Politics

08.27.12

Meet the Real Founding Fathers: The Shocking Truth About Washington, Madison, and Martin

As America goes convention crazy, Kevin Bleyer, author of Me the People and writer for The Daily Show, offers an uncensored glimpse into the men who got us into this political mess in the first place. Watch three exclusive animated shorts, inspired by Bleyer’s book and narrated by the author himself.

The end is near. The conventions are upon us. Soon we shall all know why this guy is better than that guy for this reason and that reason and how only one of them is the man we need in times like these to restore all that is right with America. You know the drill.

You know the drill, but the Framers of the Constitution didn't. At the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787—not in Tampa or Charlotte, but far less air-conditioned Philadelphia—they overcame their heatstroke and deliberately omitted any mention of political parties, hoping against hope that we wouldn't succumb to what they called “faction.” Or at least, we wouldn't celebrate it with two weeks of bunting.

But really, what do they know? Who were they, after all? Oh sure, we've been told—as I reveal in Me the People, my selfless page-one rewrite of the Constitution—that they were simple delegates, summoned to Philadelphia to rescue an entire country. For that reason, we now call them “an assembly of demigods.”

But must we? Should we? Unfortunately, no one vetted them. No one told their real stories. No one looked under the powdered wigs. Until now.

Brace yourselves, fellow patriots. This gets ugly.

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George Washington, Zombie

George Washington, the Father of our Country, may have been indispensable. But only one delegate was indecipherable. Fellow patriots, I give you: the Father of the Constitution.

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James Madison, Mumbler

Friends don't let friends drink and draft Constitutions. And yet, considering how much alcohol the Framers drank that summer in Philadelphia, it's a wonder the Constitution didn't overwrite the Declaration to demand "life, liberty, and the pursuit of hoppiness." One delegate certainly would have hiccuped his approval.

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Luther Martin, Drunk