The Founding Fathers were a gifted group. Somehow, sifting through all their competing interests, different constituencies, clashing ideas, and firmly held beliefs, they could still see clearly enough to draft a Declaration of Independence, a Constitution, a Bill of Rights, and a canon of laws to serve their new and groundbreaking system of government.

The basic concept was that “no man is above the law,” and all men (and women) must be bound by a fair and just code that applied equally to all. They couldn’t account for every contingency, however, and they certainly couldn’t see far into a future that would be conquered by technical marvels they couldn’t even comprehend being possible. But they tried.

Having had the experience of being ruled by a tyrant who was half-mad during his entire reign, they took steps to ensure that no one could become a king — or, if someone tried, there would be boundaries that would keep potential autocrats in check.

The system designed by the Founding Fathers worked, and worked well, even when there were bumps in the road. There were many tests along the way, the greatest of which, perhaps, was the Civil War, which threatened to tear the experiment in two. Unity prevailed, of course, and even though we are still working on the lessons of that conflict, we have made progress.

More severe tests came in the form of two World Wars, a Great Depression, nuclear threats, massive natural calamities, political upheaval — and, now, a pandemic for which there seems to be no solution, at least not yet. Through it all, we have held it all together, and have even exported our particular brand of democracy across the globe.

We have endured, and even prospered, through all of these tests, and some challenges have made us even stronger. But there is one test we have not faced before — not until now — and it is, unlike the other challenges, not external but internal. This test is shaping up to be the Mother of All Tests: a giant SAT, ACT, GRE, bar exam, you name it, all rolled into one.

This is the “Fox-Is-In-The-Henhouse Test,” and if we can’t realize it’s happening and take steps to pass this test, it could be the deal-breaker that the Founding Fathers never could have anticipated. I think you already know where I’m going, but I’m going to spell it out anyway [more]