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Entries in Thomas Jefferson (4)


US Elections 2012 Analysis: The Right's Fantasies about the Constitution, History, and "Americanism" (Crockatt)

A further consequence of the Right’s historical fantasising is that it militates against negotiation and compromise. If you believe the true faith has been denied and that only the true faith will do, there is no reason to come to an accommodation with your opponents. In the real world, however, negotiation is a necessity. That is true in the near-future in an America where the demographic trends are running against the Republican core constituency of white Protestant males.

It is recognition of this that could forestall confrontation borne out of fantasy, for seismic demographic change is a central challenge in American history which has been met on many occasions. On the basis of the Right’s grasp of America’s history in other fields the omens are not good but --- who knows? ---- realism may win out, despite the Sarah Palins, because it must to ensure the political fortunes of the Republican Party.

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US Politics Feature: "Who was the Best Foreign Policy President?" --- Scott Lucas with CNN

Ronald Reagan amid the Iran-Contra scandal, 1986 (Photo: Dennis Cook/AP)

On Thursday, CNN's Global Public Square posted the responses of eight historians and analysts to the question, "Who Was the Best Foreign Policy President?" A majority named Franklin D. Roosevelt, but there was also a high level of support for the first George Bush (no one named the second one). One commentator named Ronald Reagan, a response matched by Thomas Jefferson and my friend David Ryan's selection of Jimmy Carter.

Then, at the end, I spoiled the party....

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US Politics Feature: Amid Campaign Errors, A Virtual Tie for the White House

The image of Mitt Romney, as a man fit for the demanding role of US President, has been seriously buffeted over the last few weeks. His reluctance to release more than two years of his income tax records, followed by the reaction in some circles to his criticism of the London Olympics, have seen a widespread questioning of the competency of his campaign.

But, with 100 days to go before the election, the big news is that --- despite these errors  ---- Mitt Romney is still running in a virtual tie with President Obama for the White House. Obama has also made mistakes, notably ill-worded reminder to successful business owners 'that you did not build it on your own", and polls indicate that voters are sticking with their preferred candidate.

So the impact of these errors on both sides may not become fully apparent until the two meet face-to- face in the Presidential debates.

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US Journal: Preserving An Unblemished Jefferson at Monticello

At Monticello, some mention is made of the Jefferson conflict, namely that the man who proclaimed the self-evident truths of equal creation, the right to liberty, and the pursuit of happiness also found no difficulty in upholding the institution of slavery on his farm.

But that Jefferson conflict is left hanging in the air. No attempt is made to explain, let alone justify.

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