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Happy Birthday America! Who would you nominate if we had to do it all over again?

by Mark P. McDonald  |  July 3, 2019  |  Comments Off on Happy Birthday America! Who would you nominate if we had to do it all over again?

The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were a diverse group of lawyers, business men, clergy, elected officials and other leading citizens of 13 colonies.  They were all elected in one way or another.   The signers include the normal who’s who of U.S. history, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Hancock, etc.  A number of notable people in U.S. history were not signers of the declaration.  These included George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, among others.  As a group they were more urban, wealthier and better educated that the general population.  We would call them elites today and they would have been seen as radical liberals in their politics of their day.

The colonies had a combined population of around two million and an economy with a GDP of $300 million.   To put those numbers in perspective, the nation in 1770 had as many people as the State of New Mexico and an economy the size of the State of Missouri.

I bring this up as I wonder who today’s signers would be if we held a new Continental Congress.  Who would be elected and selected among the 50 states and territories we have now to draft new rules for the 350 million people living here.

If we followed the same ratio of signers to people living in the U.S., then there would be 9,800 new founding fathers.  Seems a bit unwieldy a number for debating and drafting such a document.   How would you pick them?  I guess you would start with who would be willing to serve, without pay, at their own expense and with the risk of political, economic and treasonous ruin?  That might narrow the field quite a bit.

Imagine we decided to hold Continental Congress 2020, then who would you want to be there?

  • Would you want business leaders like Warrant Buffet, Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, etc.
  • Would you want political leaders like past presidents, governors, or others – not naming names, but you can.
  • Would you want popular personalities like Angelina Jolie, Kim Kardashian, Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Steven Colbert?

I am not sure who I would want to be ‘in the room when it happens’.  Interested in who you would nominate to a meeting more than 200 years in the making.

Category: fun  

Tags: 2020  4th-of-july  declaration-of-independence  independence  

Mark McDonald, Ph.D., is a Vice President and Fellow Emeritus in Gartner for General Managers Program.






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