Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Great Debate

Forget about your Abraham Lincoln.

Forget about your Stephen Douglas.

The greatest debate in American history was the one that transpired on this date back in 1776.

One one side, you had John Adams, the fierly little patriot from Massachusetts, bristling for an immediate declaration of independence.

And, on the other side, you had this much more urbane fellow from Pennsylvania: John Dickinson.

Like the folks from New York, the thought of outright independence made him nervous.

He was not an altogether unpatriotic fellow. A lot of folks forget that he teamed-up with Thomas Jefferson to draft a resolution to "die free men rather than slaves," declaring the causes and necessity of taking up arms. But, he also wanted to take a more measured approach to the British, proposing a confederation of the American colonies rather than outright independence from King George III.

Fortunately for freedom-loving Americans, Adams won the debate. Wish someone in the loyal opposition had his gifts in the current Congress . . .

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