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(The New York Times)   Thomas Jefferson was a dick   (nytimes.com) divider line 286
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29219 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Dec 2012 at 5:16 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-03 01:11:51 PM
 
2012-12-03 01:17:32 PM
He didn't mind whipping children, for profit.
 
2012-12-03 01:19:43 PM

DamnYankees: GAT_00: Yeah, but it wasn't like Jefferson was the only abolitionist who never freed his slaves.

Jefferson wasn't an abolitionist. He was the opposite.


I would not say that his position was the exact opposite of abolitionism. Abolitionists wanted to end slavery immediately. Jefferson believed that it would eventually fade away. He was probably correct in that. The people of the north banned slavery because it was not economically feasible. By the beginning of the Civil War, the border states had come to the same conclusion. They could make more money selling their slaves farther south than they could earn by employing them at home.
 
2012-12-03 01:20:50 PM

Scott_Free: DamnYankees: Scott_Free: Show me a person who did more.

George Washington.

Bullshiat. Just a surveyor with money. Not even close to what Jefferson did Read your history.
\


Washington kept a rag tag army together when they kept wanting to quit. He managed to squash an attempted Military Coup by just one speech. He became the first President with NO example to follow and did a damn good job of it. And oh yeah, he manged to score a victory over the #1 military power of that century.


So shut up, biatch.
 
2012-12-03 01:28:34 PM

DROxINxTHExWIND: hideous: We know Jefferson had this cold intellectual ability to compartmentalize. To speak the idealist's dreams of a perfect society, even as he tuned out the noise from the nail factory ? I guess the question we struggle with is, does the man's evils taint the great ideas, can we still aspire to Jefferson's ideals, knowing he failed to live up to them.

For me there is a parallel. The hippies in the sixties and early seventies wanted equality, freedom, and felt we had no right to wage war against the Vietnamese. Flash forward a couple of decades, and the same demographic, now with property and assets, supported the war in Iraq, reelected W, would go along with anything, just as long as the gas for their SUV's kept coming. The people who used to worship at the altar of John Lennon, now fight universal health care because it will make them have to wait longer to get care so the poor can have access at all.

A man with something to lose will drop his idealism like a hot potato if you try to shut off his Cable tv. Human Nature.


I reject that notion. 9/11 happened. SOME OF the hippies were not supporting war to protect property. They were fearful because of the government propaganda that told them more 9/11 type events were forthcoming unless we waged war. The same chicken hawks who supported Vietnam are the people who supported the Iraq war. Lets not act like we went to war because the flower children now have flat screen TVs.


What he said, but a slightly different explanation: the "demographic" you're talking about (hideous) is two different demographics, not one.

Most baby-boomers were not hippies, did not oppose the war unless they were in serious danger of being drafted, were not at Woodstock. I lived in San Francisco as a teenager and was surprised to discover that most people who grew up there during the sixties have never dropped acid, don't like rock 'n roll music, and have never protested against anything except paying full price for a domestic servant. It seemed absurd at the time, perhaps because my parents were hippies, but it makes perfect sense now.

I hate to type these words, but Nixon was right. The hippies were a tiny, tiny subset of a very large generation. They just sold a lot more copies of Life magazine than all the people the same age who were getting married, locking down their first jobs and not ever voting for anybody named McCarthy or McGovern.
 
2012-12-03 01:46:57 PM
And re: Washington and Jefferson, consider this: whatever contemporaries thought of them, on some level they are the role models for all subsequent American politicians. If that's success, I'd like a large order of fail.
 
2012-12-03 02:11:01 PM

david_gaithersburg: ///There is a giant conspiracy by the media and the educational system to attack democrats.


You should have seen how democrats were handled in the movie Lincoln. It was brutal. I don't know how Spielberg lives with himself.
 
2012-12-03 02:17:41 PM

macadamnut: And re: Washington and Jefferson, consider this: whatever contemporaries thought of them, on some level they are the role models for all subsequent American politicians. If that's success, I'd like a large order of fail.


Here ya go.
t3.gstatic.com
 
2012-12-03 02:19:12 PM
They knew, all along, what was coming. Patrick Henry was at least honest about it (79 slaves):

Would any one believe that I am master of slaves of my own purchase! I am drawn along by the general inconvenience of living without them. I will not, I cannot justify it. However culpable my conduct, I will so far pay my devoir to virtue, as to own the excellence and rectitude of her precepts, and to lament the want of conforming to them--I believe a time will come when an opposition will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil--Every thing we can do is to improve it, if it happens in our day, if not, let us transmit to our descendants together with our slaves, a pity for their unhappy lot, and an abhorrence for slavery. If we cannot reduce this wished for reformation to practice, let us treat the unhappy victims with lenity, it is the furthest advance we can make toward justice. We owe to the purity of our religion to show that it is at variance with that law which warrants slavery.... ...I know not where to stop, I could say many things on this subject; a serious review of which gives a gloomy perspective to future times.

http://clio.missouristate.edu/FTMiller/Docs/henryslavery.htm

However, Franklin, as always, manages to eventually rise above it, both personally and intellectually (as a previous poster mentioned, playing poker with Dr. Franklin would have been `enlightening' - in all senses of the word).

http://www.amphilsoc.org/sites/default/files/150408.pdf
 
2012-12-03 02:19:43 PM

Triumph: david_gaithersburg: ///There is a giant conspiracy by the media and the educational system to attack democrats.

You should have seen how democrats were handled in the movie Lincoln. It was brutal. I don't know how Spielberg lives with himself.


I have not seen the movie yet, but it would be correct to handle them in a brutal manner.
 
2012-12-03 03:13:24 PM
Thomas Jefferson liked his coffee the way he liked his women - hand picked from a field.
 
2012-12-03 03:46:17 PM

ds615: If history records you as a "great man", then you were almost certainly a "bad man".
Truly, all the "great" people of history werehad dicks.


FTFY
 
2012-12-03 03:58:55 PM
Jefferson's culpability for the continuation of slavery under his watch, his personal empathy for slaves and the system as a whole, and pretty much every subject related to the above will be debated for centuries. There's ample evidence to argue both points.

In this case, though, before getting all worked up over the subject, it's good to know that Paul Finkelman has made a pretty good living by being the guy most eager to deal ol' TJ a swift punch in the nads in any public forum he can muster. As a scholar, he's respectable, but Jefferson must have killed his great-grandpappy's dog or something, because the dude has a serious ax to grind against Jefferson, and never misses an opportunity to get in a couple of shots.

(Seriously, how many people wake up one morning and announce over the breakfast table, "Hmm, a new biography of John Doe is out. Time to write an OP-ED TO THE NEW YORK TIMES about what a douche John Doe was!")
 
2012-12-03 04:02:04 PM
Thanks to reading questionable right-wing news sites, I now know that this article is a lie, and that Jefferson's "slave ownership" is a lie created by liberal historical revisionists trying to destroy America.
 
2012-12-03 04:07:41 PM

david_gaithersburg: Things I've recently learned on Fark:

/All teachers are far right conservatives.
//All of the media is run by far right conservatives.
///There is a giant conspiracy by the media and the educational system to attack democrats.


Well it's true if you also consider many of today's leftist think that Karl Marx was a right wing Fox News reporter and the whole "history" thing is just something they can rewrite whenever it is convenient. So now that they have secured their political power, they want to discredit the Constitution by attacking the guy that wrote it. It's all pretty transparent.
 
2012-12-03 04:38:28 PM

Jeet Kune D'oh: Jefferson's culpability for the continuation of slavery under his watch, his personal empathy for slaves and the system as a whole, and pretty much every subject related to the above will be debated for centuries. There's ample evidence to argue both points.

In this case, though, before getting all worked up over the subject, it's good to know that Paul Finkelman has made a pretty good living by being the guy most eager to deal ol' TJ a swift punch in the nads in any public forum he can muster. As a scholar, he's respectable, but Jefferson must have killed his great-grandpappy's dog or something, because the dude has a serious ax to grind against Jefferson, and never misses an opportunity to get in a couple of shots.

(Seriously, how many people wake up one morning and announce over the breakfast table, "Hmm, a new biography of John Doe is out. Time to write an OP-ED TO THE NEW YORK TIMES about what a douche John Doe was!")


There is more than enough evidence to understand that Jefferson and many others believed that slavery was a necessary evil. He believed that it would die on its own.

It is obvious to me that there are many different levels when it comes to slavery. You have abolitionists who wanted to end it immediately to people who believed that it should be supported and the slave trade re-instituted. There are many levels between.

There many ideas about what to do with the freed slaves. Some wanted them to stay in this country, others wanted to immediately ship them overseas. There were even people that believed in immediate freedom and gradual exportation.

In short, you cannot apply an easy label to any of the men in that period.


Jefferson was one of those who wanted it to go away, just not right away. Try sticking a label on that.
 
2012-12-03 07:20:59 PM
Don't you wish we could bring him back to life and drive him through Compton?
 
2012-12-03 08:31:00 PM

violentsalvation: I hate the newer nickels where he's looking right at you. Mind your own damn business, Tom.


I think it's bizarre that someone like that is on the currency.
 
2012-12-03 08:48:29 PM
Jefferson was just like every other white person then. When they said "all men" they didn't mean black people. They weren't "men" or even people. They were less than that. So when Jefferson wrote his best words he wasn't thinking about Negroes. They simply didn't count.

Not far off of things you still hear in the South today: "We're not racist, that's just how it is."
 
2012-12-03 08:53:42 PM
Jefferson would have been ruined financially and politically if he freed the slaves he inherited from his father-in-law. (Women couldn't own property, generally. Why does no one have a problem with Jefferson condoning the cruel institution of marriage?)

A political world without Jefferson probably means that Hamilton would have run amok, and our timeline would be similar to Russia's.

But I think Jefferson would have also been ruined psychologically. Sally Hemings was Martha Jefferson's half sister. They had a strong resemblance to each other and were very hot. Jefferson loved Martha deeply. He pretty much farked her to death and had serious guilt about it. He loved Sally Hemings, in turn. Hell, she looked like his wife with darker skin. Jefferson laid out his plan to Hemings when they were in Paris. She and her brother were aware that they could walk while in Paris. They both decided to return to the US as slaves. Jefferson and Hemings lived (discretely) as husband and wife for the rest of his life.

Flawed human is an oxymoron. Anyone can take things out of historical context and make Jefferson into a horrible monster. In an era when the founding fathers were trying to create and defend a new country, Jefferson laid the foundation for freedom. Would we be better off if he had freed his slaves, lost his land, and been exiled to bum-fark egypt as a broken man? No.
 
2012-12-03 09:20:19 PM

edmo: Jefferson was just like every other white person then.


Wrong.

Several white people were staunch abolitionists. Several Americans, too. A couple of early Presidents & Vice Presidents along with it.

Adams was perhaps the first truly modern president, followed by Burr (as a vp) and then JQ Adams. These are people that wanted an end to slavery, equal rights for women and more. It's amazing, when you look at people who talk about how they were "men of their times" to think of all the people that were of our time back then. You also do a disservice to scores of men there. All for rhetoric. Ill-thought and poorly presented rhetoric.
 
2012-12-03 09:57:24 PM
Mangoose

edmo: Jefferson was just like every other white person then.

Wrong.

Several white people were staunch abolitionists. Several Americans, too. A couple of early Presidents & Vice Presidents along with it.

Adams was perhaps the first truly modern president, followed by Burr (as a vp) and then JQ Adams. These are people that wanted an end to slavery, equal rights for women and more. It's amazing, when you look at people who talk about how they were "men of their times" to think of all the people that were of our time back then. You also do a disservice to scores of men there. All for rhetoric. Ill-thought and poorly presented rhetoric.


Why I mentioned Patrick Henry and Franklin. Franklin went from collecting considerable revenue by printing runaway slave notices in his papers and owning 2-3 house slaves, in his youth, to helping fund the first school for blacks, in Philadelphia, lending support to the first abolitionist society and the last article he had published, before his death, was a biting satire in which he likened white Christian captives of Sidi Mehemet Ibrahim ( a Muslim potentate on the Barbary coast - a `divan of Algiers') to slaves (giving all the standard reasons for continuing their slavery rather than releasing them).

http://sniggle.net/historicus.php

As an aside, Catton, in the first of his 4 volumes on the Civil War, The Coming Fury, mentions that John Brown, on his way from Ohio to the Kansas Territory, bought swords that had originally been purchased by a `society' that had, decades before, planned to use them in subjugating Canada - Franklin, apparently, had a hand in supporting those `patriots'. That Brown and his sons later put those blades to use along Pottawatomie Creek draws quite an odd line...
 
2012-12-03 10:04:02 PM

Jeet Kune D'oh: There's ample evidence to argue both points


That's because Jefferson's views shifted over time. In his youth, he was a vocal abolitionist. Between 1780 and 1790 he reversed his views, mostly because his slaves (primarily his nail factory) were making him a shiatton of money.
 
2012-12-03 10:40:01 PM
So this is the thread where the small come to tear down the great. Here it is, the great shiatstorm of our time.
 
2012-12-03 11:08:39 PM

The Jami Turman Fan Club: Fistfights in Congress were common...


Got a cite for that? Because I recall researching this, years ago, and could only find two (one was actually a pretty vicious beating with a cane)
 
2012-12-03 11:56:35 PM

The Jami Turman Fan Club: "You used Hitler in an argument against X. According to Godwin's law, you have lost. X is true, and it is now enshrined forever".

What X is is irrelevant.

Does this help?


no not really. because that isn't Godwins law.

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." That's all godwins law is. it doesn't mean you auto lose an argument and the other persons position is automatically true.
 
2012-12-04 01:00:12 AM
Flash forward a couple of decades, and the same demographic, now with property and assets, supported the war in Iraq, reelected W, would go along with anything, just as long as the gas for their SUV's kept coming.

Not really. In the hippie example, 20 years passed between their idealism stage and their transformation into materialistic, selfish, bastards. That means they weren't really the same demographic as they had been. In Jefferson's case, he was practicing doublespeak, writing the Declaration and abolition-oriented correspondence publicly while simultaneously maximizing slave-owning for all he could get out of it. That simultenaity is what sets him apart.
 
2012-12-04 06:08:31 AM
A lot of what Jefferson said about black people is true, at least in part. And keep in mind: he had a limited/contaminated sample.

Take a close look at the DRC before writing some half-wit retort. Examine the social experiment that is Liberia. The world is full of evidence that supports TJ's controversial views, and the counterarguments to his views are philosophical or idealistic claptrap.

I'd like to think that TJ had an unusually keen grasp of the obvious, and had too much spine to bow to the ill-informed opinions of his (often weepy/wimpy) contemporaries.
 
2012-12-04 06:21:00 AM
Americans of today are anti-slavery except when they buy a $1500 iPhone for $600, or when they buy cans of peas for 3 for $1. Farking hypocrites.
 
2012-12-04 06:30:22 AM

DamnYankees: NewportBarGuy: You guys want to know how important Thomas Jefferson was? Imagine if we didn't have him to battle against Alexander Hamilton while Washington presided over the Battle Royale that was the founding of this country.

Alexander Hamilton was basically right about everything. I'm not sure why this is good.


This. I've also heard that they held the Constitutional Convention when TJ was abroad on purpose, as they admired his eloquence, but the other founders didn't trust his judgement

/he also basically established the template for dirty politics, relentlessly accusing the beloved and high-minded Washington of being senile for rejecting his policies
 
2012-12-04 06:48:15 AM

Marshal805: Scott_Free: DamnYankees: Scott_Free: Show me a person who did more.

George Washington.

Bullshiat. Just a surveyor with money. Not even close to what Jefferson did Read your history.
\

Washington kept a rag tag army together when they kept wanting to quit. He managed to squash an attempted Military Coup by just one speech. He became the first President with NO example to follow and did a damn good job of it. And oh yeah, he manged to score a victory over the #1 military power of that century.


So shut up, biatch.


Washington also established precedence for how the office of the President was to be run, managed a cabiet of competing ideologues without any major missteps, and knew when to leave. He was clearly the greatest of our founding fathers
 
2012-12-04 07:37:13 AM
taco bell won't even take money with Jefferson on it
 
2012-12-04 08:01:39 AM

Dear Jerk: Flawed human is an oxymoron.


No... I think rather it is a redundancy...
 
2012-12-04 09:39:29 AM

DROxINxTHExWIND: ace in your face: Comparing morality in a different century is a little rediculous. Most of us wouldn't kill a person for being gay, or kill a black man for seducing a white woman, but a hundred years ago that shiat was pretty acceptable. In the reverse, I dont get called a slut for wearing a bathing suit but 100 years ago they would have arrested me. Times change. Jefferson was a defently moral man for the time.

And in the 1940s Hitler thought Jews were less than human, so that's ok too, right?


Considering the backlash from the world (and even german people) after the war regarding the death camps, I would say murdering millions of people was not socially acceptable at the time. Comparing thomas Jefferson to Hitler made me laugh though.
 
2012-12-04 10:29:59 AM

ace in your face: Considering the backlash from the world (and even german people) after the war regarding the death camps, I would say murdering millions of people was not socially acceptable at the time. Comparing thomas Jefferson to Hitler made me laugh though.


If that were the case, there would also have been backlash against Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt for murdering millions of Europeans.

/try "murdering millions of your own loyal citizens over make-believe theories that are later proven false"
//there's a reason why the Nazi crimes committed against the Jews was considered worse than the crimes committed against the Communist POWs
///at least until our derranged postmodernist moral equivalence set in
 
2012-12-04 03:59:29 PM
RobSeace
...it is a redundancy...

You win this round
 
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