Open Thread: Who’s Our Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, or Washington?

One of my favorite books is John Adams by David McCullough.  Last night on HBO a multi-part series began based on this book and the life of John Adams.   Whenever I study American history and the revolutionary period I am awe struck by the passion most of these men appear to have had for freedom and liberty; for doing what was best for the American people and not necessarily for themselves. 

This really struck home as I watched the show last night when the King of England decreed that any one in remote open rebellion against the crown would tried for treason and hung.  Each of the men in the continental congress knew this applied to them.  There was a somber and reflective mood amongst them as it sunk in that they were officially outlaws and traitors.  Yet rather than dispanding and sinking back into line with the British, they became united and the push for independence became stronger.

This got me to think about how fortunate we were to have such men at that time in our country.  I have no doubt that they were ordained by God from before the foundations of the world to be born when and where they were and to play such an important role.  Then I began to think about our situation today and compare our current crop of politicians and leaders with those whom I call the “big-4”.  The big-4 consists of George Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson.  These four people set themselves apart from the rest as the key players in America’s independence. 

Sadly,  when I look at our prospects todayI only see one leader that I would call a modern-day (insert-name here), and that is Gen. Petraeus.    He could arguably be our modern-day Washington.  Not that he will go down with the same acclaim or has accomplished as great a work as Washington, but he is innovative, a strong leader, honest, and rescued our military from what seemed to be a hopless situation.

However on the political front, I see little of note.  It disgusts me that our current choices for the next President are McCain, Clinton, and Obama.  We have a guy who has a terrible temper, drops f-bombs on capital hill interns regularly, and dumped his first wife to marry into money.  We have a lady who can’t be trusted, has been in more scandals than can be counted, and is as dirty as mud.  And a no-experience senator who refuses to take a stand on any issue really and rarely votes;  when he does it is usually after everyone else to see what side is going to win.  Really, I am extremely disappointed with the options we are presented and see no reason for optimism for the next 4 years. 

One  of the reasons I was such an ardent supporter of Romney is that I really believed that he wanted to help the country, it wasn’t a quest for power or money.   This is a country that needs fixing bad, especially with the economy, and Romney was the guy to do it. Not only that, but he is a good person, honest and a man of integrity.  However, now we are stuck with a bunch of candidates that are terrible really. 

Nevertheless, to find a silver lining, I would like all of you to propose which modern-leaders would you put into the category of an Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, or Washington?  Why?    These leaders can and should be from both parties as no one party has the exclusive right to good leadership or, conversely, scandal. 

So I will begin and the first one I can think of is Congressman Jeff Flake of Arizona.  Here is a guy who is principled and determined.  He does not sway with opinion polls and seems to genuinely care about the path our country is taking as opposed to lining his own coffers.   He may never become more prominent than a congressman, but I sure hope he does.    So who do you like?

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6 Comments

Filed under American History, Barack Obama, Congress, Democracy, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, History, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Politics

6 responses to “Open Thread: Who’s Our Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, or Washington?

  1. Ron Paul has the integrity, but unfortunately, the 21st Century is a totally different animal than the Founders dealt with.

    Politicians today must be charismatic and have marketability, in addition to solid integrity, sound understanding, and moral courage.

    Americans want to be entertained, and humble men and women of integrity are anything but entertaining in contemporary American society.

  2. Ron Paul has the integrity, but unfortunately, the 21st Century is a totally different animal than the Founders dealt with.

    Politicians today must be charismatic and have marketability, in addition to solid integrity, sound understanding, and moral courage.

    Americans want to be entertained, and humble men and women of integrity are anything but entertaining in contemporary American society.

  3. By the way Steve, how could you leave Madison out of that line up? You know, Father of the Constitution? 🙂

  4. Swint

    While Madison was certainly a key individual, I don’t consider him one of the big 4, besides much of the constitution was already laid out by Adams’ Massachussetts constitution.

  5. rationalzen

    I think that this guy [wikipedia] is one of our great modern leaders.

  6. Steve,

    My question is this: should we be looking at current politicians to find our “Big 4”, or should we be looking at people outside of the political arena? I think that our next set of revolutionary thinkers will come from outside the world of politics completely, in that they will have never held office before when they shake up our country.

    I also think that the big changes will be made through population reform, not government reform. The only way we’re going to get anywhere as a country is if we the people step up and enact change…we’ll be waiting a loooooong time if we decide to try to reform government to make change happen.

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