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Martin Luther King, Jr: The Last Founding Father
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, January 16, 2006

It's been 230 years since our Founding Fathers — a motley collection of intelligent, passionate and courageous men — signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring that...
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
As noble a sentiment as that was, the Founders ultimately failed to follow through on the promise of equality under the law, and our nation fought a horrific civil war to reverse the worst effects of their failure.

Still, that failure was not wholly rectified until well into the 20th century when — "in the course of human events" — another intelligent, passionate and courageous man once again held those truths to be self-evident.


Like our Founding Fathers, Martin Luther King, Jr pledged his life, his fortune and his sacred honor. And, though he gave his life, he succeeded where the Founding Fathers had failed; that last measure of equality under the law was finally secured for all Americans.

For that reason, Martin Luther King, Jr stands on the same hallowed ground as the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He is the Last Founding Father.
 
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Well said.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Yes. Well said.
While there is no question that MLK was a Great American, and he will go down in history as such, this…
And, though he gave his life, he succeeded where the Founding Fathers had failed; that last measure of equality under the law was finally secured for all Americans.
Well, not all Americans.

This is not meant, by any stretch, to take away the monumental achievements of MLK. And where I dislike attaching the Gay Rights Movement to a day honoring this Great Man, I don’t believe that it is entirely out of bounds either.

The GRM, their goals and achievements, do not affect me or my family (to my knowledge at least: although, cousin Jimmy has raised a few eyebrows at holiday gatherings.) But there being a few, though minimal, rights and privileges that some Americans do not enjoy, prompts me and others to, not necessarily equate, but join the idea of liberty for everyone.

I realize that McQ’s excellent accolade is purely just that. And he, by no means, wishes to diminish current struggles by other minority groups.
I just wish to remind others that not everyone enjoys the same rights and privileges that most Americans enjoy.
But I digress.

McQ, very well put. And happy MLK day to everyone.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Actually Jon wrote that Pogue (we put our names at the top of the articles, old bud).

I too agree it is well said and add my appreciation, as well, for Dr. King’s work. I’ve actually seen and lived in the segregated south and I remember it well. Not a place I’d care to revisit. MLK made this country a better country and he deserves all the accolades we can muster in appreciation.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Actually Jon wrote that Pogue

Dammit. Never post before coffee.
Anyhoo,
Well put, Jon.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Yes, Jon, well said and thank you. I had never considered MLK as a "Founding Father" but now that you point it out it makes sense. Dr. King’s accomplishments make me proud to be an American.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I love this way of looking at him. Well said, Jon.
 
Written By: Ezra
URL: http://ezraklein.typepad.com
Outstanding take on MLKing. A true hero of the 20th Century.

—-Tom Nally
 
Written By: Tom Nally
URL: http://
It’s too bad, though, that so many of those ostensibly carrying on in his name have diverged so wildly from his stated goals.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Jon, I am fine with saying that he is equal to the founding fathers. But by giving him his own holiday, we are putting him above the founding fathers. The only other person to get his own holiday is Jesus (Christmas).

King was a great man who did great things, but he was just one man and as Neal Boortz pointed out this morning, this holiday took coercion by the federal govt. and the private sector to get all states to recognize it. Remember the 1996 Super Bowl in Arizona?

Very reasonable and intelligent people initially opposed this holiday in the beginning, but the usual crowd screamed "racism" in order to effectively end any debate on the issue.

King was a great man, but like any man he had his flaws. It would have been more appropriate to set aside a day to honor the whole civil rights movement in general .
 
Written By: Glen Dean
URL: http://nashvilletruth.blogspot.com
Well, not all Americans.
I’m not sure that the gay marriage issue is precisely equivalent, but I can see your point and I agree that we’d be better off if the legal distinction between hetero- and homo-sexual marriage did not exist.

But I’m a bit of a radical on that point. I’d go farther and argue that government ought to either abandon marriage altogether in favor of merely enforcing legal contracts, or at least recognize polygamy.
King was a great man, but like any man he had his flaws. It would have been more appropriate to set aside a day to honor the whole civil rights movement in general .
Perhaps so. My remarks dealt entirely with his place in history, rather than the actual holiday. I’d also like to see the government get out of the business of bestowing holidays upon people. I don’t really think it ought to be a function of government in the first place, and I’m quite sure that King’s reputation would have been fine without the holiday.

But that, like the marriage issue mentioned above, is a more fundamental argument about the function of government, rather than about King’s place in history.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
King was a great man who did great things, but he was just one man and as Neal Boortz pointed out this morning, this holiday took coercion by the federal govt. and the private sector to get all states to recognize it.

Well, what doesn’t take coercion from the Federal Govt. and the private sector? And Boortz has his head up his own ass.

Glenn,
There’s nothing wrong with celebrating Dr. King, despite his flaws. I mean, when Independence day comes round, are we to harp about Jefferson, Washington, and others owning slaves. No, we don’t. Well, at least most of us.

Perhaps like you, I’m a bit inconvenienced about the post not running or my bank being closed. (I just off the phone, after jumping through timely “press 1, now” hoops, only to discover that the offices were closed… argh, fiddlesticks).
But come on,
It’s the least we could do, Eh?
===================

But I’m a bit of a radical on that point. I’d go farther and argue that government ought to either abandon marriage altogether in favor of merely enforcing legal contracts, or at least recognize polygamy.


Agreed.
The government has no business codifying my relationship with my wife. Other than a binding contract between two (or more?) people of course.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
I agree Jon. King’s place in history as one the greatest Americans is secure.

Pogue I don’t have a problem with celebrating King. As I said, King was a great man who did great things. This country is better because of him. Your comparison to July 4th doesn’t match though. July 4th isn’t Jefferson Day or Washington Day. It is Independence Day.
 
Written By: Glen Dean
URL: http://glendean.typepad.com/christianlibertarian

 
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