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What founding principles has America lost sight of? - April 15th 2017, 11:24 PM

In other words, what ideals and dreams that America was founded on have been forgotten about or overthrown by more selfish and violent ideals?

I don't mean to make this a thread about political stances and there's no right or wrong answer. Just, what do you think the USA was founded on that is now lost?

I'm making an art project based on the theme of "Forgotten America" and the way I interpreted that theme was that we've lost sight of what this country was really created for. Learning about the United States in history class, I remember hearing about how great and noble the founders and leaders of this country were, and how they fought to make America great in their eyes. Of course, not all our leaders have been magnificent, wonderful people or done amazing, selfless things. However, I think there's a great deal of respect to be had for the founders of this country and even gratefulness for what some of them have done.
I also remember learning about all the values and founding principles, and how they seemed so happy and inclusive. Of course there were times that the ideals of "...we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." didn't match up with the current events of that time. For example, during times of slavery. I'm basing a lot of my art project off of equality, using MLK Jr. quotes alongside the ideals of equality, just to show how far we've come. Something like that.

However, now you look at America and it's kind of a warzone within it's own borders. When it comes to leaders, it's more of a political battle between parties, fighting to see "who's more right". And our leaders, holy fuck. It's almost like they have a competition of their own, to see who can do the most shit behind the backs of the American citizens without getting caught. Don't even get me started on how distorted our ideals of equality have become.

So basically I'm just looking for interpretations, comparing and contrasting of how America has changed and what we've lost... hopefully more of the good, respectable things we've lost than the bad.
I'm using a lot of quotes in the project, so I would really appreciate it if there were any specific political quotes or quotes from American history that would be relevant to your take on this idea. As I said before, I'll be using MLK Jr. quotes and quotes pulled from the Constitution and Declaration of Independence to demonstrate how we've forgotten about the principles America was founded on.

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Re: What founding principles has America lost sight of? - April 16th 2017, 12:18 AM

Preface: I'm not American, never went to school in America, never been to America, and I only have an outline of knowledge about American history. It's why I generally prefer to directly refer to other sources than rely on my own knowledge. I do take interest though, and learn things on the fly.

With that said, these two links seem informative when I spent about 10 minutes looking through them (would take longer to read, and it's nearly 1am where I live now):

There is also one conservative political analyst called Ben Shapiro (whom you might have heard of already) who runs a show called the "Daily Wire". He is conservative, so it's reasonable to expect a bias when listening to his podcasts. The bias tends to be evident when he gives his opinions on things, but it's very difficult for anyone to accuse him of being deceptive in any way.

He has a lot to say on the topic of how American principles change and how it relates to the constitution / law, and I find it interesting to listen to. I thought you might as well, since you created this thread.

I would give you specific links to videos in which he talks about this specifically, except that his podcasts tend to be about current events, into which he incorporates his knowledge of the law, etc. One of his recent podcasts like this:

I hope you find some of this information useful. If I find time tomorrow, I might give a few opinions of my own under this thread.


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Re: What founding principles has America lost sight of? - April 16th 2017, 03:12 PM

Honestly, I think today is a return to what America used to be. Look at examples from the Gilded Age. Think about tar and feathering. Slavery. Etc. In fact, if you look at America today it's nearly identical to the Gilded Age. The problem is that America has always had this idea of "independence", "non-interventionism", and "laissez-faire" ideology. While these ideas sound great on paper, they don't translate to reality in the developed world. We left a country, and pushed out natives from this country, why? Mostly to avoid taxes. Then the founders set up a system to prosper and scam the English and poor. I'm not saying ALL founders were in this boat. But a lot of them were.

The issue I see is that too many people make statements like, "Oh, the founding fathers would have wanted it this way, or that way." But I'd rather ask the question, "Were the founding fathers even right to begin with?" Not to mention, the politics back then were even more divided! Let's not forget times where they settle it with pistol duels! We've never been "United." And just because they founded our country, doesn't mean we have to abide by their ideals, nor do we have to believe that what they've established is infallible. The constitution, ideology, etc. should all CHANGE to meet the standards of a modern world. Believing some document written a little over 200 years ago, back when they would have thought a computer is witchcraft, is a little misguided at best. An example would be something like the second amendment. Do we really think that the founders would have imagined weapons like assault rifles and nuclear bombs would be developed? Because if the second amendment is REALLY to preserve self-preservation against a tyrannical government, I should be allowed to have such things. BUT, shouldn't we be asking whether this is ethical? Is this amendment from 1791 really viable in 2017?

This is why, for me, I think libertarians and people who have originalists views really just need to be educated. It might've worked back then. But does it now? Do we really think uneducated politicians from 1700s have a better understanding than experts in economics, philosophy, science, history, law, ethics, etc. today?

I think we are where we are today is because people wanted something different. Trump promised different. Albeit a bad difference. But it's the same reason people supported Bernie. The problem is the roots of America don't support politicians like Bernie. But we're making progress. Don't forget, the U.S. has tried passing Universal Healthcare, education, and the like in the past 70 years or so before. It's just too many people are fixated on the past, and not what's viable for the future.

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Re: What founding principles has America lost sight of? - April 16th 2017, 10:39 PM

What do you think the USA was founded on that is now lost?
I'm an American so I say all of this with that in mind: America is not any worse than it has ever been. We have never been great. Our country was founded on the gravesights of Native Americans who we massacred and built on the backs of African slaves. Things haven't gotten any worse-if anything, they've gotten better. Because of technology we're more aware of the violence we perpetrate and because of that we may believe that "violence is getting worse" like the media may try to sell when really it's just being seen. But we've gone from slavery to continued racism, from Native Americans being slaughtered to losing their land to oil companies, and from women being property to objectified and victimized in other ways.

Things are improving, slowly. We've lost our overt marginalization and we now oppress more subtly, I suppose.

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Re: What founding principles has America lost sight of? - April 17th 2017, 01:38 AM

I feel like the founding principles of America are the Bill of Rights. That's what was most important to the founding fathers in my opinion because that's what they all came to a consensus on for the Constitution. For that article BDF put up for the 28 principles of the founding fathers, I found a flaw in almost every one (no offense to you BDF, just the source). A bunch of those included theocratic ideas that are directly contradicted by the secular government (the separation of church and state) that were set up in the constitution. If those principles were so important to the founding fathers, they would have put those principles into law.
The biggest principle that we have lost sight of in my opinion is a complete perversion of the freedom of speech. When it comes to actual speech and expression, I tend to think the US generally does a good job- shitty, controversial speech is usually allowed and peaceful protests are also usually allowed. There are exceptions to this, of course. However, freedom of speech and expression has come to mean in the US that MONEY is a form of expression. So apparently, giving a ton of money to your political candidate of choice in an election is a matter of speech, and not a matter of bribery. OF COURSE that's bribery. Its not speech, and frankly, who cares if it's expression; first and foremost, paying politicians to do what you want is bribery. This was probably so obvious to the founding fathers that it flew right over their heads. If they knew that rich people are using that idea to buy elections, they'd probably be bashing their heads against a wall. This idea keeps the US mired down because the people can't get popular, sensible notions passed, and it's also why Congress perpetually has less than 20% favorability; the lawmakers don't represent the people, they represent the rich. So to me, that's the biggest one. I don't have time for a larger discussion right now though.

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