The Corner

A Republic or an Empire?

Thomas Jefferson in 1823, expressing the view, shared in one way or another by virtually all the Founders, that the United States ought to stick to its knitting:  

Our first and fundamental maxim must be never to entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe.

President George W. Bush, in his second inaugural address, expressing the view that the United States ought, so to speak, to give knitting lessons all over the world:

Advancing [American] ideals is the mission that created our Nation ….Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation’s security, and the calling of our time.

What would the Founders have made of Dubya?

Rick Brookhiser, author of What Would the  Founders Do? and George Washington on Leadership, replies.

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