Bachmann Meet Ben Franklin

by Michael Sean Winters

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Yesterday, Michelle Bachmann was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos. He asked her about her claim that the founding fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery, a claim that does not pass the historical sniff test.
Bachmann not only stood by her remarks but brought an example. She cited the anti-slavery efforts of John Quincy Adams. To be sure, John Quincy was a great hero in the cause of abolition, but he was also nine years old when his dad signed the Declaration of Independence. What can we conclude from this? Bachmann saw the movie "Amistad."
Before the next interview, Bachmann should acquiant herself with Benjamin Franklin who actually was a founding father and also, in his later years, became a fierce opponent of slavery and champion of abolition. Of course, he did not force his views on his fellows at the Constitutional Convention, recognizing that a fight over slavery would divide the young country. But he estabished a society to propagate his abolitionist views and, by democratic means, set the country on a course that would end the horrible injustice in its midst. Unfortunately, it required a great and terrible Civil War to finally end the scourge, but that is another story.

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