Founding Fathers for the Fourth -- Stars of 'Modern Family,' 'Dirty Jobs,' 'Miami Medical' and 'Money Rocks' Speak Out

Today's cuppa: Newhall Coffee Patriot Blend, natch

flagoffbalconycrop.jpgIn honor of our nation's birthday on Sunday, July 4 -- click here for the full text of the original Declaration of Independence -- I went out to a few more TV folks to learn which Founding Fathers are their favorites and why.

It's something I've done before -- click here, here and here to see previous installments.

Ed O'Neill ("Modern Family"): "I would probably go to (Thomas) Jefferson (below), just because I thought he was brilliant, a vital guy, interesting guy, bon vivant. He knew a lot about wine." Thumbnail image for thomas jefferson 2.jpg

Mike Rowe ("Dirty Jobs," "After the Catch," narrator of "Deadliest Catch," founder of www.mikeroweWORKS.com): The short answer for me was always John Adams. Adams was so contrary and so unlikable, so devoted to his wife. He was the only actual Founding Father who never owned a slave. He made principled decisions and was perfectly comfortable with the fallout -- happy to be unpopular. But also, it's hard to beat Ben Franklin.

"Where do you draw the line in terms of time? Lincoln (below) was so late. There'd be no union without (George) Washington. There probably wouldn't be a union without Jefferson. There definitely wouldn't be a union without Lincoln. There'd be something, but I don't know what."

Thumbnail image for abraham-lincoln-625.jpg Mike Vogel ("Miami Medical," and one of the founders of Ride2Recovery, which aids wounded veterans): "Being from Philadelphia, I'm a fan of Jefferson and Franklin. You're indoctrinated with all that. There's something so amazing, being a massive history buff and growing up where I did in Pennsylvania. I was a mile away from George Washington's headquarters before he crossed the Delaware. Every year, you'd take a field trip down to Independence Hall and Betsy Ross' house and Ben Franklin's place and the history that exists there.

"As for my favorite, I think Jefferson -- his ideals, the conservatism that he espoused, at least as I know it, Jeffersonian democracy, I like. (James) Madison ... when you look at the checks and balances that you had to go through just to get these guys to show up at a meeting of the federal government. They had to take it through every leve Thumbnail image for John Adams 3.JPGl of their state governments, to make sure their state would be OK with them showing up, because they were so adamant about maintaining the rights of the state before turning it over to the federal level of government."

Eric Bolling ("Money Rocks"), via email: "Glenn Beck -- Founding Father of today! Historically, John Adams (right) -- he was greatly responsible for the content of the Constitution."

As a bonus, here's another pick, this time from leading political blogger Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times' "Top of the Ticket": "B. Franklin ... I've always liked and admired him for his amazing combination of talents and skills. Other Founding Fathers were magnificent generals or writers or revolutionary/politicians. Franklin was multi-dimensional before multi-tafking (cq) was a word.

"He was a well-educated writer who could help draft the Declaration of Independence and see the compromises there to make the crucial national cohesion among disparate colonies. Franklin could, as well, quill a newspaper column for ordinary citizens.

"He was a nuanced diplomat, an, uh, man about town, even if it was Paris. He was into science and inventions (I think we will someday discover his drawing of a prototype iPhone). And yet, with all that, he was so down-to-earth that he could see the need for, and help invent, something as ordinary as a postal system, as another thread in a country that would eventually evolve into a nation."


And, to go out with a flourish, click here for one of my favorite eGuiders picks, the Revolutionary War rock video "Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration."

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