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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Michael Barone has a great piece on the continuing struggle between Founders and Progressives, and argues that the Tea Partiers have risen to embrace the Founders to oppose encroaching progressive ideas from the Democrats in power:

The Progressives' scorn for the Founders has not been shared by the people. First-rate books about the Founders have been best-sellers. And efforts to dismiss the Founders as slaveholders, misogynists or homophobes have been outweighed by the resonance of their words and deeds.

The Declaration of Independence's proclamation that "all men are created equal" with "unalienable rights" to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" has proved to be happily elastic. It still sings to us today, thanks to the struggles and sacrifices of many Americans who gave blacks and women the equality denied to them in 1776.

In contrast, the early Progressives' talk of an "industrial age" and an outmoded Constitution sounds like the language of an age now long past. Their faith in centralized planning seems naive in a time when one unpredicted innovation after another has changed lives for the better.

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