I have to tell you, dear reader, that I am learning some stuff about our "Founding Fathers," who should be called our "Founding Scoundrels." I have been trying to listen along to some fairly new biographies of all of them. So far, I've examined Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and John Paul Jones. John Adams is the only one, so far, who lived his life on a high moral plane. (I believe the beloved Washington was so boring, he didn’t have a choice.)
Most of them, including Adams, left their wives to rear the children and maintain hearth, home and the family income.
According to some pretty astute biographers, most were womanizers – a-drinkin’ and a-whorin’ as old Ben would say - and Thomas Jefferson was, in my opinion, a HYPOCRITE. Not just for keeping his slaves while saying all men are created equal – he did not even free them upon his death; they were sold to pay off his debts. Not even for fathering at least one (and probably all) of slave girl Sally Hemings’ children. Jefferson used surrogates to level brutal personal attacks on some of his best friends, including John Adams, when it was politically expedient for himself.
The point is: politics and most politicians have been rotten since Day One, and the miracle is that this nation has survived and risen above it through the years. Something is working, and that's a good thing.
The books, so far:
“1776,” David McCullough
“John Adams,” David McCullough
“American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson,” Joseph J. Ellis
“Benjamin Franklin: An American Life,” Walter Isaacson
“John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father of the American Navy,” Evan Thomas
“Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation,” Cokie Roberts