Government Watch / Politics

Biden and Democrats Abandon Jefferson over Equality, Not Slavery

AMAC Exclusive – By Claire Brighn


On Monday, a statue of Thomas Jefferson that had stood watch over the New York City Council chambers for 187 years was carted away to be relocated just a few miles North at the New York Historical Society. The removal follows a vote by a mayoral commission in October to remove the statue after months of increased pressure from leftists on the City Council, and is the culmination of a decades-long campaign by progressive city leaders, who claim that the statue is offensive to minority groups because Jefferson was a slaveowner.

As the statue finally departs City Hall, it marks a disgraceful final chapter for a monument with a storied history. But relegating Thomas Jefferson’s statue to some dusty corner in a museum will not likely end the left’s war against the founders generally, and it certainly won’t stop their crusade against Thomas Jefferson specifically.

The author of the Declaration of Independence and the nation’s third president has, in recent years, become the radical left’s highest value target for destruction. But despite what the left is publicly saying these days, their energy and urgency in cancelling Thomas Jefferson from American history does not appear to be because Jefferson was a slaveholder. After all, George Washington was a slaveholder too and has, at least thus far, not been subject to the same removal-at-all-costs fervor.

Rather, Jefferson appears to be despised by the far left today for the same reason that he was nearly universally acclaimed for most of American history: he is the author of the principle of human equality contained in the Declaration of Independence that founded our country in 1776. And the Declaration’s principle of human equality is very much out of fashion with today’s radical left—which is trying to turn the very year “1776” into a symbol of hate.

For Jefferson, the promise of America was a place where a new notion of equality could take root. Every single person’s worth and individual rights were, he asserted, not defined by a king or a government, but rather “endowed by their Creator” and are “unalienable.” At the same time, Jefferson recognized that the practice of slavery was at odds with this understanding of the moral universe and drafted a passage in the Declaration – which was later struck by the Congress – that called slavery “the cruel war against human nature.”

This new American proposition that all were created equal was, of course, one that would not be fulfilled in Jefferson’s time, and was a vision that Jefferson himself never fully adhered to in his personal life. However, it nonetheless laid the foundation for the establishment of the United States. Our founding principle of equality led to the abolition movement, and eventually to a bloody Civil War that eradicated slavery from this country.

Jefferson’s vision of equality also underpinned the Civil Rights Movement a century later. In his famous “I Have a Dream Speech,” Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously called for all Americans to “live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” The words of the slaveowner Jefferson became the rallying cry for the end of racial segregation in America.

Yes, Jefferson was a slaveowner, but even a cursory understanding of American history quickly reveals that his primary significance is as an intellectual force for freedom and equality in the world.

Today’s far left politicians now like to repeat the line that America “never lived up to” the principles of the Declaration. President Biden has said as much repeatedly throughout his campaign and the early months of his presidency. But if the new left really cared about living up to our founding principles, as so many generations of Americans have before, would they not want to keep alive the memory of the man who penned them?

Instead, the push has been not only to “contextualize” or “reframe” Jefferson, but to erase him from history entirely. Charles Barron, a New York Assembly Member who was on the City Council 20 years ago when the push to remove the Jefferson statue first began, made as much clear when he said that removal of the statue alone is not enough. “We started this battle twenty years ago and the only reason why they are coming up with it now is because people are looking at deeper, systemic problems in this system and calling for radical system changes so now they’ll give us a statue removal.” Instead, he says, the statue must be “destroyed.”

Barron’s comments unintentionally betray the true reason the left is seeking to erase Jefferson from American history. It’s not Jefferson they are after; it’s “radical system changes”—in other words, a political revolution against the history of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the American republic itself.

Today’s far left envisions a society of precisely the opposite nature to the ideal Jefferson advanced. They want a world in which a person’s worth is essentially defined by their racial and gender identity, and where differences in these traits mean that people are very much not “created equal” and therefore don’t enjoy equal protection under the law. As much is evidenced by Critical Race Theory’s claims that every person either falls into an “oppressor” or “oppressed” class based on their racial identity, or by the left’s claims that police departments are just modern day “slave patrols.”

To combat this supposed systemic problem, “equality” is not enough for the left – what is instead required is a wholesale overhaul of the American system, starting with Jefferson on down. In the left’s vision, the law should be applied unequally among groups, dependent on the race, gender, or class of whatever group an individual falls into.  

This did not used to be the official position of the Democratic Party. In 1987, for example, shortly after announcing his bid for the Democratic nomination for president, Joe Biden evoked the name of Jefferson in describing his own upbringing: “That was always a constant dinner table conversation, whether it was World War II or Thomas Jefferson, so I think I had a real love for history, and I think that kind of matured into my interest, though very, very limited involvement, in the Civil Rights Movement.” (Whether Biden played any role whatsoever in the Civil Rights Movement remains a contested matter.)

Now, however, Biden’s energy is not in calling for Americans to live up to our founding ideals. Instead, Biden condemns Americans (and America) for, in his words, “never living up to” the principles of the Declaration. This new Biden rhetoric is explained by Biden’s recent conversion to the belief that the United States is a “systemically racist” country founded not on freedom and equality, but rather on hate and human bondage. When President Biden was asked by Anderson Cooper at a CNN Presidential Town Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, about what he thought of the New York City Council’s recent decision to remove the Jefferson statue from its legislative chamber, he replied, “It’s up to the locality to decide,” offering no defense of the American founding father he once said he revered.

Biden also piled on the effort to erase Jefferson’s legacy by disbanding President Trump’s 1776 Commission on day one of his administration. Biden and the radical leftists who helped get him elected can’t risk letting the American people know the truth about their heritage. If they did, the game that the left is playing would be up and their grip on power would dramatically weaken.

It is thus not Jefferson the slaveholder that Biden and the left seek to banish, but the principles of the Declaration of Independence. For Biden and the radical leftists that have now taken over today’s Democratic Party, Thomas Jefferson’s vision of liberty and equality articulated in the Declaration is really what makes Jefferson so unpalatable, because it undercuts Biden and the Democrat’s narrative of the United States as an inherently evil and racist nation whose institutions are corrupt to the core.

Claire Brighn is the pen name of a conservative researcher and writer with previous domestic and foreign policy experience in the Executive Branch.

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Robin Walter Boyd
10 months ago

Just about everything can be claimed to offend someone in some way. This is just another way hateful Progressives are dividing our nation and destroying an understanding of our past. Only one person in history can be claimed to have been perfect, and even He gave in to human emotions. No one today is perfect and no one in the future will be perfect. Perfection is a perception that all of us have a different notion of, so no one can ever be perfect.
By inflecting todays social standards and laws on persons of the past, we unfairly judge historical people. It is unfair because social standards and laws at the time historic persons lived were quite a bit different than they are today. We must judge the actions of historical persons in the context of the laws and social standards of “their” time, not ours. If American slave owners offend American Black folk, then other Black folk should also offend them because in Africa, their ancestors were either slave owners of Black tribesmen or they were slaves of Black tribes. The rules of engagement are not fairly utilized.
In point, Kamala Harris should be banned by Black Americans because her ancestors were slave owners.

10 months ago

“I criticize jefferson the man, in contrast to Jefferson the God, who taught us that it was legitimate to pursue happiness in a present which belongs only to the living.” – Gore Vidal

10 months ago

Trump was right about Charlottesville. First Robert E. Lee Next. Washington renamed Castro City and WFT the Washington GAWD AWD BAWDS denigrating the builders of this country by naming a stinkin, lousy football team after them.

Michael S
10 months ago

Democrats are so religious. They strain out a gnat and swallow a camel, like the Pharisees of Jesus’s day. So much for the real separation of church and state.

G. Lembo
10 months ago

John F. Kennedy once quipped at a dinner for intellectuals and scientists, and I paraphrase “This is the most brain power ever present in this room – except for when Thomas Jefferson dined alone”. Such was the reverence Americans once held for being truly blessed for the likes of Adams, Washington, etc. As memory serves, wasn’t JFK a democrat? I was once also, but a party that tries to cancel those that made the miracle of America possible will never have my support. They are intellectually and morally bankrupt.

Gary Lee
10 months ago

The Left will be wanting to cancel the Constitution soon.

Johnathan Galt
10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Lee

They’ve been wanting that since 1828.

George Washington's Admirer
10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Lee

Spot on! Well said! Most important comment of the day, month & year!

10 months ago
Reply to  Gary Lee

No, they ALREADy want to cancel the Constitution

Bob Hickok
10 months ago

The left hates Jefferson because he was for limited government. The left is all for a “Dictatorship of The Proletariat.”

William M. Blake
10 months ago

When Cuomo resigned he said he was proud that he made NY into the most “progressive” state in the country. This is a perfect example of “progressive”. They destroy everything they touch. The Democrats use deceptive names to con their naive followers. Progressive = communist…. Choice = Abortion, For the People Act = For the crooked Politician Act. This State is history!

10 months ago

When have we heard from this admin the following words: God, Family or Patriotism???
God…. is the Government
Family ….as they so define it to be
Patriotism….. where one does not have to stand or recite the pledge and permit the destruction of our historic monuments, burn down buildings, with impunity.

The former President understood the foundation of this great country and understood just how exceptional it is.

How is it the elite politicians in DC earning $174,000 a year plus beneifts can only find fault with the very foundation that made it possible? LOSERS!

Harry Guzaliak
10 months ago
Reply to  OPS

Well said.

Steven Coughlin
10 months ago

Today’s politicians and so-called educated experts can’t come close to the genius of Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers.

Patty L
10 months ago

MARANATHA!!! Come, Lord Jesus!!!

Diana Erbio
10 months ago

It’s important for statues to remain in the public square. Statues raise curiosity to learn more about the subject. We must learn the good and bad of our past so we can defeat the evil and repeat what was good.

George Washington's Admirer
10 months ago
Reply to  Diana Erbio

It is good as you say to keep statues. Its like: ‘throwing out the baby with the bath water’! So how does the current leadership even fare in comparison to President Thomas Jefferson? As far as IQ is concerned how does ‘Blank Biden’ compare with President Thomas Jefferson? As far as writing ability and the gift of reasoning; again, how does the current administration even compare??? We wouldn’t even have a nation; without the genius and abilities of Our Founding Fathers. Shame on this administration for even daring put down; or dismiss the greatness of such a man!

Helena Brus
10 months ago

“Brandon’s” and the cackling VP’s ancestors were slave owners. Hypocrites.

10 months ago

than the democrat party should be taken down as well. it is the party of slavery and they started a war which they lost kill a generation of men for their plantations. also the men who had to fight on the south side were not plantation people but dirt farmers who owned no slaves. I am glad that the union burn down these ugly plantations houses. but I think the freed slaves after seeing their grand children in this generation are rolling in their graves. many of them have become slaves again.

Jorge L Rios
10 months ago
Reply to  irene

Like I have previously stated on this site; the democrats want to erase history because all the “bad” things they talk about in this countries past were all done by THEM. They also call the republican party “racist”, but the republican party was started with the purpose of ending slavery.

10 months ago

OMG! What did TJ do that was offensive. He’s was one of the writers of our Constitution.This is how the communists take over. Wipe out all history of our founding fathers, and add their own ideals a bunch of lies!!!!!!

10 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Actually, I don’t know how much Jefferson was involved in the writing of the Constitution. He did write the Declaration of Independence which foundation the Constitution is based.

10 months ago

Thomas Jefferson is my favorite of all the Founding Fathers. A visionary, a realist and an extremely intelligent man. These short sighted Dems are focused upon their vision of equality only as a tool to gain absolute power and subjugate the whole of the population as “equals” in sight but certainly not ambition or conscious. Each of us is both an oppressed and oppressor depending upon the circumstance. Try as I may, I can never equal the intelligence nor humility of Jefferson nor could he equal the athletic ability of Michel Jordan. We are equal in the eyes of our Maker and deserve the respect as one of His creations. We are guaranteed equal protection under the law, but many do not respect socialites standards and then loudly complain when called to task. The Dems are attempting to become modern day slave owners and we … the commoners the slaves.

Gunny Joe
10 months ago

It has been a long time coming, but the commies have about accomplished their goal. Divide the people by gender, religion, and race. Then confuse the genders by all the LBGQ and other made up ideas. This is what we get. The America we know lost for our people, no mater what or who they call themselves! I would put on my flight suit, kick the tires light the fires, and launch an eagle strike if it would do any good, but no restoration would come of it. We, you and I have allowed this! I’am at the end of my years, I want to protect what small part my family gave us, but I woke up to late, (about 20 year or more by my reckoning), now all I can do is talk and pray.

Harry Guzaliak
10 months ago
Reply to  Gunny Joe

I wholeheartedly agree with you, I too am getting up in years (78) and have never seen anything like these Democrats, Shameless.

10 months ago
Reply to  Gunny Joe

I’ve been awake for 4 decades or so and I’m very tired. I’ve lost friends, etc. over my “wakeness” (had a “tin foil hat” comment thrown my way a time or two) and lost income (because time is money and I and my husband spent the time to be informed and try and get the word out).

David Weinstein
10 months ago

This article is spot-on but running it only here does little since people who read it here already know this. Yes, it’s nice to see it in print but the real help would be if you could get this out into a media source where many more people see it. Hope/wish you can.

George Washington's Admirer
10 months ago

Egregious, shocking, outstandingly bad! My heart bleeds and is broken! This is an UNMITIGATED TOTAL COMMUNIST TAKEOVER! Dimwits/Communists working on the New York City Council have now removed the statue of the Framer of Our Constitution: President Thomas Jefferson!! This was done in a stealthily manner by trying to block the press; from the City Council Chamber in New York City Hall!! Before long Democrats/ Communists will erect a statue of Chairman Mao Zedong in its stead!!! Stand Up Patriots To The Communist Takeover!!

jeff shull
10 months ago

Doing exactly what Lennon did in the beginning in Russia. Do away with all History and heritage. Replace it with the truth you want. George Orwell is also alive and well I see.

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