03 July, 2008

George W. Jefferson

I'm a fan of Thomas Jefferson. He's not my favorite of the founders (that would have to be Washington), but his eloquence and the breadth of his interests--as well as his willingness to make a direct attack on the crust of religion that so often hides deeper truths--makes him one of the people I'd most wish to meet, if the chance ever arose.

Scientist, ambassador, author, naturalist, political theorist, inventor, bibliophile, president, architect, educator. Admittedly he was far from perfect, but that's still one hell of a resume. And now G.W.B. intends to celebrate the fourth with a speech from Monticello. It was Jefferson who wrote of the need for "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind." It was Jefferson who argued against allowing the suspension of habeus corpus at any time, for anyone--citizen or not. It was Jefferson who overturned the Alien and Sedition Acts (the great-grandparent of the so-called PATRIOT Act). It was Jefferson who declared that a free press without a government was preferable to a government without a free press. For G.W.B. to step on that site and try to cloak himself in the mantle of Jefferson is enough to make me ill.

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