The Greatest Country in the History of the Solar System

by Paul Gottfried

Note: I won’t praise Paul Gottfried twice in one week. Instead, I’ll say how impressed I remain by Mr Obama. He is the least deranged President the Americans have had in my lifetime. Indeed, his handling of the attempted neo-con coup last summer was masterful – no Syrian war. Perhaps we should try for a black Prime Minister. SIG

The Greatest Country in the History of the Solar System

On the basis of a Fox-news poll last week, I belong somewhere on the far left (at least by current neoconservative standards). In what Fox describes as a “stunner” and blames entirely on you-know-whom in the White House, only 44% of Americans polled said that “they are proud to be Americans.” Even more shockingly, only 28% of the respondents stated they consider “the US to be the greatest nation on earth,” and no more than three in ten are willing to recognize “American exceptionalism.” In recent conversations with GOP loyalists, I learned that these shockingly low figures reflect the attitude of a president who dared to say in an interview in Strasbourg in 2009: “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believed in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believed in Greek exceptionalism.” What’s this country coming to if we all can’t agree on certain first things and above all that the US, with its vast government bureaucracy, centralized media and sprawling cultural industry, is the greatest thing in the solar system?

On Wednesday night I watched the All-stars on the Fox- evening news affirm with the solemnity of true believers that America is the greatest nation that has ever existed anywhere at any time. We are exceptional in a way that no collection of bipeds has ever before been. This is not only a new litmus test of “conservatism” but a belief that someone may have thought up in order to unify Fox-news groupies after the awful non-event in Mississippi on Tuesday night. Whoops, perhaps I shouldn’t have alluded to what was done to Chris McDaniel by Senator Thad Cochran and the Republican establishment in the Mississippi Republican primary! I mean the contest in which the party regulars got black Democrats to cross party lines to vote for Cochran, who promised more food stamps and close cooperation with President Obama. The GOP establishment ran ads aimed at blacks accusing Cochran’s small-government opponent of being a racist. This non-event, which hardly registered with the Murdoch press, is now being investigated for voter fraud, because it seems that some of the black Democrats who voted for Cochran against the “racist” McDaniel had voted in the earlier Democratic primary. Even with the open primary system that exists in Mississippi, one is not allowed to vote a second time.

But I’m glad that “conservatives” could put this behind them in order to focus on the declining belief in American exceptionalism. A Republican friend asked me why I couldn’t agree with the Fox-news’ credo, given that Kaiser Wilhelm uttered something similar about Germany at the height of World War One. Although I think the last German emperor has received an excessively bad press (and Churchill an extravagantly good one), I’ve never regarded Wilhelm as a tactful statesman. There is also a difference between the hyperbole that a war leader, surrounded by enemies, may engage in and a vainglorious assertion that is turned into the benchmark of American patriotism. How is it that I’ve never heard war veterans say anything even remotely as silly as what I’ve now been urged to profess? My late father-in-law was a paratrooper during D-Day and I doubt he ever said anything like what came from the mouths of the Fox-news Allstars on Wednesday evening. Yes I’m sure Senator McCain has said such things while trying to get us to bomb some Middle Eastern country. But then I don’t know McCain personally and I have no desire to meet him.

Allow me to explain why I couldn’t pass the Fox-news litmus test, even if I tried. As a child in the 1950s the only people I recall blowing air about American exceptionalism were insecure immigrants who wanted to be accepted as Americans. When I and my friends heard these individuals speak in broken English about this country being the greatest ever, we thought they were just trying to fit in. Never would I have expected to hear the families of the older settlers going on about America as the best nation ever. Later I heard prominent figures of the right praise certain aspects of the original American political design. But I couldn’t possibly conceive of any of them, whether George Kennan, Russell Kirk, Murray Rothbard, Robert Nisbet or Robert Taft, making the same noises as the ones I heard on Fox-news. Indeed these thoughtful figures were deeply troubled by the direction in which they saw the US moving, and they warned repeatedly about the loss of our freedoms and our once sound constitutional government.

But there is one group that is delighted with all the fatuous boasting in question. It is the neoconservative custodians of the GOP and the Republican media, who are both insecure in their identities and hell-bent on pushing us into new crusades for our supposedly exceptional values. Please check the relevant Wikipedia entry, which properly labels the doctrine in question as a neoconservative invention. GOP propaganda-junkies have absorbed quintessentially neoconservative bombast about why we are better than the rest of the human race. Needless to say, that special grace is supposed to bring with it the duty to make others like us, that is, to make them the way
we are right now, as enlightened progressives. After all Americans have undergone progressive changes that the neoconservatives delight in and we’re now being asked to engage in new military conversionary missions on behalf of what neocons believe makes us exceptionally exceptional. Let’s also not forget too that we’re a propositional nation that is driven by the foundational belief in universal human equality. That presumably makes us different from and better than traditional nations like the benighted Poles or unredeemed Estonians. We’re also (not least of all) the best nation ever because the neocons form a major element in our ruling class. If I were a neocon exercising their power, I’d be tempted to sing their tune.

Oh yes, lest I forget, I applaud President Obama for making an accurate historical statement about how empires at the zenith of their power view themselves. His observation on this topic is more reflective and more genuinely conservative than what I’ve heard on Fox. But I must express alarm that as much as 28% of respondents accept the identifiably neocon drivel about America in its present form being the best thing ever. I hope this figure isn’t as high as it seems and that some of the respondents were just trying to please the pollsters. I’m trying to repress the thought that millions of Americans actually believe what they say they do.

23 responses to “The Greatest Country in the History of the Solar System

  1. Hugo Miller

    The phrase ‘American Exceptionalism’ is generally mis-understood. In a nutshell, it describes a country founded by the people for the people, where everybody has equal status under the law. I remember a scene from a movie where the President emerges into his back garden to be greeted by Joe the (black) gardener with a cheery “Mornin’ Mr President”. “Mornin’ Joe” comes the reply. I know it’s just a movie, but the scene is quite credible. Can anyone think of another country in the world where such a conversation could take place? In the Vatican, for example, the gardeners have to make themselves invisible when the Holy Father appears, in order not to sully his vision.

    • Well I dunno. Compare it to England, where American black GIs and musicians were astonished to be allowed to walk in the front doors of houses and drink in the same pubs as whites. I can think of many other countries in the world where a statesman expresses pleasantries with an employee. I can think of fewer countries in the world that would have had signs everywhere banning that employee from various establishments on the basis of his skin colour, and still hasn’t got over a war it fought over whether black people are actually people and thus entitled to the same rights as real people.

      You do talk some cobblers sometimes, Hugo.

  2. Julie near Chicago


    “The phrase ‘American Exceptionalism’ is generally mis-understood. In a nutshell, it describes a country founded by the people for the people, where everybody has equal status under the law.”

    Perfectly stated. Thank you very much! :>))
    . . .

    And, of course, Mr. Obama does not admire such a country at all; in fact nearly his every act in office has shown his contempt for the American ideal that Hugo has expressed; as well as his contempt for the principles and strictures of our Constitution ( which he stated plainly in the 2008 campaign) and for our laws and legal system in general. This is easy to see if one will but remove the do-rag obscuring one’s eyesight.

    He has now announced, on at least two well-publicized occasions, that “La loi, c’est moi.” And he has made this abundantly clear in so many of his acts as Executive-in-Chief.

    It is difficult to see how anyone could admire such a person, if one has any interest at all in (political) liberty.

    He has also created or exacerbated mess after mess in foreign affairs and military affairs (including, but not limited to domestically, e.g. the despicable Official Reaction to Ft. Hood, and internally, e.g. the Benghazi murders, etc.).

    Would persons admire a king, prime minister, ruler under any title who exhibited such disinterest in, or — let us be honest — interest in the destruction of, his country?

    • What makes you suppose I care about the survival of the United States?

      • Julie near Chicago

        The Little King doth expose his littleness. No one supposes that Dr. Gabb cares about the survival of the United States. Not at all.

        But one does see that in praising Mr. Obama as “president” of the U.S., he shows his actual interest in libertarian liberty to be precisely zero. It is like praising Caligula (or even Augustine) in the name of Christian mercy, or even of Christian justice.

        For, to quote myself, Mr. Obama has said,

        ‘ … on at least two well-publicized occasions, that “La loi, c’est moi.” ‘

        Which is certainly the antithesis of the libertarian principle.

  3. The opening paragraph by Sean Gabb praising Frankfurt School Comrade Barack Obama was not meant seriously – it was just Sean being naughty again. It would not surprise me if Sean spends some of his time waving his penis at passing old ladies (hoping to shock them) only for them to laugh at him.

    As for the poll about the decline of faith in the prospects of the Untied States – yes I heard about it on Fox News (I believe it was only 44% of “liberals” who were proud to be Americans – not only 44% of the population as Paul Gottfried states), Fox News also reported that many CONSERVATIVES were also deeply concerned about the decline of the country.

    By the way I already knew about the claims about establishment GOP tactics in the Primary before reading this article.

    How did I know about these claims? I know because the claims were discussed on Fox News (Paul Gottfied seems to be implying that they were not reported).

    As for the stuff about an American Empire.

    As far as I can make out the major difference between “right” anti Americanism (this may NOT apply to Paul Gottfried – see my last few paragraphs) and “left” anti Americanism – is (or rather USED TO BE) that the “right” blame “the Jews” (or “the neocons” as the code term for Jews now is) and the left blame “the capitalists” (whether Jewish or not) and sneer at “right” anti Americanism as “the socialism of fools”. The left have changed track in recent decades and, under the mask of “anti Zionism”, have become radical anti-Semites (far more openly than the “right”) including leftists from Jewish families (indeed leftists from Jewish families go out of their way to show their hatred from Jews – I mean for “Zionist Neocons”). There is an old tradition of certain Jews turning into the worst Jew baiters – both “right” Jew baiters and left ones sometimes turn out to be from Jewish families.

    Actually there are such a thing as “neocons” (both Jewish and non Jewish ones) they believe that democracy should be spread into the Islamic world.

    An optimistic (if not positively deluded) belief – but not one I think many people on Fox News actually share.

    People like Neil Cavuto or Bill O’Reilly (and so on) seem to be more in the “Realist” tradition of – “if someone is an enemy wack them before they wack you” (in the New York – New Jersey sense of “wack” not the Britsh one – i.e. kill, not just punch on the nose).

    Not much neocon democratic idealism there. Besides “O’Reilly”, “Cavuto”, “Hannity”, “Kelly” (and so on) – it does not sound like a Jewish network to me, indeed “Murdoch” does not sound like a “neocon” name. Although YES Mr Murdoch is a “recent immigrant” (but he is actually from an old Protestant family in Australia).

    Most importantly this American “Empire” thing – what does it mean?

    Does it mean that America has an Empire – that it collects taxes from the colonies and so on?

    No it does not – no such large scale Empire exists (although there are a few islands under American rule).

    So what does this American “Empire” stuff actually mean as it does not mean a real Empire?

    It means the United States being the backbone of resistance to the Axis Powers during World War II and to international Communism around the world, after World War II, from Berlin to Korea.

    Someone might say “how can Sean Gabb not care about the survival of the United States – the United States led the resistance to the Axis Powers during World War II and to the Communist powers after World War II”.

    It becomes plain when one remembers that Sean does not actually believe that the designs of Adolf Hitler should have resisted – and nor does he believe that the plans of the international Communists should have been resisted after World War II.

    Under Sean Gabb – National Socialist Germany would have been allowed to do anything it wanted in Europe (in the deluded hope that Hitler, a man not exactly known for being trustworthy, would have kept his word and left Britain alone – if we agreed to betray everyone else).

    And under Sean Gabb there would have been no Berlin Airlift after Word War II and no NATO – Stalin would have been handed Europe on a plate (no CIA campaigns in France and Italy either).

    Again in the deluded hope that nice Mr Stalin would have left Britain alone – if we betrayed everyone else (no NATO, no Berlin Airlift, nothing).

    Sean Gabb I know only too well – Paul Gottried is just a name to me (I have never met him – he is just a name on books and articles) so I can not have a real opinion of Paul Gottried without more information.

    Sir are you in favour of or opposed to “Lend Lease” (i.e. American aid to Britain during World War II)?

    Are you in favour of or opposed to the Berlin Airlift after World War II?

    And are you in favour of or opposed to American support for the Republic of Korea after the Communist attack upon it?

  4. Hugo Miller

    It’s worth remembering that America was in a strong position to effectively take over most of the western world after WWII, just as messrs Hitler and Stalin had aspired to do. Instead of which they marched in as liberators and then went home.

  5. I am English and I live in a part of London called Whitechapel. That is significant. I shall be seventy-five in a few days. That is not particularly significant.

    All my life I have admired America, warts an’ all, and today it is still the only other country where I think I would be most happy to live. I have watched England’s political and social decline over the last sixty-odd years with dismay, and America’s too, but theirs for perhaps less than half that time.

    Today I get the feeling that I love America more than a fair slice of Americans do themselves. As for loving England, I am in a tiny minority in Whitechapel who feels that way, the majority in my neighbourhood now actually hate America and Britain.

  6. Paul Marks

    Yes Hugo – and more than Western Europe.

    As General Patton pointed out, in key respects Soviet conventional forces were badly organised – they could win against hopelessly outnumbered Germans who had run low on fuel and spares, but they would be no match for U.S. Army.

    And that does not even take account of the atomic monopoly that the United States had for some years. A.S. reports that prisoners in the Soviet camps taunted the guards “Truman is going to drop the bomb on Moscow soon” and the guards were so terrified they did not even shoot the prisoners for shouting this (they normally shot them for a lot less).

    Yet Truman did not use the bomb on Moscow – or the forces of Mao (thus condemning tens of millions of Chinese to be murdered by the Communists). The American government did not even support the 1946 conventional Manchurian offensive – indeed they demanded that it be stopped and that Chang engage in talks with the Communists (a fatal mistake).

    Yet it is the Americans (and the half American Winston Churchill) who are to blame for the Cold War – and everything else.

    It is absurd.

    • The Red Army, because of the purges, was unable to conduct a war of manoeuvre, they didn’t have enough skilled officers.

      So full frontal attacks with overwhelming numbers tended to be the norm even towards the end of the war, hence their appalling casualties.

  7. Paul Marks

    Badger – I am very sorry indeed for the situation you find yourself in.

    A cousin of mine lived near to Whitechapel till quite recently – so I know exactly what you are talking about.

    I hope you do not take offence, but I suspect that (like me) you are poor.

    So sitting in somewhere like Saint Augustine Florida watching the Atlantic, will have to remain a dream for both of us.

  8. Thank you for your kind comment, Paul, I am not at all offended, but no, I am not poor. Nor wealthy neither, but quite comfortable.

    I am actually very fortunate in where I live, only 5 minutes from Whitechapel station, because I live in a gated community which you may well know, E1 4TS. Google it to understand what I’m saying.

    When I bought my place in 1984 the whole area was white working class, some artists, a small Jewish community and a pocket of Asians running restaurants around Brick Lane.

    I left to look after my mother in Lytham between about ’98 to ’04 and on my return the whole area had become Islamised. Almost all of the pubs and all of the greasy spoons had gone, the market was completely transformed and now most of the time I don’t hear English spoken. The East London Mosque is 15 minutes walk away.

    Where I live is an oasis at the edge of what is effectively a large ghetto. Quiet and among my own people (though they seem to get younger every year!).

    The benefits just about outweigh the disadvantages, but if I were living in one of the estates or in a private flat I would have been gone at least ten years ago.

  9. Paul Marks

    I apologise for my error Badger.

    I had an aunt and uncle not far from you (in a council flat) they left (for obvious reasons) and retired to Westcliffe-on-Sea.

    Relatives in the East End who retired to Westcliffe – I am indeed a walking stereotype.

    The other side of my “blood” is equally stereotypical – a London-Irish lorry driver for Shell-Mex (my grandfather James Power – always with a witty, if not entirely true, story upon his lips);

    I miss my relatives (on both sides).

    I am glad you are able to visit the United States – good!

    If you visit New England this fall then raise a glass for both of us.

    I doubt I will be in Wicky Park (Kettering) then – most likely back to security work (if I can get it).

    Still I am doing fine.

    Off to Lichfield or Ely tomorrow – a friend of mine and myself have decided to visit somewhere (but we will leave east or west – to the toss of a coin).

  10. Paul Marks

    Red Army tactics.

    Quite correct Badger.

    They worked (just about – at terrible cost) against the hopelessly outnumbered and badly supplied Germans, but General Patton (quite correctly) argued that if they tried them on him, the U.S. Army would tear the Soviets apart.

  11. Apology not needed.

    You are absolutely correct about Patten. I wish Montgomery had had a little more go in him. He might have taken Caen on the 6th.

    But then, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

  12. Paul Marks

    Indeed Badger indeed.

  13. Paul Marks

    Of course I am still waiting (although I suspect I will be waiting for ever) for the answers to my three questions.

    Is Paul Gottfried in support of or opposed to American support for Britain in World War II (especially in the critical period around 1940s)?

    Is he in support of or opposed to the Berlin Airlift after World War II?

    And is he in support of or opposed to British and American support for the Republic of Korea after its attack by Communist forces?

    I know the position of Sean Gabb on all three of these questions – opposed. opposed, opposed.

    But then Sean (under his mask of patriotism) is anti British – indeed hostile to the West generally (although this was not always so).

    I do not know that about Paul G.

    I just do have enough information to form a considered opinion of him.

  14. The conceit of American exceptionalism is fairly typical of powerful nations; England was in much the same position as America a century ago and the English thought much the same thing.

    The problem with the American version is that it is particularly toxic as it is also bound up with the insanity of the Puritan settlers who literally saw themselves as “new Israelites” founding a “new Jerusalsem” after crossing the “Red Sea” of the Atlantic- resulting in a persistent American delusion that sees their nation itself as a quasi-religious entity with an evangelical mission, which they currently proseletyse with large amounts of munitions.

    The interesting thing for this century is that they seem poised to follow the same trajectory as England did in the last one. The English do have a great capacity for conceit at times, but also a great capacity for putting up with things and taking it on the chin, so were able to accept our decline with a certain pragmatic shrug. Yes, we lost the Empire. Oh well, let’s have a nice cup of tea and pull ourselves together and get on with things then.

    The Americans seem unlikely to be capable of accepting decline so easily, and I fear a last great spasm of toys thrown from the pram is going to engulf us in a lot of trouble before they accept being in the “can we afford an aircraft carrier?” bracket.

    • Julie near Chicago

      Ian, let me simply repeat Hugo Miller’s observation of 1 July, 2014 at 1:41 pm:

      “The phrase ‘American Exceptionalism’ is generally mis-understood. In a nutshell, it describes a country founded by the people for the people, where everybody has equal status under the law.”

      The fact that American governments, groups of people, and individuals have a less than perfect record in reaching the ideal domestically is an unfortunate side-effect of the fact that the country is composed of humans, who, famously, cannot even quite agree on what “perfection” would be in practice.

      The underlying idea has nothing to do with military might or success per se. Although we are, rightly I think, proud of our record on several practical fronts.

      • Julie, my problem here is that you and Hugo seem to be trying to say that what the term means to you is what it means in some general objective sense. Like me saying, “liberty (to me) is being able to smoke in a pub” then saying that’s the general definition of liberty.

        Every country is different, so every country is “exceptional” in some way. Switzerland’s unusual canton system for instance, is in that sense exceptional. But it is quite clear that the term is used to mean “special” in the same way as a spoilt child. And thus it tends to grate on other peoples (at least, some other people) in the same way as being told that little Tarquin is exceptional, when in fact he’s just spoilt.

        The thing that grates on me though, to be honest, is the deliberate confusion of a stated ideal with the actualité. Hugo’s example is a typical one. Writing “liberty” on a scrap of paper is meaningless. We’re talking about a country that hung niggers from trees for being uppity and banned beer, for fuck’s sake. Or perhaps more practically, a country whose particular homespun brand of petty authoritarianism is currently the greatest threat to liberty since Communism went tits up.

        If America really were exceptionally liberal, I’d be happy to acknowledge it. What I can’t stand is the hypocrisy.

  15. Julie near Chicago

    My answer to all that, Ian, is to suggest you re-read my comment.

    For my part, I get a little sick of the Cousins who keep railing at the U.S. for not being perfect in every regard, because they claim that we think we are. Far from it! But this IS the only country that was ever founded on a political ideal of liberty, and on the whole has done a great deal to put the ideal into practice. There is nothing of hypocrisy in noting this, and I am surely dreadfully sorry that the fact grates on you, but there it is.

    Oddly enough, I have recently seen somewhat of a spate of Brits being proud of British actions or British thought in various areas. Equally oddly, I found that encouraging. But then I believe that to be proud of oneself for doing well is important in nurturing the capacity to continue to do well; even if one has sometimes fallen far short of the mark and is well aware of it. Because failure of moral courage is a failure of moral self-confidence, and that tends to lead to practical failures of various sorts in the world.

    When we are tempted to do wrong (whether by an ethical or a practical standard–resisting the temptation to hoist just one more, say, or to bet just one more dollar at the track), it’s important to be able to say to ourselves, “but I can resist the temptation: I know I can, I remember last time, and I’m better than that.” So home to the wife & k., sober and not busted flat. This is a result of moral self-confidence, that we can trust ourselves to put reason or “common sense” ahead of the-urge-of-the-moment. Being able to remind ourselves that we have a track-record of doing well, and that we are up to doing well, is what allows us to develop self-trust and to go on being trustworthy.

    Also, all this talk of “American exceptionalism” is not intended for the ears of outsiders anyhow. It’s a thing that we family members say to each other, to keep reminding ourselves of what we stand for and try to live up to; to be proud of our ideals and keep our commitment to them strong. If you don’t like the results as overheard and misreported by our meedja outlets, and yours, and those of the whole swotted globe, then don’t listen and don’t read. It’s none of your business anyway.

    And in the case of a nation (as of a person) it is vitally important to retain moral self-confidence in the face of every type of enemy action: propagandistic, diplomatic, military; but especially the first, propagandistic. For convincing the enemy that he DESERVES defeat is the way to win the war with firing a shot, as I believe Sun Tzu taught some years back.

    As for YOUR, ALSO quite specific, usage of the word “exceptional,” it refers to the kind of “exceptionalism” that is true of every country, polity, society, group, or individual who ever was: they are or have been all alike in that they are or have been all unique in some way. Your usage of the term allows us to talk, for instance, of the Stalinist USSR’s “exceptionalism,” or that of, say, that of Julie Krauss, who has the attribute, unique in all of human history, of being presently located on the porch of a certain house, located at a certain unique co-ordinate on the globe, typing on a Mac laptop and wearing her father’s favorite blue sweater.

  16. Paul Marks

    The glory of the United States was not (as is commonly thought) the Declaration of Independence (a lot of the D of I is confused – blaming “the King” for what [taxes and endless officials] was the fault of PARLIAMENT, and even going on about “needful laws”, supposedly it was a bad thing for the King to refuse to sign the endless ravings of Colonial “legislatures” – the whole “legislation” fallacy that is so harmful- – James Madison and others warned about the vile legislation factories), there is good stuff (very good stuff) in the Declaration of Independence to – but it is mixed, the product of someone who was highly intelligent, cultured and well meaning, but NOT a clear thinker (step forward Thomas Jefferson – future misjudgement concerning the French Revolution already predictable).

    The glory of America was the Bill of Rights – the LIMITATIONS on government power. Far clearer than the British Bill of Rights (and clearly made superior to the President and Congress – none of this vile Blackstone “Parliament can do what it likes” stuff);

    James Madison took the various suggestions of the States (for example what is now the Second Amendment was most strongly pressed for by New Hampshire) and made ten clauses out of them.

    His work is not perfect – for example the Tenth Amendment should be the First or Second Amendment (and the word “specifically”. clearly present in the draft, is not there in the final text), but it is still glorious.

    In so far as the United States upholds the Bill of Right – America succeeds.

    And in so far as the United States does not uphold the Bill of Rights (including the Tenth Amendment – for the Federal government has no “police power” to control the lives of ordinary people, and may NOT finance “public services”) then America FAILS.

    A harsh standard?

    Certainly – but those who aspire to be exceptional invite such a harsh standard of judgement.

  17. Paul Marks

    I am tempted to say that Jefferson’s failure to understand how the British political system worked (blaming the King for things that were the fault of Parliament) was due to his lack of experience of the country.

    However, Jefferson was physically present in France during the horrors of the French Revolution – and failed to see the vital difference in PRINCIPLE between the French Revolution and the American Revolution (much the bafflement of John Adams who wondered how Jefferson could understand complex things, such as ancient languages, so well – but could not understand simple things that were staring him in the face).

    On slavery – both Jefferson and Madison failed (indeed they made the same mistake).

    Both assumed that it would be less difficult to deal with slavery later – that it would decline over time (so one should put off the hard choices).

    John Adams did not believe slavery would be made a less difficult matter by putting it off, and Ben Franklin begged people to strike while the iron was hot(whilst the founding principles were still being discussed).

    But warnings were ignored.