History repeats?

Early draft, mostly Jefferson, but also Franklin and Adams:

A Declaration of the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress assembled.

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a people to advance from that subordination in which they have hitherto remained, & to assume among the powers of the earth the equal & independant station to which the laws of nature & of nature’s god entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the change.

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independant, that from that equal creation they derive right inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;

that whenever any form of government shall become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, & to institute new government, laying it’s foundation on such principles & organising it’s powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety & happiness.

prudence indeed will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light & transient causes: and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

but when a long train of abuses & usurpations, begun at a distinguished period, & pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to subject them to arbitrary power, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government

Mayor Pete:

You know, over time, you develop and evolve on the things you choose to honor. And I think we know enough, especially Jackson, you know, you just look at what basically amounts to genocide that happened here. Jefferson’s more problematic. You know, there’s a lot to, of course, admire in his thinking and his philosophy. Then again, as you plunge into his writings, especially the notes on the state of Virginia, you know that he knew that slavery was wrong.

And yet, he did it. Now we’re all morally conflicted human beings. And it’s not like we’re blotting him out of the history books, or deleting him from being the founder fathers. But you know, naming something after somebody confers a certain amount of honor. And at a time, I mean, the real reason I think there’s a lot of pressure on this is the relationship between the past and the present, that

we’re finding in a million different ways that racism isn’t some curiosity out of the past that we’re embarrassed about but moved on from. It’s alive, it’s well, it’s hurting people. And it’s one of the main reasons to be in politics today is to try to change or reverse the harms that went along with that.

Some right-wing commentary:

Buttigieg’s candidacy is a precisely aimed culture war bomb. He was groomed from childhood for the Culture War. His father, Professor Joseph Buttigieg, who died this past January, was one of the world’s leading experts on Antonio Gramsci, the Italian communist theoretician that Marxists the world over look to for guidance on waging the war on Christian culture.

“A ‘culture war’ has been raging all about us for many decades. The forces of organized decadence are waging this war according to the detailed battle plans laid out by Italian Communist theoretician Antonio Gramsci in the 1920s and ’30s. The Gramscian strategy called for a long, patient march to capture the cultural “mediating institutions”— the media, schools, universities, churches, civic organizations, publishing, and entertainment — to overturn entrenched religious and cultural values.”

Professor Buttigieg, who taught at the University of Notre Dame for nearly four decades, was no neutral, dispassionate academic studying a modern subversive movement. He was a passionate evangelist for Gramsci’s gospel of longterm, patient revolution. He was the translator and editor of the three-volume English edition of Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks. He was also a founding member of the International Gramsci Society and served as its president.

Comments: (1) the Gramsci commentary is very interesting – more here; (2) whatever else you think of Mayor Pete, he’s obviously one of the really smart guys in the Other America, so he’ll probably be very interesting to watch in coming years; (3) since Mayor Pete seems to be calling for something similar to Jefferson in the first section above, we’d like to see his version of a First Section Above.

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