It’s official: the Connecticut Democratic Party can’t stand the man who penned the Declaration of Independence.
The state party declared on Thursday that Thomas Jefferson’s name will no longer have a spot at its annual dinner fundraiser.
A spokesman for the Connecticut Democrats said it was done because the man who founded the United States as much as anybody offends people. Jefferson’s continued association with the confab goes against the party’s “dedication to diversity and forward-looking vision.” (RELATED: Connecticut Dems Dump Jefferson, Urge Rest Of U.S. To Follow)
Connecticut’s Dems aren’t the only the state blue team ditching Jefferson. Many state-level Democrat outfits throughout the country are renaming the traditionally-titled Jefferson-Jackson Dinners. Both J-men are out of favor among the contemporary left — Jackson, especially.
That’s not surprising considering the seventh president’s reputation and actions in life. (RELATED: You Can Take Andrew Jackson From Our Cold, Dead Hands)
Yet it’s odd that the left is treating Jefferson so badly when when they use his words to support their various causes.
For example, concerning gay marriage, many Democrats said the words “all men are created equal” sanctified the unions. The said the Supreme Court foisting it upon the country in June was merely a fulfillment of our founding principles. President Obama concurred in his statement on the decision. So did Bradley/Chelsea Manning and several others who celebrated the high court’s verdict as a win for the ideals supposedly implied by Jefferson’s text.
While Jefferson’s interpretation of “all men are created equal” was radically different than what it means to those who indulge in it in the present day, these immortal words are used by the left (and sometimes by the right) to justify every new cause they take on. But if the man who wrote them is so unworthy as to be removed from your party’s fancy shindig, isn’t there some major cognitive dissonance here?
By removing any mention of his name, Democrats are essentially saying Jefferson was a terrible person who has no place in 21st century America — even though we wouldn’t have an America today if it wasn’t for the Virginia Renaissance man.
Doesn’t that put Democrats in an awkward position the next time one of them says we are founded upon ideas promulgated by a man we just can’t tolerate in our more enlightened age?
We’ll just have to wonder how the self-appointed guardians of truth will explain the authorship of the Declaration of Independence when we’re not allowed to acknowledge the man behind it.
Jefferson was like pretty much every human who has ever lived — a complex individual with both virtues and his vices. It is true: he was a slaveowner and he did have a sordid affair with one of his slaves. But that doesn’t change the fact that he helped found this country and established many of the values we still cherish today. (RELATED: Flap Over Things Named After Thomas Jefferson Fails To Reach ‘The Jeffersons’)
Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. He fought for religious freedom. He is partially responsible for ensuring a Bill of Rights came with our constitution. He embodied the independent, free-conscious spirit that is so ingrained into our country’s fabric and is considered one of the greatest presidents in our nation’s history.
The campaign to expunge Jefferson’s name (along with Jackson’s) is just another weasely attempt to bowdlerize American history to conform to modern biases. If a founder, president or hero from the nation’s past had any unseemly traits, then it is now considered perfectly appropriate to remove him (and it is universally a “him”) from public veneration.
This standard is even applied to fictional characters in 21st-century America. (RELATED: Should We Ban ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’?)
It’s not a stretch to call this campaign a war on U.S. history. When we have new high school curricula that emphasizes a primarily negative view of our national past and look to ban any reminders of uncomfortable events and symbols from that past, we have a society that is very much at war with its own history.
That’s a shame, as the only way we can maintain a sense of national identity and unity is if we understand where we come from and what men and events made this country possible. Without that essential understanding, we will lose that very identity and be more like one big, continental Costco than an actual nation-state.
To excise and encourage others to join in your abolishment of Jefferson’s memory simply to avoid hurting feelings is both asinine and cowardly.
There’s no denying the fact he wasn’t a saint, but he wasn’t a man we would be ashamed to have a dinner named after.
But it might be true that Jefferson would be ashamed of the party having dinners in his honor.