So many Americans today believe that our political differences have become so intractable and our discourse so toxic that our very democracy is at risk. What they fail to realize is that our political differences have always seemed insurmountable, and our democracy was never easy.
The story of the birth of our nation by Declaration in July of 1776 is a story of disagreements, debates, compromises, and moral courage. It’s a story of a group of rebellious Englishmen who—despite their many differences—could agree on one thing: they wanted to live free.
“The First Man in House”
If there was one quintessential figure among the delegates from the 13 colonies assembled in Philadelphia for the Continental Congress, it was John Adams from the Massachusetts delegation.
Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia would later say that “every member of Congress in 1776 acknowledged Adams to…