Romney and Obama: ‘anti-Founders’
By Alan Keyes
This week, I read a surprising piece by WND‘s David Kupelian in which he asserted that people willing to accept the choice of evils in this year’s presidential election are following the example of America’s founders (“Beware the ‘lesser-of-two-evils‘ trap”). Kupelian notes that in order to secure approval of the U.S. Constitution, the founders compromised with the existence of slavery. He then asserts that “the Founding Fathers, by drafting, ratifying, and implementing the Constitution of the United States, engaged in the most monumental example in American history of deliberately choosing the lesser of two evils.”
I found the article surprising because its premise is a fallacy that I’ve had to deal with all my adult life. The founders did not choose the evil of slavery when they drafted the Constitution. To the contrary, they chose to plant, as the seed of American government, an understanding that acknowledges the true principle of right and justice for all human beings, which principle is the will of the sovereign God who created us. The founders then persuaded those who advocated slavery to accept a Constitution predicated upon this principle of justice, knowing that it would ultimately require the abolition of slavery. So, far from choosing the evil of slavery for blacks, they framed the Constitution with respect for the principle of government that recognized slavery as evil for all mankind.
The founders’ choice of true principle and the subsequent success of the American republic proved that successful government could be based on it. Before that, the protest against slavery came mainly from those forced to submit to it. They protested in vain. The right of government based on proven superior power (i.e., conquest) was considered unquestionable. Indeed, it was said to reflect the will of God (or in ancient times, the gods), who ordained and controlled the forces of nature and man’s fate.
Thus Mr. Kupelian appears to ignore the historically exceptional, even unique, nature of America’s founding. Until the founding of the United States, people who were themselves under the yoke of slavery had sometimes asserted and successfully battled to reclaim the good of freedom for themselves. But what people who had never been enslaved, and who had already won the war to preserve their own freedom, had ever gone on to establish a form government based on the principle of liberty for all mankind?
People blather on about American exceptionalism, but they seem never to remember that the profound truth of it lies in the nation’s exceptional beginning. Many claim to admire America’s founders but ignore what is clearly proven by the record of their deeds. The founders believed that they were acting for the good of all humanity. In order to pretend that the founders deliberately chose evil, Mr. Kupelian ignores their most remarkable conscious, deliberate, and courageous choice, which was to acknowledge the God-ordained moral equality of all people, who are by God’s will endowed with a mandate to do right that no humanly instituted government has the right to dismiss………………….