Rep. Paul Ryan wraps his Ayn Randian philosophy of unrestrained selfishness in phrasing selectively lifted from the Founders, but the Republican vice presidential nominee misses the role of democracy and self-government in establishing human rights, says historian Jada Thacker.
As the U.S. Constitution reaches its 225th birthday, the democratic Republic that it made possible is facing extraordinary threats to its survival, at least as anything but a shell of its former self. The main culprit is a relentless assault by the super-rich and their political/media handmaidens, says Beverly Bandler.
Egypt’s moderate Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, is picking his way through hot political coals as a new governing system rises from the embers of the old. But his ad hoc constitutionalism is not unprecedented; indeed, it is how the United States was forged, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Claiming to speak for the Constitution, the Right has convinced many Americans of an upside-down account of what the Framers were doing – and timid historians have let these false impressions harden into conventional wisdom. Beverly Bandler says a vigorous and honest debate about this history is needed now.
Exclusive: America’s Founders were not marble statues, but rather real people facing tough challenges. To make ends meet, the esteemed Abigail Adams dabbled in black-market goods, and that kind of tough-minded pragmatism – not starry-eyed idealism – imbued the Constitution and guided the early nation, Robert Parry writes.
Exclusive: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney wowed a convention of gun enthusiasts with a flowery talk about the Constitution and his fears about what a re-elected President Obama would do to it. But Romney’s speech reflected an American history that never was, reports Robert Parry.
Exclusive: Orwell’s insight – that who controls the present controls the past, and who controls the past controls the future – could apply to the American political debate in which the Right has built a false narrative that enlists the Framers of the Constitution as enemies of a strong central government, writes Robert Parry.
Exclusive: The Tea Party has been fueled by the idea that key Founders, like James Madison, opposed a strong central government and thus laws like “Obamacare” are unconstitutional. But Madison was the framer who devised the Commerce Clause upon which health-care and other reforms are based, notes Robert Parry.
The dispute over requiring church-run hospitals and schools to cover birth control for female employees has stirred up longstanding confusion over what the First Amendment does and doesn’t do. Some on the Christian Right insist that it means religious doctrine can trump secular law, but Rev. Howard Bess says that’s a misunderstanding.
Exclusive: Rep. Ron Paul and other right-wingers have lured many average Americans into their camp by creating a false narrative about America’s Founding, claiming that the drafters of the Constitution wanted a weak central government. But that’s not the real history, Robert Parry writes.