The modern Republican conservative movement has kidnapped the legacy of America’s Founding Fathers. They would have us believe that our Founding Fathers were conservative and that unrestrained capitalism and decentralized small government constitute the core principles of America. This is all a myth.
Our Founding Fathers tried small government with the Articles of Confederation but chaos reigned among the states. So we could function together as one nation, our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and formed a strong central government. Today’s conservatives would call this growing government.
In 1776, conservatives were Tories and loyal to the British crown. Our Founders were Whigs and promoted the philosophy of 18th century liberalism, and our U.S. Constitution is probably the most liberal document ever devised to build a nation upon.
The current concerns over economic inequality and unrestrained capitalism were also shared by American’s Founding Fathers. John Adams believed, according to Newsweek, that “A business aristocracy born of inequality would manipulate voters, create a system of subordination and, unless constrained, the rich would wield economic and political power that will destroy all equality and liberty.”
While a vast majority of Americans favor raising the minimum wage, the current conservative Republican Party is loyal to a business aristocracy that, like the British crown, feels entitled.