Have we veered from what the founding fathers wanted?

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

Harvey Mansfield discusses how we've strayed from the vision of the founding fathers.

Meet the worm with a jaw of metal

Metal-like materials have been discovered in a very strange place.

Credit: Mike Workman/Adobe Stock
Personal Growth
  • Bristle worms are odd-looking, spiky, segmented worms with super-strong jaws.
  • Researchers have discovered that the jaws contain metal.
  • It appears that biological processes could one day be used to manufacture metals.
Keep reading Show less

Don't be rude to your doctor. It might kill you.

Dealing with rudeness can nudge you toward cognitive errors.

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels
Surprising Science
  • Anchoring is a common bias that makes people fixate on one piece of data.
  • A study showed that those who experienced rudeness were more likely to anchor themselves to bad data.
  • In some simulations with medical students, this effect led to higher mortality rates.
Keep reading Show less
Credit: fergregory via Adobe Stock
Surprising Science
  • Australian scientists found that bodies kept moving for 17 months after being pronounced dead.
  • Researchers used photography capture technology in 30-minute intervals every day to capture the movement.
  • This study could help better identify time of death.
Keep reading Show less

Welcome to the United Fonts of America

At least 222 typefaces are named after places in the U.S. — and there's still room for more.

Credit: The Statesider, reproduced with kind permission.
Strange Maps
  • Here's one pandemic project we approve of: a map of the United Fonts of America.
  • The question was simple: How many fonts are named after places in the U.S.?
  • Finding them became an obsession for Andy Murdock. At 222, he stopped looking.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast