Even for one of Donald Trump’s soon-to-be-irrelevant sycophants, Jim Jordan knows how to step in it. His brand — apart from refusing to wear suit jackets in public — involves tweets so mind-foggingly dumb it doesn’t take a historian to debunk. Unfortunately he’s so high-profile that historians feel compelled to do so anywayy. Mere weeks after nonsensically claiming Dr. Anthony Fauci would ban saying “Merry Christmas,” the Ohio representative is back at it, this time with some silliness about the Founding Fathers.
The Founding Fathers, of course, are a mythical bunch to conservatives, who hold them up as a larger-than-life titans who definitely thought alike, and whose thoughts from two-and-a-half centuries ago definitely always have some validity in 2020. Jordan has long opposed COVID-19 restrictions, thinking that people should be free to recklessly catch and transmit a highly contagious disease. (Jordan is one of the only close members of Trump’s posse who hasn’t tested positive for the virus.)
60 million Americans are subject to a stay at home order or curfew.
11 million are right here in Ohio.
What would the Founders say?
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) December 29, 2020
“60 million Americans are subject to a stay at home order or curfew. 11 million are right here in Ohio,” Jordan tweeted. “What would the Founders say?”
Well, as it turns out, we have a pretty good idea of what they would think. Historians once again poured in to educate Jordan, who should perhaps do a touch of Googling before he tweets. Or perhaps his question was sincere! Maybe he didn’t know what the Founders would say! In any case, the short answer is: They would probably be all for it.
In July of 1776 the entire of city of Boston was closed so they could safely inoculate for smallpox. It lasted months and no one could leave once it began. They did it again in 1778. The Founders would be proud that the government was protecting its citizens from disease. https://t.co/xfiKiWhoga
— Andrew Wehrman (@ProfWehrman) December 29, 2020
There was a massive smallpox epidemic during the American Revolution.
George Washington quarantined the infected, refused to let people from hot spots travel to his army, and even sent a thousand soldiers to Boston to prevent the spread there. https://t.co/WueBNEnnj6
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) December 29, 2020
The Founders enforced quarantine orders with armed militias to preclude intercity travel during an epidemic, and John Adams used a ten-minute-long State of the Union address to call for expanding federal authority to coordinate epidemic response. https://t.co/DP3CfXLqGd
— tedfrank 😷 (@tedfrank) December 29, 2020
Some took issue with Jordan’s vague and ahistorical depiction of the Founding Fathers.
1/ What would the Founders say about millions of people under curfew?
First & most important:
There was no single block of "Founders." There were different people w/different opinions, so they would say a range of things.
There's no simple answer to that question
That said… pic.twitter.com/VPdV3RWuCA
— Dr. Joanne Freeman (@jbf1755) December 29, 2020
It's funny that Republicans think the Founders and they are interchangeable. The Founders were left-leaning revolutionaries. The right were the Royalists. FGS, read a book.
— Victoria Brownworth #PassHR9051Now (@VABVOX) December 29, 2020
Or pointed out that the Founding Fathers would, unlike the Republican party, almost certainly do something, anything to save its people.
The Founding Fathers would say "what took you so long; you could have controlled this pandemic if you would have stayed home months ago!"
— Carbon Monoxide 🏄♂️ (@CarbonMonoxid17) December 29, 2020
Some pointed out they’d probably not like what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did around the same time Jordan was tweeting.
When a lone senator, elected by Kentuckians comprising less than 1% of the U.S. population, can block a vote on a $2,000 #StimulusCheck for every American, I'm pretty sure that's NOT what the Founders had in mind when they conceived of "checks and balances."
— Ramenti Veritas (@RamentiVeritas) December 29, 2020
This is exactly what the founders wanted.
They wanted to give a 78-year old, universally-hated creature from Kentucky the power to veto relief legislation supported by: the House, the Senate, the President, and the American people.
Just the way they drew it up!
— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) December 29, 2020
And many did what people do every time Jordan is in the news: remind everyone that he’s been roundly accused to ignoring sexual assault while assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the ’90s.
What would the founders say about Gym Jordan hanging out in the locker rooms?
— Haralambos (@Haralam49255965) December 29, 2020
This is why we shouldn't elect wrestling coaches to be in congress if they have no passed a basic history and civics course first. Boston had a complete lockdown in 1778 after a smallpox outbreak. Many of the founders were there. They abided by it for months.
— Kurt "Masks Save Lives" Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 29, 2020
Jim Jordan, pedophile-enabling republican, is whining about the lockdowns again. The Founders would have investigated Jim for allowing 43 boys to be molested, and they would have removed him from congress for gerrymandering and sedition. Jim Jordan is a repulsive human being.
— Broke Boy (@thebr0keb0i) December 29, 2020
— Kimberley Johnson (@AuthorKimberley) December 29, 2020
And then there were others, who were simply sick of hearing the name Jim Jordan.
I move we put Jim Jordan’s lunacy on curfew. Until further notice. All in favor… https://t.co/VBq3KHfOtJ
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) December 29, 2020
Then again, at least his teeth don’t fall out when he talks, like fellow Trump minion Louie Gohmert.