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Getting What We Deserve



link: http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17442

GORE VIDAL: Franklin understood the American people better than the other three. Washington and Jefferson were nobles – slaveholders and plantation owners. Alexander Hamilton married into a rich and powerful family and joined the upper classes. Benjamin Franklin was pure middle class. In fact, he may have invented it for Americans. Franklin saw danger everywhere. They all did. Not one of them liked the Constitution. James Madison, known as the father of it, was full of complaints about the power of the presidency. But they were in a hurry to get the country going. Hence the great speech, which I quote at length in the book, that Franklin, old and dying, had someone read for him. He said, I am in favor of this Constitution, as flawed as it is, because we need good government and we need it fast. And this, properly enacted, will give us, for a space of years, such government.


But then, Franklin said, it will fail
, as all such constitutions have in the past, because of the essential corruption of the people. He pointed his finger at all the American people. And when the people become so corrupt, he said, we will find it is not a republic that they want but rather despotism – the only form of government suitable for such a people.





When it comes down to it, many Americans love the feel of the lash on their backs — and on the backs of their neighbors.

-J.D. Tuccille

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