BENJAMIN FRANKLIN….You can have your Washingtons, your Jeffersons, and your Madisons. All great men, to be sure. But for my money, the greatest of them all was Benjamin Franklin, my favorite founding father and the first great American liberal: an outstanding humanist, brilliant scientist, and incomparable statesman; a man who could run a postal service, a small business, or a legislature with equal ease ? and who’d be happy to share a friendly beer with you after he was done.

Happy 300th Birthday, Ben! We could use a few more like you these days.