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Question:  Have we veered from the intentions of the founding fathers?

Harvey Mansfield: We’ve veered away from our founding by, in some cases, ceasing to believe that a founding is possible.  Some people think that it’s not possible to have permanent principles or semi-permanent principles, but that everything changes with history.  And so you would have something called the living Constitution, or a kind of historicized Constitution that the progressives first thought of in the early 19th century.  Woodrow Wilson was a great example of that.  And I think that … I think that’s a very popular view today.  And yet when it comes down to crises, I think people look at our three branches of government, the separation of powers, the fact that we have a representatives for limited terms – all these fundamental things in our Constitution – and hold onto them and still … and still believe them.

Recorded on: 6/13/07

 

Have we veered from what th...

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