Founding Father: A member of the American Constitutional Convention of 1787. – Webster’s Dictionary
Independence Day is fast approaching.
Saturday marks the most consequential date in our nation’s history, the declaration in 1776 of our independence from England.
July 4 thankfully has retained much of its original meaning, which isn’t to say there won’t be some burgers burned and beverages imbibed. After all, it is a celebration of our birth as a country.
This Independence Day, however, will find at least two of our Founding Fathers spinning in their graves: George Washington, the leader of the revolutionary forces and the nation’s first president, and Alexander Hamilton, who fought heroically in the war and became Washington’s chief aide, adviser, and friend.
Oh, I failed to mention that Hamilton was the nation’s first Treasury Secretary and devised our country’s monetary system.
In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, Hamilton was “the most brilliant American statesman who ever lived, possessing the loftiest and keenest intellect of his time.”
Ron Chernow, who in 2004 wrote the definitive biography of Hamilton, describes him as the “foremost political figure in American history who never attained the presidency, yet he probably had a much deeper and more lasting impact than many who did.”
Chernow’s biography calls him the principal designer of the federal government, a battlefield hero, the leading author of The Federalist Papers, and as the first Treasury Secretary, he devised the fledgling nation’s tax and budget systems, Customs Service, Coast Guard, and central bank.
And this is the man whose image Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has decided to remove, or significantly downgrade, on the $10 bill? As a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1887, Hamilton signed the newly minted U.S. Constitution. Lew couldn’t carry Hamilton’s quill pen.
Is Lew attempting to devalue certain important aspects of American history, revise them, or both?
We do not lift up the contributions of some Americans – whether they are Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, or Susan B. Anthony, all being considered for the $10 bill – by tearing down the achievements of others.
This act to diminish a Founding Father on our currency isn’t just nonsensical – it smells blatantly political – as in, “politically correct.”
July 2, 2015