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Dunce Shall Enflame Dunce
August 19, 2017
by William P. Meyers

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Founding Fathers Infighting in 1766 Virginia

I quote from "Prophecy from the East."

Party shall menace party, and dunce shall enflame dunce;

And it shall come to pass that the principles of judging shall be perverted: men's understanding shall be darkened; For this shall be an Era of Delusion.

Sounds like the Prophet nailed our era, and the Trump administration, if it even deserves the dignity of a word like "administration."

But it is actually from a Colony of Virginia newspaper in 1766. [See The Founding of a Nation by Merrill Jensen, page 204 for the full text]

That year's feud within Virginia, within its ruling class, and to some extent between its middle class farmers and the ruling class, followed the death of one John Robinson. The reason you have not heard John Robinson listed among our greatest founding fathers is not because he was not prominent and beloved in his time. For decades he held two offices in Virginia simultaneously. From 1738 to his death in 1766 he was both Speaker of the House and Treasurer. He was also one of the richest men in colonial America.

Upon his death outsiders discovered what insiders already knew: he had been stealing from the Government of Virginia with reckless abandonment. Virginia had issued several series of paper money. Each, after circulating for a time, was to be used to pay taxes, was to be replaced by a new issue, and then burned. Only John did not burn the cash, as was his duty. He instead leant it to friends, or used it himself. Lending it to friends helped keep him in power. They all knew if he lost power, they might have to pay the money back.

As far as I can tell, every era is an Era of Delusion. Perhaps it is true that some eras are more deluded than others, hence the difference between the supposed Dark Ages and Age of Reason.

Could we just admit that the Founding Fathers were not actually paragons of virtue. They tried to do a good job, they wrote a Constitution that includes some good stuff and some pretty bad compromises, and they died. They are not immortal. They were imperfect. And so is the Constitution. I would amend it, but its possible that today's powerful idiots, like Donald Trump, could actually make it worse. So caution is advised.



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