Friday, February 10, 2012

The Founding Fathers didn't believe in policies--they believed in goals

we tend to consider the Founding Fathers' specific policy/government recommendations rather than the goals those recommendations served; so that under very different circumstances--like the world today--being smart, independent thinkers by and large, they might recommend very different specific policy points, because they cared less about the policies than about the fundamentals of each American having as much opportunity to actualize himself as possible, and government governing with as much fairness and efficacy as possible. 

It's like being a bush pilot. Your goal, coming in for a landing, isn't to fly in a particular way regardless of weather--it's to land in one piece. Absent crosswinds and other weather problems, you come in straight of course. But if you've got a 30Kt crosswind you'll come in with plane facing kind of sideways--hairy to look at from the ground--and then touch one wheel down while horsing the plane around to point forward so as not to snap the landing gear off or flip the plane.

The point isn't to come in in any particular way--it's to come in so you land safely, adapting your flying to the flying conditions.

Which is why I don't think either Jefferson, Hamilton or Adams would change their goals about the good life for Americans that they sought to support with their policy ideas--just that you gotta know the territory, to quote from The Music Man.

For example, they may have supported every able man having a gun in the house. By "gun" meaning, of course, a musket that takes at least half a minute to reload between shots, per barrel. Laws appropriate to a musket-level technology might be silly to insane in the context of an RPG/Mac10/SAW/50 cal. sniper rifle technology. And in a highly heterogeneous society like ours. 

So I'm only saying that the Founding Fathers seemed to be pretty smart. The rest follows logically.

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