Modern leaders should take a lesson from Franklin


Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 at 10:07 p.m.
While reading Walter Isaacson's biography of Benjamin Franklin I found myself wondering once again as to why we are so far afield from our framer's words and intentions.
After the signing of the Constitution he addressed the convention with the following: "I confess that I do not entirely approve this Constitution at present, but sir, I am not sure that I shall never approve it. For, having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller considerations, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.... Most men, indeed as well as most sects in religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that wherever others differ from them, it is so far error."
It was in light of this that he approved of the Constitution as the best possible solution but not without fault.
One cannot fall on the argument that his was a lone voice. Had that been the case the Constitution would never have been agreed upon by the majority of the state delegates. The final wording of the Constitution required compromise, tolerance and humility.
Where are our statesmen?

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