The Functional Founders

There’s general agreement that today’s Congress is totally dysfunctional. Conservatives and Tea Partiers proclaim that, if we go back to the time of the Founding Fathers and adhere to the Constitution, life would be simpler and better for everyone. They want us to believe that, while the Founders disagreed, they were like an a cappella singing group, hitting different notes, but basically in harmony:

Hardly! As you’ll see in my book, Taxes, The Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels, there was at least as much discord then as now. The different sides held diametrically opposing views of what was good for this country. They were suspicious, calculating, devious, bull-headed, and hostile towards each other:

However, the conservatives are on the right track: For all their acrimony, the Founders were ready to get things done for the good of the country.

Eventually, scarred and battle weary, they produced a document solid enough to have carried us forward for over 200 years:

Imagine if today’s Congress were transported back to 1787 and were the ones responsible for producing the Constitution:

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About the Author

stan mack
stan mack
I used a reporter's techniques to create documentary comic strip series including "Stan Mack's Real Life Funnies," for the Village Voice, "Stan Mack's Out-Takes," for Adweek magazine, and "Stan Mack's Dispatches," for The New York Times. I graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, and was the art director of The New York Times Sunday Magazine. I've written a number of non-fiction graphic books including "Janet & Me," "The Story of the Jews," "Heartbreak and Roses" (with Janet Bode), and, with Susan Champlin, two historical graphic novels, "Road to Revolution!" and "Fight for Freedom." "Taxes..." was fun because i approached it like a reporter traveling back in time to cover the Revolution.

2 Comments on "The Functional Founders"

  1. Katherine C. James | May 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

    Well said: Words and drawings both.

    I keep trying to determine how we arrived at our present all-style, no substance impasse. Did Obama relinquish his mandate with his dream of across-the-aisle co-operation that let too many foxes into the hen house? Has our educational system failed us? Were we better off with Kennedyesque elites in cabinet positions? Are we proof that we get the government we deserve, and when our country ignored the warnings of the late, lamented, and estimable Molly Ivins did we allow Bush II to create a court that may destroy us?

    We did create a democracy through serious thought and blazing disagreement in the 1700s. We’ve refined our initial imperfect documents to include all men and women. But I see us dismantling our safety nets, starting a new war on women, and destroying our middle class. I’m willing to continue to fight for change, but I am becoming less certain of a workable path.

  2. Margreet de Heer | June 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm |

    Heh. Very recognizable, also for European governments…
    (at this moment, The Netherlands are without one, because ruling parties could not reach agreement)

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