A new Rasmussen poll shows George Washington as our greatest Founding Father, up 11% from last year to 43%. He is followed by Thomas Jefferson (24%), Benjamin Franklin (16%), with John Adams and James Madison each at 5%.
Americans still are strong believers in the foundations of our American Republic.
Data released earlier shows that Americans continue to strongly believe in the nation’s founding ideals articulated in the Declaration of Independence. While most believe that governments derive their only just authority from the consent of the governed, only 23% believe the federal government today has such consent.
In fact, 45% believe that the gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and politicians who want to rule over them is now as big as the gap between the American colonies and England during the 18th Century.
I find it refreshing that most Americans still honor the Founding Fathers, not as perfect beings, but as inspirations that began the movement of freedom that has expanded to include women, blacks, and others seeking freedom and basic God given rights.
Still, it is somewhat disturbing that 77% of Americans believe that the government has gone beyond the bounds of the consent of the governed. Hopefully our federal government can catch the spark that seems to still be in the vast majority of Americans.
We are, as Pres Reagan noted, the “city on the hill”, even the beacon of freedom for all the world.
And as Pres Lincoln noted: America is the “last best hope on earth” for freedom. No other revolution for freedom up to the time of Lincoln had succeeded. The French revolution failed. The revolutions in Latin America had replaced Spain with despots of their own. Only America offered true freedom to the world.
And I hope that ours will not be the last generation to enjoy that freedom. Let us pray we do not extinguish the “last best hope on earth.”