John Adams - Declaration of Independence

As I've argued before, the Founding Fathers were not this monolithic and unified myth of unanimous agreement we often fantasize or 'remember'. A lot of what they managed to accomplish (even the approval of the Declaration of Independence) was not simply the result of high idealism and selfless patriotism but of back-alley deals and political maneuvering (else we would have gotten rid of slavery from the start). Sometimes, as we all do from time to time, they did the right thing for the wrong reasons.

This is to be expected. Admirable as they were in many respects, they were still human, and prone to compartmentalization, opportunism and sheer disagreement... but that's exactly the point of democracy: that we work through our problems, that we enter the marketplace of ideas and choose from among the various proposals those that are best defended. We don't all need to hold the same ideas as 'self-evident truths', but we can discuss them and let the best ideas rise to the top.

Anyway, the following clip shows that the birth of our own nation wasn't immune to the pain and struggle that all births must endure:


And if you want more, check out the Founding Fathers' rap or this ballad of the declaration...
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