everyone knows slavery was an evil,but what about our society will be considered evil 230 years from now? He is beyond arrogant to look down his nose at Jefferson,or Madison,either of whom had more intellectual power than Ed will ever be capable of. Grow up,Ed!

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      October 28, 2009 3:34 am

      Shane very good points. Not to mention the fact that slavery existed in this nation a much shorter amount of time than in many European countries. When the founders of this nation came together to form this nation it was probably the greatest confluence of genius in the history of the world I cannot believe it was by chance I believe in my heart that it was pre ordained by God and for a reason. I do not believe that reason has come full circle nor do I pretend to know what it is. I believe that there is a major role that God has planned for this country in coming events. I know that some will ridicule me but that is fine I accept that.

  9. October 28, 2009 7:30 am

    With each utterance of their hatred for American ideals as promuglated by the founders, leftist louts like Mr Ed. (actually the horse was smarter) dig themselves further and further into the whole of perdition.

    Let the American public hear their barking and howling lies, shout them from rooftops, while we point the finger and say look, another dog that needs worming and a flea bath;-)

  10. October 28, 2009 7:43 am

    I’m sorry, but there are a lot of leftists who admire the Founding Fathers. I’m fairly liberal and the Founding Fathers are among my heroes. I wrote two blogs defending the Founding Fathers and their attempts to abolish slavery here :
    http://angelolopez.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/the-founding-fathers-and-slavery-part-2/
    http://angelolopez.wordpress.com/2008/01/30/the-founding-fathers-and-their-grappling-with-slavery/
    Joseph Ellis wrote in his book Founding Brothers a chapter about the attempt by Benjamin Franklin to bring a petition to Congress in 1790 to abolish slavery and the fight of the Southern states to stop it. He thought that the “general welfare clause” (Article 1, Section 8) allowed the Congress to eliminate the slave trade and abolish slavery. Here is a link to the petition http://www.ushistory.org/documents/antislavery.htm. Sadly, Franklin died during the debate of the petition.

    Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Paine, Hamilton and almost all of the Founding Fathers were against slavery. I think the problem was that though most of the Founding Fathers were against slavery, most of them put forming the Union as a higher priority. The southern states were important to the victory of the revolutionary war and they threatened to secede if the country tried to abolish slavery. John Adams thought that progressive Virginians like Thomas Jeffersons and James Madison were the key to abolition because they were Southerners against slavery who might be able to persuade their fellow Southerners to an abolition plan. Up until the 1780s, Jefferson did try to get legislation through to stop the slave trade and gradually abolish slavery, but after the 1780s he basicly gave up and hoped the next generation would take up the cause.

    • October 28, 2009 8:08 am

      Thank you Anglelo! There are some sane people of liberal proclivities after all! You are dead on in your revelations of the truth about the despicable slavery that should have never been instituted in this country.

      You must be the least liked liberal in America, because you speak truth rather than pejorative and brainwashed rhetoric of the other liberals who come in here and act like imperious louts and rhetorical tyrants!

      La paz sea con usted y los suyos!

  11. October 28, 2009 9:59 am

    Actually, I’m fairly well liked among the liberals that I know. There are some leftists who disagree with me, but most of the liberals I know like some Founding Fathers while disliking others. It seems like many of my liberal friends like Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson while disliking Alexander Hamilton. I just got into a debate with a libertarian a few months ago about the Founding Fathers and slavery. He thought the 10th Amendment made it impossible for the federal government to do anything to abolish slavery, while I pointed out that Benjamin Franklin thought the general welfare clause allowed the federal government to take action against slavery, and that John Quincy Adams and Abraham Lincoln felt that the war powers clause in the Constitution allowed the Executive branch to abolish slavery.

  12. Curmudgeon permalink
    October 28, 2009 2:41 pm

    Tommy,
    Thanks for the link to You Tube presentation of Democracy vs. Republic

    • October 29, 2009 10:12 am

      No problemo sir! That’s what I am here for, to enlighten and educate!

      America Again in 2010!

  13. bob permalink
    October 28, 2009 3:41 pm

    My bet is that Ed. Schultz has never watched Glenn Beck. He has most likely never heard Beck’s radio program and he has not read any of the best selling books put out by Beck’s company. His show prep would be like me reviewing a Michael Moore movie. I’d just say the movie sucked because I don’t like the guy, never having seen the flic..

    • Jack Hampton permalink
      October 29, 2009 1:34 am

      I am proud to say I have never seen a Michael Moore movie and never will. I have read about them and listened to him. I do not want a dime of mine going to this loathsome individual. Call me small minded or just wanting to stay in my on pond but I am fine.

  14. October 30, 2009 11:53 am

    If it looks and talks like a liberal . . . it is a liberal. Ed Schultz is a liberal, and we know how malignant their views are. We have one for POTUS, surrounded by just as bad as Small minded Ed.

    The Turban Torpedo

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