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December 7, 2020

Exploiting cultural fissures unravels our social fabric

Staunch political rivals, House Speaker Tip O’Neil and President Ronald Reagan still had a strong personal relationship, here celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in 1983.
By Bob Lewis
Virginia Mercury

Don’t imagine for a second that electing a new president is going to close or salve the open wounds and raw nerves that the 2020 political campaigns exposed. Not even close.

Passions have not cooled from President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump last month. That’s clear from Mr. Trump’s own delusional tweets and public statements alleging massive fraud — something officials in all 50 states and now his own loyalist attorney general dispute, and that his administration’s election security czar was fired for publicly refuting.

It’s also clear from the death threats his own followers have made against local election officials in numerous states — Democrats and Republicans — including a 20-something technician in Georgia. “It’s gone too far. All of it,” Gabriel Sterling, a senior Georgia GOP election official, said during an emotional news conference last week that was still trending on social media over the weekend.

Nor are we immune from the anger unleashed by this widening societal chasm even in our own comfortable enclaves.

My wife and I were out for a Sunday afternoon walk around our leafy neighborhood, soaking in the balmy late November sun, when we heard staccato horn blasts of a car about half a block away. At first, I mistook it for someone fumbling a key fob and triggering a car alarm. But the car, a dark gray late model Dodge Challenger, was braking in the middle of the street in front of a neighbor’s house that still sported a Biden yard sign next to a “Black Lives Matter” sign.

I didn’t give it much thought until the car, driven by a 40-ish fellow with a crew cut, stopped in front of us and the driver began incoherently shrieking. I don’t think he was looking for a fight as much as an audience, and a couple of a certain age walking along the curb was the closest thing he could find.

“All lives matter! What’s wrong with people? Alll liiives matterrrrr!” he bellowed out his window at two bewildered people.

I motioned for him to move on, and he repeated his mantra before gunning the engine and speeding down the street, howling at the top of his lungs, “Goddaaaaaamn yooooouuuuuu!”

So much for a relaxing Sunday stroll.

Clearly this was no ally of the BLM movement and, I strongly suspect, he did not vote for Mr. Biden. Perhaps his unprovoked behavior evidenced a cry for professional help. Or maybe it’s just years of pent-up grievance nurtured by a steady diet of social media and cable news. No matter the cause, it’s good that I had no ready response. Arguing with fools seldom yields a fortunate outcome.

What I wish I’d been nimble enough to say was, “All lives can’t matter until Black lives matter.” It’s calm, and it’s manifestly logical and true. I wish I could claim it as my own, but I have to confess that I first heard it in a persuasive video released months ago featuring members of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team and their coach, Nick Saban.

The critical takeaway is this: America is profoundly riven by forces far deeper and personally held than anything one election can cause or can fix. In fact, if Sunday’s encounter on a tranquil residential street is any indication, the election and its continuing recriminations may have only exacerbated it.

It’s unsettling to contemplate how — or even whether — these differences are reconcilable. There are forces, foreign and domestic, actively working to alienate Americans one from the other. Lately, we’ve allowed them to succeed all too well.

Our politics has turned far more caustic than we could have imagined during the ’70s or even as late as President Ronald Reagan’s two terms. Though he was an unflinching conservative who Democrats swore would end the world, Mr. Reagan established a sunny sense of comity, civility and shared purpose that trickled down through American society.

For instance, the Republican president never demonized Democratic House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill; rather, the two naturally gregarious politicians forged a friendship, grounded in their shared Irish heritage, that allowed them to disagree on policy and remain agreeable personally. Things got done because neither leader laid down the inflexible ultimata that poisons statecraft today, not just in Washington but in statehouses nationally.

Ideological rifts in particular have widened between members of the two parties during the past 25 years over policy positions, especially regarding immigration, race-based inequity, international relations and public aid to those in need, according to a 2017 survey by the Pew Research Center. In 1994, the study shows, there was only a 15-percentage-point difference of opinion between respondents who identified themselves as members of or leaning toward one of the two major parties. By 2017, the poll of 5,000 people found, the margin had widened to 36 points.

During the 23-year span of Pew’s study, it noted that the percentage of Democrats who held an unfavorable or very unfavorable view of the GOP grew from 57 percent to 81 percent and, among Republicans, those who held similarly dim views of Democrats climbed from 68 percent to 81 percent.

The key, however, is the subset of partisans who expressed very unfavorable views of their rivals: The number more than doubled among Democrats and nearly tripled among Republicans during that span. Most of the resentment was in place before Trump began his single polarizing term, but those feelings have intensified under his watch.

We saw the consequences in the tragic separation of small children who entered the United States with their asylum-seeking parents only to be forcibly detained, sometimes in wire cages, in detention centers along the Mexican border. It manifested itself violently, beginning in Charlottesville in 2017 and raging in cities nationally last summer after George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police. And it continues with more than 12 million Americans facing imminent eviction and homelessness wrought by the coronavirus pandemic’s economic wreckage as a balkanized Congress — reflective of its tribalized constituencies — gives only bickering lip service toward an economic relief package.

But the differences are deeper than policy and issues. Underlying it all is “identity politics” and a worsening culture war. It’s as though each side not only abhors the other’s politics, it believes their rivals are intrinsically malignant people.

Republicans find it easy to loathe Democrats as condescending, educated, urban and suburban elites clustered mostly along the coasts, who mock their heartland values and want to take their guns.

Democrats picture Republicans as racist, semiliterate rubes and xenophobes, contemptuous of the rule of law, who put instant gratification of their urges ahead of the wellbeing of fellow Americans and even the future of the planet.

Both are hopeless mischaracterizations and fundamentally wrong.

In another era, before the Internet hastened the fragmentation and demise of trusted information sources and enabled the unchecked global dissemination of violent beliefs and bizarre conspiracies, it was easier to keep the fabric of society from unraveling. Maybe that’s why Mr. Reagan could bring in a transformative brand of conservatism in 1980 and have the nation, including apoplectic Democrats, respect his victory and afford him the benefit of the doubt. Then, after eight years, the two sides were still on speaking terms, America’s essential institutions were healthy and the Soviet Union was in hospice.

But it’s also because Reagan was Reagan and he set the tone. He never labeled other Americans “enemies of the people” or disabled or exhorted rally crowds to beat hecklers or instruct a violent right-wing group, the Proud Boys, to “stand back and stand by.” He left office encouraging Americans to view their nation as “a shining city upon a hill,” not dreading a dark and uncertain winter of disease, death and discord.

At its heart, this isn’t a Democrats vs. Republicans problem, nor is it a liberals vs. conservatives dilemma. In the not-too-distant past, we’ve seen the two countervailing forces coexist and compromise in a free, functioning and self-governing land.

The problem is we’ve become a people predisposed — and actively prodded — to think the worst of one another and to act on those feelings, even on a street in a sleepy neighborhood on a peaceful Sunday afternoon.
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badelectronics · January 6, 2021 at 7:16 am
Trump, the pardoner of murderers.
He is not just a loser today.
He is the biggest loser.
badelectronics · December 30, 2020 at 4:42 pm
Trump pardoned four murderous villains.
They murdered children, women, men, indiscriminate. Death.
Trump and Republicans think??? A-OKAY!!!!
Linda Ward · December 28, 2020 at 4:22 pm
JEFF - Like Thomas Jefferson would admit to having relations with one of his slaves to anyone, unless that person was part of the deception and dysfunction.
badelectronics · December 28, 2020 at 7:07 am
Ah JeffersonianNazi! You're so bright.
Scholarship and position does not equal scholarship.
Just look at convict Flynn.
Jeffersonian American · December 28, 2020 at 6:37 am
Ah, Short-Circuited, you continue to ignore the scholarship (posted below) which explains President Thomas Jefferson's privately written, 1805 denial of the Sally Hemings slander, and other public smears, to one of his most trusted aides and personal friends, the Secretary of the Navy. Please educate yourself.
badelectronics · December 21, 2020 at 8:46 pm
Poor JA barking mad nutso.
Jefferson plead guilty in his own hand.
Not good enough for JeffersonianNazi.
badelectronics · December 21, 2020 at 8:43 pm
Look just who has TDS!!!
Crazy ole coot Pat Robertson colostomy-bag extraordinaire.
Lost ole Pat, Trump mad?!?

https://twitter.com/RightWingWatch/status/1341122230026178561
Linda Ward · December 21, 2020 at 4:11 pm
Unfrickin' believable except it is believable from the GOP.

"A few weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he was sticking to a paltry economic relief package, which did little for millions of struggling families, but which included a striking GOP priority: the "three-martini-lunch deduction."

Whatever happened to that? I'm glad you asked. The Washington Post reported overnight:

The draft language of the emergency coronavirus relief package includes a tax break for corporate meal expenses pushed by the White House and strongly denounced by some congressional Democrats, according to a summary of the deal circulating among congressional officials and officials who are familiar with the provision.

Let's review how we arrived at this point. As regular readers may recall, it was Donald Trump who helped get the ball rolling on this in April and May, pushing lawmakers via tweet to approve "business deductions" for "restaurants & entertainment."

At face value, the idea may not seem outlandish. After all, the restaurant industry has been brutally slammed by the pandemic, and it's hardly unreasonable for policymakers to look for ways to give the industry a boost.

But the details matter. At issue here is a tax break to those who talk business while eating out. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Robert Greenstein noted a while back, the "three-martini-lunch deduction" is generally celebrated by wealthy executives and lobbyists.

Jon Chait added, "It is certainly true that restaurants face an existential threat from the coronavirus. But letting executives write off the cost of meals where they 'discuss business' -- a notoriously lax requirement that functionally subsidies pleasure as a business cost -- is unlikely to save those restaurants."

So why in the world would Democratic negotiators agree to include this policy in the final economic relief package? Because GOP lawmakers made it worth their while: the Post's report added that Democratic leaders "agreed to the provision in exchange for Republicans agreeing to expand tax credits for low-income families and the working poor" in the bipartisan agreement.

And therein lies the rub: the "three-martini-lunch deduction" is amazing in its own right, but more important is what the fight over the policy tells us about the major political parties in 2020.

GOP leaders occasionally try to make the case that the Republican Party is the party of regular folks, pushing populism over elitism. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently argued that today's GOP is "the party of the working class."

The trouble, of course, is that reality keeps getting in the way. Regular folks in the working class don't generally feel the need to deduct the cost of business lunches. They do, however, benefit from tax credits for low-income families and the working poor.

Republicans can try to be "the party of the working class" or it can champion the "three-martini-lunch deduction." But to do both is ridiculous."
badelectronics · December 20, 2020 at 8:18 am
https://video.foxbusiness.com/v/6217257237001/#sp=show-clips

Speaking of a little stale.
The Deep State got to Lou Dobbs!!!
It is time for retirement.
Rover 530 · December 18, 2020 at 12:37 pm
I think it's time to take this down. This and several other articles on Fauquier Now are getting a little stale.
badelectronics · December 18, 2020 at 5:48 am
JANazi, cut and paste work?
Poor sad fart-sniffer put that mercury down.
Can't believe what Jefferson Wrote.
karl engels · December 17, 2020 at 9:24 pm
I don’t know what your sources are but there are literally human beings walking along us that can trace their lineage back to sally hemmings, Thomas Jefferson, or one of their 6 children. I don’t really understand the argument that you’re trying to make here, but he is still a slave owning rapist, and to be quite fair, that trumps the rest of his accomplishments. And try to formulate your own ideas instead of copy pasting from whatever neofascist think tank you drug it from.
Jeffersonian American · December 17, 2020 at 8:45 pm
The Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable originated Sept. 1, 1802, when scandal-monger James Thomson Callender wrote an article in Richmond Recorder alleging Jefferson had fathered child named “Tom” with Hemings while in Paris. This was round three of Callender’s effort to exact “ten-thousand-fold vengeance” because President Jefferson would not appoint him Postmaster of Richmond.

He first said Jefferson was a French agent.

Round two charged Jefferson with being an Atheist.

Then came the “Black Sal” story alleging that while in Paris Jefferson had taken Sally as his “concubine” and had fathered a child named “Tom” who was conceived in Paris and born shortly after they returned to Virginia.

Like his earlier accusations, the Sally Hemings story did not get much traction among people who knew either Thomas Jefferson or James Thomson Callender.

John Adams dismissed it because he knew both Jefferson and Callender. So did Alexander Hamilton, another of Jefferson’s political opponents. However, the story was picked up by the Federalist press and later revived by abolitionists.

Serious Jefferson scholars like Henry Randall, Dumas Malone, and Merrill Peterson dismissed the story as myth.

Furthermore, Callender detested African Americans and found the notion of sex across the color line repulsive. Once he reported the Jefferson-Hemings story, he described Hemings herself in the most racist terms, calling her a ‘wench’ and ‘a slut as common as the pavement,’ accusing her of having ‘fifteen, or thirty’ different lovers ‘of all colours,’ and referring to her children as a ‘yellow litter.’ [Professor Joshua Rothman in Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson, p. 95]

Georgia Federalist Thomas Gibbons called Sally “the most abandoned prostitute of her color” and referred to her children (whom he admitted he had never seen) as being “flat nosed, thick lipped and Tawney . . . .” [Thomas Gibbons to Jonathan Dayton, Dec. 20, 1802]

In relying on Gibbons’ letter as evidence for the truth of the Callender charge, neither Professor Gordon-Reed nor Monticello’s Research Committee mentioned that his personal hatred for Jefferson was fueled in part by the fact that he was one of the “midnight judges” John Adams tried to appoint before leaving office. Thomas Jefferson had cost him a nice job with lifetime tenure! And yet paternity advocates would have us accept his testimony as a reliable source for the truth. (CONTINUED NEXT POSTING)
Jeffersonian American · December 17, 2020 at 8:44 pm
(CONTINUED) I’m glad to see some evidence of independent research in SHORT-CIRCUITED’S misguided post below, pertaining to President Thomas Jefferson’s July 1, 1805 letter to one of his most trusted friends and respected presidential advisors, Secretary of the Navy Robert Smith. Unfortunately, SHORT-CIRCUITED doesn’t seem to comprehend Jefferson’s letter to Secretary Smith is a powerful refutation and denial of the Callender smear.

Eyler Robert Coates, Sr, in his rebuttal to the Thomas Jefferson {Memorial} Foundation observed President Jefferson thought that to make public denials only draws attention to the attacker:

“I should have fancied myself half guilty, had I condescended to put pen to paper in refutation of their falsehoods, or drawn them respect by any notice from myself.” [Thomas Jefferson to George Logan, June 20, 1816]

That passage includes an implied denial, since Jefferson is suggesting that only those who are guilty become concerned with obviously unscrupulous attacks. And while it is true that Jefferson never denied such accusations publicly, he did deny them in private correspondence. The historical record provides a reference to a denial letter, but the denial letter itself has been lost or destroyed. In a private cover letter to his Secretary of the Navy, Robert Smith (covering a copy of a letter of denial to his Attorney General, Levi Lincoln), he denied all the accusations made against him, except for the singular one related to a Mrs. Walker. This was well after the accusations by Callender, and he wrote:

“You will perceive that I plead guilty to one of their charges, that when young and single I offered love to a handsome lady. I acknowledge its incorrectness. It is the only one founded in truth among all their allegations against me.” [Thomas Jefferson letter to Robert Smith, July 1, 1805]

Coates notes that response should leave no doubt whatever that Thomas Jefferson was denying the rumors and charges that he had children by any of his slaves.

This was one of several letters that Jefferson wrote “to some close political associates” in response to the “assaults on his character” made by Federalist newspapers, and that is the context in which Jefferson made his denial. It is this kind of twisting of the evidence with imputations of connivance on the part of Jefferson which is typical of the manipulations made by affair proponents. Nevertheless, lest there be any remaining doubt, it should be noted that not too long after writing the letter to Smith, Jefferson also wrote:

There is not a truth on earth which I fear or would disguise. But secret slanders cannot be disarmed, because they are secret.” [Thomas Jefferson to William Duane, 1806]

And a few months before he died, Jefferson wrote the following:

There is not a truth existing which I fear or would wish unknown to the whole world.” [Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1826]

On another note, Commenter Mark House below states he doesn’t care about Thomas Jefferson because he is dead.

Why does it matter today for Americans to study the immense character and ideals of Thomas Jefferson factually and truthfully?

The highly offensive disinformation campaign continually being spread by “Advocacy Scholars” with their flagrant and callous disregard to the documented facts of the historic record- which portrays Thomas Jefferson as a cad, a hypocrite and a slave rapist- is a terrible thing to do to the American people and which goes against everything we know about Thomas Jefferson documented in the historic record to date.

Thomas Jefferson once reminded us a nation cannot remain ignorant and free. A 2009 survey of Oklahoma high school students indicated only 25% could identify George Washington as our nation's first President; only 14% could identify Thomas Jefferson as the Author of the Declaration of Independence; and only about 3% would have passed the basic Citizenship Test given to recent immigrant candidates for U.S. citizenship. Such ignorance does not bode well for the future of our republic- the federative polity bequeathed to us by our American Founders.
It matters greatly that current and future generations of Americans learn about the immense character, legacy, ideals and essential truths of Thomas Jefferson, not only as a great American Founder and Patriot worthy of our remembrance and memorialization for his many noble qualities and contributions, but also for his deep inspiration and enduring influence which comprise the very foundation of America.

It is also important because the truth is important.

My work has concluded here. Thanks for reading. Christmas Blessings to all.
badelectronics · December 17, 2020 at 3:43 pm
You are probably correct. Sad.
But, who should come out of the shed?
I cannot, this is Fauquier!
karl engels · December 17, 2020 at 1:10 pm
Bet the nazi rhetoric stops real quick if a face is added to the name
badelectronics · December 17, 2020 at 11:52 am
Doxxing maybe, try you might.
Throw away email and a VPN too.
Hmmm, JA.... not that smart.
karl engels · December 17, 2020 at 10:39 am
If they tried to moderate the site they’d lose half of their members I think is the real reason that they’re scared to. They realize that they have begun to cater to the anti makers, all lives matter folks, and white supremacists. Doxing could be a valuable alternative tho
badelectronics · December 17, 2020 at 10:28 am
CAL2 you'd not be surprised.
JA'll tell you he has black friends!
He's not a racist no!!!!
CAL2 · December 17, 2020 at 9:17 am
kurt engels: No, there can't be any moderation at this site, otherwise they'd delete the product hawking spam. So Jefferson Davisonian is free to plaster his long winded manifestos of lies, bullshit, slander and empty rhetoric all over these pages, like it was a billboard for white supremacist cult disinfomercials.
badelectronics · December 16, 2020 at 6:37 pm
Here is a question, ready?
What do you call someone pardon accepting?
The opposite of innocent, GUILTY!!!
badelectronics · December 16, 2020 at 6:22 pm
Ah Mr. Engles tis true!
A betting man yes, a shake'll do!
JA'd a bad propagandist make.
karl engels · December 16, 2020 at 5:13 pm
I’m willing to wager that you’re a fan of the horseshoe theory.
badelectronics · December 16, 2020 at 2:51 pm
Dear Mr. Engles, neither apply.
I stand corrected with my humble reply.
JA is a Qanon guy.
karl engels · December 16, 2020 at 2:45 pm
Considering the vast majority of the articles that they share are neofascist and fascist adjacent, an extremely logical and most likely accurate assumption would be that they are a nazi
karl engels · December 16, 2020 at 2:40 pm
Ja is very much the opposite of a communist
badelectronics · December 16, 2020 at 2:30 pm
https://founders.archives.gov/?q=%20Author%3A%22Jefferson%2C%20Thomas%22%20Recipient%3A%22Smith%2C%20Robert%22&s=1111311111&r=57

Poor JeffersonianAmericommie forgot to read.
The above referenced at time of deed.
Smacked down by Jefferson's hand.

badelectronics · December 16, 2020 at 1:56 pm
My dear Linda I say,
The guy's a loon, but voted in.
Virginians will learn; too late.
Linda Ward · December 16, 2020 at 1:35 pm
"White House testing czar notes that Va. congressman-elect’s ‘phony pandemic’ claim is false -
By Teddy Amenabar and Meagan Flynn


Adm. Brett Giroir, the White House’s coronavirus testing czar, emphatically rejected on Wednesday a newly elected Virginia congressman’s claim that the virus outbreak is “a phony pandemic.”

“Of course it’s a pandemic,” Giroir said on CNN. “We have hundreds of thousands of dead Americans. … This is not phony, this is not fake. It is serious.” He was reacting to a comment by Rep.-elect Bob Good (R-Va.), who stood on a stage Saturday before a crowd of Trump supporters and said the virus is “not a pandemic.”

Thousands marched in Washington on Saturday to protest President Trump’s loss in the presidential election. Good was one of more than a dozen speakers at Freedom Plaza.

“It’s a serious virus, but it’s a virus. It’s not a pandemic,” said Good, who will become Virginia’s newest congressman, representing the 5th Congressional District, on Jan. 3. “It’s great to see your faces. You get it. You stand up against tyranny.”

Good’s denial of the existence of a pandemic flies in the face of an unprecedented surge in coronavirus infections which has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 Americans — including more than 300 in Good’s congressional district, according to a Washington Post analysis of coronavirus data.

“I will be happy to supply him technical assistance,” Giroir said."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/12/16/coronavirus-covid-live-updates-us/#link-KE2GP74B6JH75C5YQMJJVB4FEQ

Way to go GOP Virginians, voting in another lunatic.
Linda Ward · December 16, 2020 at 1:33 pm
JEFF isn't any better than Alex Jones or Rush Limbaugh or FOX News. All vying for attention by being the loosest cannon in the bunch.
badelectronics · December 16, 2020 at 1:25 pm
Vox populi cries misunderstood JeffersonianAmericommie.
His many friends unwise to his secret.
Tell them....will they flee?!?
badelectronics · December 16, 2020 at 12:46 pm
JeffersonianReject cannot properly use capitalization.
Why is this so with Trumpist loons?
Low info and also IQ!
badelectronics · December 16, 2020 at 11:25 am
"Sammy, either you aren't reading my sourced citations and historic documents with your continued incoherent rants, or you remain incapable of making sense of the facts contained therein."

JeffersonianAmericommie does not really know
That one does not read with 'incoherent rants'
English perhaps not first language?
Mark House · December 16, 2020 at 11:04 am
Where does it say in the First Amendment that lying is legal? Defamation, slander, and libel are all punishable by law.

Right now, who cares about Thomas Jefferson and his private life? HE IS DEAD! If something isn't done about the Trump types and soon, so will be our democracy and rule of law.

Jeffersonian American · December 16, 2020 at 9:05 am
Sammy, either you aren't reading my sourced citations and historic documents with your continued incoherent rants, or you remain incapable of making sense of the facts contained therein. That is your shortcoming, however.

Sparky, you cannot seem to reconcile historic truths I have cited with factual sources against your Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). You also ignore my prior statements of my many dear friends of all races and socio-economic backgrounds, including those Patriots I have had the privilege to serve with in our military in both Active Duty and in civilian capacities. My only animus has been directed at domestic and foreign enemies of our U.S. Constitution and our dearest Natural Law Rights as enshrined in our Bill of Rights- the first ten amendments to our federal Constitution, for which my sworn constitutional oath has no expiration date. You also inadvertently proved my point below with respect to the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable. Read what Thomas Jefferson eloquently wrote in his only book, NOTES ON THE STATE OF VIRGINIA, against the practice of slave owners consorting with their slave women. Shortly before leaving for Paris, Jefferson wrote his first and only book: Notes on the State of Virginia. In it he included an eloquent denunciation of slavery, and he focuses particularly upon the sexual exploitation of slave women and the harmful effect that has upon the “Master’s” children. Jefferson wrote, in part,

"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; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive either in his philanthropy of his self-love, for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present."

And yet we are asked to believe in our current time that the man who wrote these words soon thereafter began a sexual relationship with an immature slave child whose job it was to attend to the needs of his beloved daughters.

There is a popular view that the only reason anyone would doubt the story of a Jefferson-Hemings sexual relationship is that they are racist or “white supremacists," who can’t bear the thought that a white man could find love in the arms of a black woman.

For myself, if I learned the widower Thomas Jefferson had found love in the arms of a free adult African woman I would be delighted for both of them and only hope they found happiness.

The problem for me is that when the relationship is alleged to have started, Sally was an enslaved child of 13-16 who lacked the maturity of Jefferson’s seven-year-old daughter. Jefferson was three times her age and legally owned her.

I cannot imagine that Sally Hemings understood the concept of “consent” in that relationship, so if Jefferson really did exploit her sexually then he was what we today would call a child molester and a rapist.

And Jefferson’s own denunciation of the sexual exploitation of slave women just before leaving for Paris confirms that he knew such behavior was wrong.

After decades-long inquiry by many distinguished scholars, and based on everything we know about the immense personal character of Thomas Jefferson that is documented in the vast historic record to date, I have found the evidence against Jefferson to be totally unpersuasive- with just a few of those source citations provided previously in this forum.

Clearly, were the standard to acquit that I must find him innocent “beyond reasonable doubt,” I would vote to acquit.
badelectronics · December 15, 2020 at 11:26 am
Sammy, JA is a nutbag.
He should be selling pencils, not sharpened.
First Amendment, protects kooks too.
Sammy · December 15, 2020 at 11:13 am
consistency in "JA" posts: animus against people of color, specifically african-americans .. the only reason to engage "JA" is to help "JA" expose themselves as a bigot .. whether Obama ("JA" is a birther, obviously, and writes it here, even in this thread) or Jefferson, "JA" demonstrates racism that is unacceptable and worthy condemnation, otherwise I would care not at all .. let us turn our sights to the equally despicable Rep Bob Good, someone whose idiocy really matters in these pandemic days, Good is a pandemic denier and must be held accountable at the polls, time to start the campaign to remove Good from office .. two years and counting
badelectronics · December 15, 2020 at 7:34 am
Jeffersonian American probable holocaust denier.
Fitting his obvious love for Trump Nazi.
Into the toilet, flush, goodbye.
badelectronics · December 15, 2020 at 6:31 am
Jeffersonian American with own petard.
Thinks having sex with a slave, OKAY???
Slaves. Could. Not. Say. No.
Jeffersonian American · December 15, 2020 at 6:29 am
As evident even on this forum, America is in the midst of a Raging Culture War, ongoing for several decades now in its planned wholesale destruction. Dr. Donald Livingston notes 2020 has been a tumultuous year. Monuments to our great American founders and other great American historic figures, long untouchable are desecrated or torn down merely because some aspect of their careers is offensive to the modern Left. The Old Left had a plan for the future- it was a bad plan and cost the lives of some 100 million worldwide in the 20th century; yet it was a concrete plan to which many people (with not entirely unworthy motives) could give their misplaced allegiance. But the destruction of the contemporary left is narcissistic and therapeutic, and the Democrat mayors and governors who allowed rioters to wreck, burn, steal and bully look more like mental health officials allowing a patient to work out his or her rage than officials sworn to protect life, liberty and property. The driving force behind this self-induced rage is Cultural Marxism, the thesis that America is, and has always been, systemically a white supremacist society. Dr. Livingston notes the key word here is "systemic."
But I digress.

One of the Commenters below clearly misses the key phrase below, "(just a few of the many, many sources available for Historical Fact-Based Truth Seekers):" The Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society cites MANY OTHER SOURCES of sound scholarship on the subject of the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable, provided the person below wishes to enrich their mind, learn and grow as a human being. The difference here is, the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society portal directs visitors to the documented, sound scholarship sources, not Pop Media and the biased sources of so-called "Advocacy Scholars" determined to fundamentally transform Americans' traditional relationship to Thomas Jefferson via omissions of fact, deliberate or incompetent alteration of historic document transcriptions, and other questionable deeds and motives.

Another Commenter below uses the Spectacular Lies published by the Radical Left Monticello-controlling "Thomas Jefferson Foundation", which actually cites the DNA Study from which the 1998 British journal NATURE, which blared the headline, "Jefferson fathered slave's last child," when in fact, based on the evidence, should have read at the time, "A Jefferson fathered slave's last child." You may read more about this in the extensive documentation provided in the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society links provided below, if you wish to seek the truth via sound scholarship, and not based on a fraudulent desire to promote a Politically Correct Attack on President Thomas Jefferson- a wholly innocent man based on the vast evidence contained in the historic record to date. The former Thomas Jefferson [Memorial] Foundation has become so radicalized in its mission to destroy the character and legacy of Thomas Jefferson that it has now championed the fantasy that Thomas Jefferson fathered ALL of Sally Hemings' children and proclaims her "...one of America's Founding Mothers..." Read more about it for yourself here:

https://www.tjheritage.org/a-civil-action-sally-hemings-v-thomas-jefferson

and here:

https://www.tjheritage.org/hemings

For want of an "A" since 1998, both the Monticello-based Radical Left Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Radical Left universities, television and Hollywood media, and even a brazen Pulitzer-Prize winning Harvard "historian" who omitted facts and altered historic document transcriptions to change their meanings have all profited obscenely from unjustly smearing the character and reputation of Thomas Jefferson in their goal to fundamentally transform Americans' traditional relationship with Thomas Jefferson as one of our very greatest founding fathers.
Jeffersonian American · December 15, 2020 at 6:28 am
(CONTINUED) Dr. White M. Wallenborn, who dissented on the DNA Study Committee (unlike Dr. Foster and the six scientists who signed the 1998 NATURE Journal, none of whom were United States board certified doctors or scientists), provided two official rebuttals, and summarized it best- you can read his extensive expertise and rebuttals on the subject at both the TJHeritage.org website, and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation website provided below. Dr. Wallenborn concludes:

"The author of the Minority Report of the DNA Study Committee would like to conclude with a statement: If the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and the DNA Study Committee majority had been seeking the truth and had used accurate legal and historical information rather than politically correct motivation, their statement should have been something like this: "After almost two hundred years of study including recent DNA information, it is still impossible to prove with absolute certainty whether Thomas Jefferson did or did not father any of Sally Hemings five children." This statement is accurate and honest and it would have helped discourage the campaign by leading universities (including Thomas Jefferson's own University of Virginia), magazines, university publications, national commercial and public TV networks, and newspapers to denigrate and destroy the legacy of one of the greatest of our founding fathers and one of the greatest of all of our citizens."

White McKenzie Wallenborn, M.D.
http://www.TJHeritage.org

(CONTINUED NEXT POSTING)
badelectronics · December 15, 2020 at 6:21 am
Jeffersonian American Defecates on Constitution.
Denies history not suitable for his white skin.
Old, dirty, lonely, sad, pathetic.
Jeffersonian American · December 15, 2020 at 6:14 am
(CONTINUED) Even the Thomas Jefferson Foundation acknowledged the specific details provided by Dr. Wallenborn refuting their claims that Thomas Jefferson fathered all of Sally Hemings' children; yet they still continue to profit from these Spectacular Lies and have radically altered their historic house tours to emphasize their Spectacular Lies, which have been a public relations disaster. Not only are home tours dramatically down and prices raised dramatically up ($30 or more last time I bothered to check), there are now discussions to close and eliminate all interior tours of Monticello to the public- the home and its historic furnishings are too complimentary and too powerful reminders of Thomas Jefferson's immense character and legacy- and to instead emphasize the grounds and Mulberry Row and the lives of the field hands and the newly created, "Sally Room" exclusively instead. In other words, this is the exact opposite messaging of the tours I had taken at Monticello dating back to the 1960s, along with generations of other Americans. Now in the 21st Century it is all being erased and re-packaged based on a Spectacular Lie that Thomas Jefferson was actually a Cad, a Hypocrite and a Slave Rapist. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

What Desecration!

https://www.monticello.org/thomas-jefferson/jefferson-slavery/thomas-jefferson-and-sally-hemings-a-brief-account/research-report-on-jefferson-and-hemings/reply-to-the-response-to-the-minority-report/
Linda Ward · December 14, 2020 at 12:46 pm
Mr. Black Death and Whiner-in-Chief will soon be gone and hopefully our country can return to some semblance of civility.
Sammy · December 14, 2020 at 9:22 am
"Many, many sources"?

Odd "Jeffersonian American" lists only one, tjheritage.org

Your sole source -- like you -- is out-dated and biased. Modern research proves what was once suspected:

"It is now the Thomas Jefferson Foundation’s view that the issue is a settled historical matter. A considerable body of evidence stretching from 1802 to 1873 (and beyond) describes Thomas Jefferson as the father of Sally Hemings’s children. It was corroborated by the findings of the Y-chromosome haplotype DNA study conducted by Dr. Eugene Foster and published in the scientific journal Nature in November 1998. The DNA study did prove paternity of a Jefferson family member and corroborated the ample documentary and oral history evidence. Other evidence supports Thomas Jefferson’s paternity as well, including his presence at Monticello during Sally Hemings’s likely windows of conception, the names of Hemings’s surviving children, and the fact that all of her children were granted freedom – they were either allowed to leave the plantation, or legally emancipated in Jefferson’s will, a unique occurrence among Monticello’s enslaved families."

https://www.monticello.org/thomas-jefferson/jefferson-slavery/thomas-jefferson-and-sally-hemings-a-brief-account/monticello-affirms-thomas-jefferson-fathered-children-with-sally-hemings/
Jeffersonian American · December 14, 2020 at 6:16 am
All who are interested in reading more documented facts from the vast historic record to date pertaining to the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable can review the evidence presented here (just a few of the many, many sources available for Historical Fact-Based Truth Seekers):

https://www.tjheritage.org/the-scholars-commission

https://www.tjheritage.org/scholars-commission-pdf

https://www.tjheritage.org/the-monticello-association

https://www.tjheritage.org/paternity-documents

https://www.tjheritage.org/the-paternity-myth

https://www.tjheritage.org/dna-hemings

Contrary to whatever contemporary Americans may have seen on popular fictionalized television docu-dramas such as "Roots," there is one eyewitness account from an old letter that described President Jefferson arriving home from the White House to his beloved Monticello for a visit. The eyewitness described the field hands (slaves) at Monticello got advance word of the President's return home- and were so overjoyed with emotion when they saw and heard the President's Carriage arrive that they dropped their implements and ran down the long driveway to greet the President's carriage. Overjoyed and cheering, the field hands unhitched the horses from Thomas Jefferson's carriage, and proceeded to pull and push the carriage themselves up the final distance of the driveway to the residence, surrounding Thomas Jefferson with love and adoration upon his return home.

Something else you won't see today recreated for historic dramas on Public Television, The History Channel or in the Smithsonian Institution exhibit videos.

Which only proves the history and evils of the slave trade since its northern inception in 1641 in Massachusetts is far more complex and far more complicated than what is re-created and propagandized to us by the Radical Left Media and Hollywood in the 21st Century.

The Truth Shall Set Us All Free.
Mark House · December 13, 2020 at 3:29 pm
Hey JEFF, were you there at Monticello? You write as if you have first hand knowledge of what went down on Jefferson's PLANTATION. Tell us JEFF what was it like back then, or were you too busy mucking out the stables and carrying out the slop buckets from the MASTERS house?
badelectronics · December 13, 2020 at 2:47 pm
Jeffersonian American crank'n crack sniffer.
His tirades? Not worthy of Ted Kaczynski.
In his cup pencils, unsharpened.
Sammy · December 13, 2020 at 1:00 pm
JA: 'fathered children with' = 'a Cad, a Hypocrite and a Slave Rapist'

Monticello:

https://www.monticello.org/thomas-jefferson/jefferson-slavery/thomas-jefferson-and-sally-hemings-a-brief-account/
Jeffersonian American · December 13, 2020 at 7:21 am
It is rare for me to single out specific Commenters in this forum, but I wish to correct “Sammy” for his scholarship implying in his comments on 12/10 below that our Founding Father and 3rd U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, was a Cad, a Hypocrite and a Slave Rapist:

“Jefferson's foundation and family confirm he fathered children with Sally Heming ..(sic)”

All Americans today can take pride in the knowledge that Thomas Jefferson was none of those things in life- but quite the opposite character in real life, according to the vast historic record documented to date. To the contrary, not only was Thomas Jefferson a deeply moral and spiritual man, all of the extensive evidence contained in the vast historic record to date fully vindicates Thomas Jefferson as a man devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren- and he did not become infatuated with a 14-year-old uneducated slave girl, much less conduct an illicit, 38-year-long affair with her throughout the remainder of his life as she attended to his most cherished children and grandchildren after the tragic passing of his young wife, Martha. The documented record to date proves Sally Hemings was a very small, inconsequential part of Thomas Jefferson’s life- so much so, that all that is known about her can be fully listed on the front of a 3 by 5-inch postcard. All else is pure speculation and Hollywood grade fiction writing. And one shameless, brazen, Pulitzer-Prize winning author even omitted facts and altered historic document transcriptions to help create re-constitute the Sally Hemings Fable in our modern era, and has richly and obscenely profited from it. You may read about this desecration of a book here:

Hemings Paternity Documents — Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society (tjheritage.org)

The former Thomas Jefferson [Memorial] Foundation about 20 years ago deleted the word “Memorial” from its official name long held since the 1920s- having been taken over by a Radical Left Board of Directors determined to smear Thomas Jefferson’s character (while obscenely profiting from it- making it even more heinous) in an effort to destroy his legacy as a foundational pillar and as the “Inventor of America,” by embracing and promoting the fictitious narrative of known origin to “fundamentally transform” Americans’ traditional relationship with Thomas Jefferson as one of our very greatest founding fathers in an effort to discredit all that he stood for and championed in order to take 21st Century America in a very different direction far, far removed from his Declaration of Independence and Statute for Religious Freedom in Virginia, among many other extraordinary accomplishments.

The Monticello owners and many other entities spanning Big Media, Hollywood, the Smithsonian, the Virginia Historical Society, the University of Virginia he founded, Harvard (and other academic institutions) and far too many so-called heritage preservation organizations (who should know better to seek out sound scholarship), have all either knowingly or unwitting joined the Politically Correct Bandwagon to spread the Spectacular Lies about the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable.

I encourage “Sammy” and others to seek sound scholarship based on the factual historic record to date. Here is one trusted source to access the findings of the independent Scholars Commission which debunked the Hemings Fable some years ago, and which overwhelmingly vindicated Thomas Jefferson as being wholly innocent of fathering slave children. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson was one of America’s earliest abolitionists, who tried to end the slavery practice in the Virginia State Legislature, but fell one vote short. After Mr. Lincoln’s War, Thomas Jefferson’s 18th century written words and original efforts were used to write the revised 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution some 80 years later in the 19th century.

The study of history is supposed to be a never-ending search for the truth, so I encourage “Sammy” and all who are interested to study more about the historic truths contained in the historic record TO DATE (operative words) archived here:

Hemings — Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society (tjheritage.org)

KEY TAKEAWAY: Americans of all ages today have every reason to be proud of the extraordinary life and character of Thomas Jefferson and his foundational contributions to our American republic and reaffirmation of our Natural Law Rights as enshrined in his Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson truly changed the world.
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