One thing that irks VUI about the Tea Party movement and the campaign of Nikki Haley for Governor is when they allude to the Founding Fathers of the United States being men who were somehow disengaged from politics and people that, like them, just showed up and found a better way. It is nice rhetoric for a candidate with little experience, like Barack Obama or Nikki Haley. It is nice rhetoric to throw at people hungry for something to believe in as they look around and see their lives so affected by the economy. But, it is simply not true.
Sorry. The reality is each and every one of the Founding Fathers of this country was plugged into to politics their entire lives. They held local offices, they led local political movements, and they wrote political opinions. Ben Franklin, for example, formed the first fire department and public library in this country. The Founding Fathers created the ideal of limited government, but that sprang from lifetimes of political experience. They also believed in competence, and feared that the people would get caught up in some movement that was beyond reason. That is why the idea of states’ rights, the Senate, and the Electoral College was created. Those safeguards, along with the concept of three branches of government were created to protect the people from themselves.
If you doubt that, read the Federalist Papers. There you will find smart men writing opinions about government free of campaign contributions, political parties or rock star like status of candidates. Our Founding Fathers wrote long letters to one another and to others explaining their views and their fears about government. They used their brains and their years of experience. Not a one of them was a newcomer to the political scene. Not a one of them was ashamed of being what we call today a career politician.
But, our politicians today do lack. Haley, for example, is an empty suit. It is doubtful Haley has read the South Carolina State Constitution, much less the Federalist Papers or the biographies of the Founding Fathers. She is not alone. Chances are most of those who are running for office embracing the ideals of the Founding Fathers really don’t know them. They spit out phrases written by political handlers that sound like something but really say nothing. That is South Carolina and America now. The Right has joined the Left in embracing emotion and feel good politics instead of thinking. Big money makes sure the right people are paid to give candidates the right words, so their narrow agendas can be met with, gulp, the help of government with their pet candidates elected.
Gone are the days of conservative thinkers like William Buckley, who spent his life studying government actions and how they worked and did not work. Gone are the days of politicians like Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, who now history shows read a lot, wrote a lot and thought out their positions. Now we have a breed of slick, well financed politicos who read from a script. The Democrats have the same problem. We are a culture that celebrates ignorance and inexperience in politics.
Think about it. If your car broke down on the side of some road far from home, who would you want to tow the car and work on it? Would you want someone that told you when they arrived that they were proud to not have experience working on cars or you want someone who had the knowledge and experience to fix your car and get you home? Would you want someone who was paid by this or that car dealer to not fix your car so you have to buy a new one? Why would you want anything less from someone who runs your government?