Gentlemen, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for taking the time out of your busy schedules for this interview. As you all are aware, we are facing some tough times today with taxes, stifling government policy, and a faltering economy. I would like your opinions on these and other pressing issues.


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Before we begin, gentlemen, is everyone comfortable? Coffee or Tea? Thank you. I will introduce each of you when you are posed a specific question in your particular area of expertise.

Interviewer
Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow me to introduce Samuel Adams. Mr. Adams is a former senator and representative from Massachusetts and a Harvard graduate who has excelled in the sciences at that fine institution.

Mr. Adams, you are a gun owner, sir, and there are elected officials in our government who would limit or abolish your constitutional right of private ownership of guns altogether. As a former representative of Massachusetts, what are your thoughts on this, sir, and where do you stand on the issue?

Mr. Adams
” And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.”


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Interviewer
Thank you, sir. As you are aware, Mr. Adams, the American people are becoming more disenchanted every year with the whole political process, and voting numbers are down. What is your message to the American citizenry who have the power to vote to engage them?

Mr. Adams
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”

Interviewer
I think that all of us here would agree with you, sir. Voting is a tremendous responsibility. As I stated earlier when I introduced you, you are a Harvard man…what, Yale wouldn’t take you? No seriously, sir, you are an obviously well-educated man. Would you share with us your views on the impact of educating our young people as it relates to American society as a whole?

Mr. Adams
“If we continue to be a happy people, that happiness must be assured by the enacting and executing of reasonable and wise laws, expressed in the plainest language, and by establishing such modes of education as tend to inculcate in the minds of youth, the feelings and habits of “piety, religion and morality,” and to lead them to the knowledge and love of those truly Republican principles upon which our civil institutions are founded.”

Interviewer
Thank you for your candor, sir. It has also been noted that you are a religious man, Mr. Adams. To what extent, if any, do you think the moral decline of American values in general have affected our civil liberties?

Mr. Adams
“Revelation assures us that “Righteousness exalteth a Nation” Communities are dealt with in this World by the wise and just Ruler of the Universe. He rewards or punishes them according to their general Character. The diminution of publick Virtue is usually attended with that of publick Happiness, and the publick Liberty will not long survive the total Extinction of Morals.”

Interviewer
Thank you, sir. Our next guest, ladies and gentlemen, is the former President of the United States himself, George Washington of Virginia. Thank you for coming, sir. Your friends and colleagues have described you as a man of great virtue and a believer in justice.

Mr. Washington
“I hope that I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider to be the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”

Interviewer
Yes, yes of course, sir. I wasn’t suggesting otherwise. May I ask you, though, what is your opinion of our standing as a nation in the world?

Mr. Washington
“There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.”

Interviewer
No offense intended, sir, but that is a little long winded… Would you care to sum your answer up for our audience?

Mr. Washington
“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”

Interviewer
Aptly put, sir. As you are well aware, scandal in the White House is becoming commonplace. If you were to run again for office and elected to the Presidency, how would you handle your administration?

Mr. Washington
“The executive branch of this government never has, nor will suffer, while I preside, any improper conduct of its officers to escape with impunity.”

Interviewer
Hmm…very interesting, sir… Would you care to share your vision of what our national policy would be in your administration?

Mr. Washington
“The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world.”

Interviewer
Admirable. sir…May I ask you to expand your views to include foreign policy also?

Mr. Washington
“My ardent desire is, and my aim has been… to comply strictly with all our engagements foreign and domestic; but to keep the United States free from political connections with every other Country. To see that they may be independent of all, and under the influence of none. In a word, I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home.”

Interviewer
Well said, sir. On a lighter note, I understand you have married the former Martha Custis and that she is reputed to be a woman of great beauty. How has married life been treating you?

Mr. Washington
“I have always considered marriage as the most interesting event of one`s life, the foundation of happiness or misery.”

Interviewer
Hahaha! Very funny, sir… I don’t think anyone could have said it better! Marriage can be both taxing and rewarding. On the subject of taxes, sir…how do you view our current tax system?

Mr. Washington
“No taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant.”

Interviewer
Yes Sir! No one invites the tax collector home for dinner, right gentlemen? Thank you so much for being here with us today, Mr. Washington. Your eloquent words have given us all a great deal to think about in these troubled times.

Our next guest today, ladies and gentlemen, is Boston native Benjamin Franklin. Mr. Franklin is also an inventor and newspaper publisher. Before the interview, Mr. Franklin, I was talking with Mr. Adams and Mr. Washington,and they tell me that you three share a secret. Would you care to elaborate on that, sir?

Mr. Franklin
“Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.”

Interviewer
Watch out, gentlemen! He appears to have a strange-looking device of unknown origin with him! To be serious, though, Mr. Franklin, you yourself are a married man. Having heard Mr. Washington’s view on marriage, do you have anything that you would like to add to the subject?

Mr. Franklin
“Marriage is…the most natural state of man, and therefore the state in which you are most likely to find solid happiness…. It is the man and woman united that makes the complete human being….. man has not nearly the value he would have in the state of union. He is an incomplete animal; he resembles the odd half of a pair of scissors.”

Interviewer
Yes Sir…yes sir…as you are aware, Mr. Franklin, we have record unemployment rates in our country. How do we address the needs of our nation’s poor?

Mr. Franklin
“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

Interviewer
Those are harsh words, sir…another question if you please.Do you have an opinion on how to lower the poverty level in America?

Mr. Franklin
“Finally, there seem to be but three Ways for a Nation to acquire Wealth. The first is by War as the Romans did in plundering their conquered Neighbours. This is Robbery. The second by Commerce which is generally Cheating. The third by Agriculture the only honest Way; wherein Man receives a real Increase of the Seed thrown into the Ground, in a kind of continual Miracle wrought by the Hand of God in his favour, as a Reward for his innocent Life, and virtuous Industry.”

Interviewer
The American People certainly wouldn’t go hungry, sir…a final question, Mr. Franklin. You speak a great deal on virtue, sir. Would you share your views on virtue with us?

Mr. Franklin
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

Interviewer
That is a frightening prospect, Mr. Franklin… Gentlemen, thank you again for taking the time to be with us today. You all have given us a great deal to think about. Perhaps we can learn to improve ourselves as Americans by implementing your thoughts and suggestions in our daily lives.

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