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The Sound of Ideas

The Feuding Fathers

Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2010

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The Feuding Fathers Last month during a commencement address, President Obama appealed for civility during these difficult partisan times. However, the shouts of "You Lie" and name calling is really nothing new. Steamy, polarized rhetoric has been around since the days of the founding fathers, who set off plenty of political fireworks, often aiming them at each other. Thomas Paine called President Washington treacherous and a hypocrite -- and that was just what he said in public. Join us for an early jump on the Independence Day celebration with a look back at the way things really were and comparing it to the political rancor of today.




Alvin Felzenberg, Author, The Leaders We Deserved (And a Few We Didn't) & Writer, Lecturer, Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania
Jennifer Mercieca, Author, Founding Fictions & Associate Professor of Communication, Texas A&M University
Justin Vaughn, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Cleveland State University

Additional Information

The Feuding Fathers, by Ron Chernow, The Wall Street Journal

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Diane Suchetka 9:23 AM 6/30/10

Diane here in Cleveland Heights.
Insults were so much smarter in the past—and funnier, if you ask me.
I remember reading a biography of the Wright brothers in which one of them (I’m sorry I don’t remember which one)
after listening to a speech by a presidential candidate (again I can’t remember which candidate) proclaimed afterward “If he is an honest man, he ought to sue his face for slander.”
He made that comment in the early 1900s. Today, we would have just called the guy a &^%$#@! liar.
Diane Suchetka

Kirsten 9:39 AM 6/30/10

Not to take away from the fun of this show, but the history major in me would like to point out that to the founding fathers, they had risked their lives for the right to have their own beliefs and create new policies for a new country. What excuse do politicians have today - other than publicity?

dave 9:45 AM 6/30/10

The only government that we can trust in is God’s kingdom which is due to remove all other governments as prophesied in the Bible at Daniel 2:44

Zack 9:56 AM 6/30/10

Just a comment - I would say that Jefferson should be remembered for providing us many great quotes, while the Federalists provided us with a lot of great policy.


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