American Minute with Bill Federer
The Constitutional Convention was in a deadlock over how large and small states could be represented equally.
Some delegates left.
Then, on JUNE 28, 1787, 81-year-old Benjamin Franklin spoke and shortly after, the U.S. Constitution became a reality.
“Groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights…
In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for Divine protection.
Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered.
All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending Providence in our favor…
And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?”
“We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that ‘except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.’…
I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed…no better than the Builders of Babel.”
Ben Franklin gave another address at the Constitutional Convention, 1787, titled Dangers of a Salaried Bureaucracy:
“Sir, there are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men…ambition and avarice-the love of power and the love of money…
When united…they have…the most violent effects.
Place before the eyes of such men a post of honor, that shall, at the same time, be a place of profit, and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it…
What kind are the men that will strive for this profitable preeminence, through all the bustle of cabal, the heat of contention, the infinite mutual abuse of parties, tearing to pieces the best of characters?
It will not be the wise and moderate, the lovers of peace and good order, the men fittest for the trust.
It will be the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions and indefatigable activity in their selfish pursuits.
These will thrust themselves into your government and be your rulers…”
Franklin explained further:
“There will always be a party for giving more to the rulers, that the rulers may be able, in return, to give more to them.
All history informs us, there has been…a kind of warfare between the governing and the governed; the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less…
Generally, indeed, the ruling power carries…and we see the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more.
The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes, the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans, and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure.
There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh-get first all the people’s money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever.
It will be said that we do not propose to establish kings…But there is a natural inclination in mankind to kingly government…
They would rather have one tyrant than five hundred. It gives more of the appearance of equality among citizens; and that they like.
I am apprehensive, therefore-perhaps too apprehensive-that the government of the States may, in future times, end in a monarchy…and a king will the sooner be set over us.”
Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.