Americans, largely through the efforts of a lewd media, used the Fourth of July 2017… to denigrate and trivialize Thomas Jefferson’s memory. Salacious accusations disguised as legitimate archaeology and scholarship dragged the author of our Declaration of Independence down into tabloid scandal-mongering. We have fallen to the point where Jefferson’s name cannot be mentioned without alleged slave mistresses. We forget what he gave us- focusing instead on trifling conjecture. We have forgotten what the Fourth of July truly means….
“I thank heaven that the 4th. of July is over. It is always a day of great fatigue to me”
Jefferson said… “And even should the cloud of barbarism and despotism again obscure the science and liberties of Europe, this country remains to preserve and restore light and liberty to them. In short, the flames kindled on the 4th. of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism. On the contrary they will consume those engines, and all who work them.”
Remember what Jefferson gave us…….. never forget what he gave mankind.
To stop desecrating my memory
For too long defenders of Confederate heritage… have associated it with freedom and individual rights for all whites. The specter of the conquering Yankee invading the homeland to oppress the yeoman and steal his acre was the rallying cry. Policy makers in the Confederacy used this propaganda to dupe poor whites to defend the landed gentry- a social order built on the aristocracy of chattel slavery. Jefferson Davis and ilk had no interest in expanding opportunity for the thousands of men who volunteered for this abhorrent cause- they were cannon fodder.
Talk of opportunity and liberty were contrary to the Confederate cause… the slave owning power structure needed poor whites to stay right where they were. The egalitarian dreams of Thomas Jefferson had no place in the CSA- and the leadership expressed it openly- The Declaration of Independence was a threat to the south. Far from a “second American Revolution,” the American Civil War was an authoritarian power grab by an entrenched group of oligarchs.
Confederate propaganda from Georgia said it best…
“Thanks to Mr. Jefferson we have made a mistake … and pushed the love of democracy too far … vulgar democracy and licentious freedom is rapidly supplanting all the principles of constitutional ‘liberty’! When shall the American people perceive that all our difficulties arise from the absurdities of deciding that the ‘pauper’ and the ‘landholder’ are alike competent to manage the affairs of a Country, or alike entitled to vote for those who shall?” Athens Southern Watchman 1857
Jefferson’s feelings on slavery and liberty also alienated our apostle of liberty… from these slave owning aristocrats…
“The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it …The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and moral undepraved by such circumstances [under slavery]. And with what desecration should the statement be loaded, who permitting one half of the citizens to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots and these into enemies, destroys the morals of one part and the amor patriae of the other.” Notes on the State of Virginia 1782
Trump continues to vow an overhaul of America’s libel laws… in an obvious effort to silence those who disagree with him. His distrust of the current standards indicate a deeply flawed understanding of true free speech. Combine this with his disdain for a free press, and dangers not seen since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 begin to emerge.
I can’t define sedition, but I know it when I hear it…
Jefferson warned his people of these dangers… “that if the acts before specified should stand, these conclusions would flow from them; that the general government may place any act they think proper on the list of crimes and punish it themselves whether enumerated or not enumerated by the constitution as cognizable by them: that they may transfer its cognizance to the President, or any other person, who may himself be the accuser, counsel, judge and jury, whose suspicions may be the evidence, his order the sentence, his officer the executioner, and his breast the sole record of the transaction…”
Trump and his corrupt administration would determine what speech is libelous… Truth would become subjective rhetoric rather than objective fact. Discourse would be stifled and the country force fed Trump’s propaganda.
Jefferson wanted more for his people and expected more of his government…. “…and will furnish new calumnies against republican government, and new pretexts for those who wish it to be believed that man cannot be governed but by a rod of iron: that it would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism”
To stop destroying our liberty
The grieving optimist- Jefferson lost nearly everyone dear to him…. so he could relate grief to his dear friend, John Adams upon hearing of the death of Abigail. Relating grief is not the same as understanding it, however…..
“Tried myself in the school of affliction, by the loss of every form of connection which can rive the human heart, I know well, and feel what you have lost, what you have suffered, are suffering, and have yet to endure. The same trials have taught me that for ills so immeasurable, time and silence are the only medicine….although mingling sincerely my tears with yours, will I say a word more where words are vain, but that it is of some comfort to us both, that the term is not very distant, at which we are to deposit in the same cerement, our sorrows and suffering bodies, and to ascend in essence to an ecstatic meeting with the friends we have loved and lost, and whom we shall still love and never lose again.”
” I have often wondered for what good end the sensations of Grief could be intended.”
Every generation feels an impact on the historic…
- We stop destroying history and refocus our energy on studying it
- Americans start listening to true Civil War historians like James McPherson, Noah Trudeau, Wayne Motts, and Stephen Sears
- That historical hacks like Don Lemon, Jamelle Bouie, Ilya Somin, Yoni Applebaum, and everyone at MSNBC stop talking about historical revisionism
- Seeing rational minds put an end to the scourge of American iconoclasm
- American society rediscovers the indispensable examples set by George Washington
- Americans accept the fact that if Jefferson is right, America is right
- Real efforts are made to protect historical homes, sites, and monuments
- No “Grant!” the musical
- “Hamilton!” fans actually read a few of the Federalist Papers
- Donald Trump donates all of his paychecks to battlefield preservation (the first one was greatly appreciated)
- The Confederate flag remains legal
- Ne0-Nazis and white supremacists fade to obscurity
- Living history continues to educate the public
- The Eisenhower Memorial is finished on the National Mall
- Steven Spielberg makes an authentic Civil War film as a companion to “Lincoln”
- PBS brings back “Mercy Street”
- The History Channel schedules more programs about history
- Customers of Ancestry.com realize that they are actually Americans first…
- We all stop learning history through memes
Just like ISIS
It already was, Donnie
Filed under Ephemera, News
3-4 glasses at dinner
Jefferson’s love of wine is well documented… but his first journey to France in 1784 permanently changed his tastes. British trade policies before the Revolution limited colonial access to French wines. Jefferson and the other Founders largely drank the stronger, heavier wines from Portugal, like Madeira. Jefferson definitely sought something easier to drink:
“The taste of this country was artificially created by our long restraint under the English government to the strong wines of Portugal and Spain.”
Most superlatively good.
The lighter more flavorful wines of France appealed to his evolving palate… Jefferson’s favorites were reds from the Hermitage region of the Rhone Valley. He described it as “the first wine in the world without a single exception.” World conflicts continued to affect his wine supplies and this was made known to the merchants stocking Monticello’s wine cellar:
“Disappointments in procuring supplies have at length left me without a drop of wine. I must therefore request you to send me a quarter cask of the best you have. Termo is what I would prefer; and next to that good port. besides the exorbitance of price to which Madeira has got, it is a wine which I do not drink, being entirely too powerful. wine from long habit has become an indispensable for my health, which is now suffering by it’s disuse.”
Weaning his people
Jefferson wanted nothing more than to change his countrymen’s taste in wine… He had lost his taste for port and fortified wine- blended French wines were his passion and he was willing to use his political influence to convince people he was right:
” I have labored long and hard to procure the reduction of duties on the lighter wines, which is now effected to a certain degree. I have labored hard also in persuading others to use those wines. habit yields with difficulty. perhaps the late diminution of duties may have a good effect.”