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President Obama And Thomas Jefferson

January 7, 2012

If one only half-hears what has been said by the Republican candidates running for the presidential nomination there is no doubt that 2012 is the ‘most important election ever’ in our nation’s history.  (I always thought the very first transfer of power constituted as the most important, but what do I know as merely a reader of history?) 

There is a socialist in the White House, GOP candidates claim, who is bent on destroying the nation with class warfare and government takeovers.  There will not even be a nation left, they warn, if Obama is not defeated this November.

Dire warnings, it seems.

Now where have I heard all this before?

It is interesting to take note of the over-the-top bombastic language and writings from early 1801, the year Thomas Jefferson took the oath of office, and the Federalists were all in need of smelling salts.

Congressman Fisher Ames warned at the time of Jefferson’s inauguration the “loathsome steam of human victims offered in sacrifice” would take place.    President Timothy Knight of Yale wrote of a “country governed by blockheads and knaves…the ties of marriage…severed; our wives and daughters thrown into the stews.”

In the style of what one might find at the end of  a Michele Bachmann speech or a Herman Cain meet-up comes this reminder of how some things never change.

A Federalist newspaper in 1801 ran an epitaph within a black border “YESTERDAY EXPIRED–Deeply regretted by MILLIONS of  grateful Americans.  And by all GOOD MEN.

Finally the best example of how unhinged some people can get, and how far back in American history one can locate them, comes from Boston where it was reported that little old ladies hid their Bibles under mattresses on Jefferson’s inauguration day in fear of the Virginia “atheist”.

In other words take the GOP rhetoric that is too freely offered this year for what it is worth.  Not much more than something another ‘blogger’ some 200 years down the road will smirk at, and put into political context.

Quotes from “The Vineyard Of Liberty” by James MacGregor Burns.  Published in 1982…..and highly recommended by CP as a must-have book on any bookshelf.

One Comment
  1. January 9, 2012 11:53 AM

    Sorry Deke, this statistic makes me dump a load of bricks in my Faded Glory Underwear:

    Total Debt = $15,182,756,264,288.80

    Total GDP = $15,180,900,000,000.00

    If we divide that we get:

    Total Debt/GDP: 100.012%

    And to top it off Obama wants to borrow 1.2 trillion more.

    Sorry, all due respect to Thomas Jefferson, but Obama has got to go..

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