"We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their creator with cer-
tain inalienable rights..."
Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence.
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought
forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in
liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all
men are created equal. Now we are...testing
whether that nation, or any nation so conceived,
can long endure."
Abraham Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address.
Not so many years ago, in a country so very near to where we are now, it would not have been necessary to defend the Founding Fathers on slavery. The men who made the American Revolution were deemed to have put black slavery at bay and planted the seeds for the recognition of black equality and for the eventual end of slavery.
I recall being taught to revere these men, giants of their time and for all time.
These men were genius revolutionaries of the highest order, who transformed the very fabric of the world. The Founding Fathers were exceptional intellectuals, brilliant scholars, and patriots who drafted the master plan for the world's first democracy since Athens. They designed the blueprint that inspired everyone who came after them. Their ideas represented the greatest quantum leap in societal evolution since the introduction of the New Testament.
Although indoctrination might be too strong a word for what I experienced, I do faintly remember reading, in elementary school, from a book about the lives of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Especially clearly I recall the stories, which seemed to surpass mere history or even folklore into myth, from Mason Locke Weems' The Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington. In reality George Washington, at 6'3", towered over the men...