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Friday, September 11, 2009

Boys --boys!

FOUNDING FATHERS

Hamilton & Burr

Post revolutionary American politics, awash in rivalies and argument, precursed what goes on to this very day.

Then in America it was the Democratic-Republicans and the Federalists having at one another. It’s tempting to say the arguments were liberal/conservative contretemps but it’s impossible to sort the muddled political philosophies so neatly. Let’s simply sat that then as today it all boiled down to “I’m right, you’re wrong” on the one side and “You’re wrong, I’m right” on the other side.

Arguments became raucous, particularly between Alexander Hamilton (Federalist) and Aaron Burr (Democratic-Republican). It got loud. It got nasty. One could say that it got so that Hamilton had a Burr up his … It was a mean standoff.

How else was this stuff to be settled but by duel. Dueling however, as it oft does, worked out poorly. Hamilton became a literal deader. Burr’s political ambitions died. Such are the rewards of rancor.

A lesson for today (likely not to be learned) is that we have been reduced to Republicans on one side Democrats on the other and we’re arguing with ourselves. A benefit of argument, this writer believes, is that it beats getting out the guns and shooting.

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