Too many people today don’t even know what’s in the Constitution, let alone why it was written the way it was. As a result, they are fooled by the argument that it is outdated and out of touch with today’s modern world. This argument is further enhanced by the claim that with advancements in knowledge we are able to improve on what our Founding Fathers originally wrote without the aid of hindsight, which we now possess.
The fallacy of this argument is that our Founding Fathers received a higher level of liberal education in their day than most of our colleges give today. Most of those who wrote the Constitution could read and write in Latin and ancient Greek and were required to read classical literature in its original language. Nearly all of them were schooled in prestigious colleges and many of them studied under renowned teachers.
Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, had a personal library that contained thousands of books, all of which were non-fiction and were of such scholarly work that most people today would be bored reading them. James Madison, the principal author of the Constitution, had nearly the same size library. After graduating from what is now called Princeton University at age 20, he spent most of his early adult life studying political science.
Because of their education the framers of the Constitution had thousands of years of hindsight from their study of governments dating back to ancient Greece and beyond, and were very familiar with the various forms of government that existed in Europe in their day, understanding both their strengths and weaknesses. More than that, they had firsthand experience with living under the heavy hand of tyranny, which is something that very few American academics of today can claim.
With deliberate forethought, the framers of the Constitution sought to create a government that would not only give us the freedom to live as we desired, but one that would not eventually descend into tyranny as all other governments in history had done. Those who now offer a so-called better form of government are offering nothing different from what has been tried and failed in the past. What the Tea Party wants is to continue following the wisdom of our Founding Fathers instead of the folly of today’s self-proclaimed elite.