The Democrats up in Connecticut are dumping the names of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from their big annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner because of slavery. The Connecticut Democrats governing committee voted unanimously this week to drop the names. A headline in the Hartford Courant read, “Democrats Drop Names Of Slave-Owning Presidents From Fundraising Dinner.” The article quotes the state party chairman saying, “Let’s work together to show the rest of the state exactly what it means to be a Connecticut Democrat,” and notes the motivation behind the move in part coming from the Confederate flag “controversy.” C’mon.
This is just another attempt by Democrats at rewriting history. If the Democrats want to disassociate themselves from slavery then they need to disband their party and start fresh.
Let’s open our history books for a moment; the Democrats were in favor of slavery and gave us Jim Crow laws, while the Republican Party began as the anti-slavery offshoot of the Whig Party. Moreover, I never appreciated the Democrats trying to own Thomas Jefferson. They try to pull it off because Jefferson was a member of a party that eventually, over many years, turned into the Democratic Party of today. This approach ignores policy positions and basic Constitutional interpretation, which are much better indicators of party affiliation. In sum, Jefferson stood for states’ rights against the rival party at the time, the Federalists, who wanted a more centralized government. That fundamental argument exists today and it places Jefferson very clearly in the Republican Party. As far as Andrew Jackson is concerned, the Democrats can have him. President Jackson, in response to the Supreme Court overturning his administration’s Indian removal policy, said, “Mr. Marshall has made his ruling, now let him enforce it.” Jackson should have been impeached on the spot as never before or since has there been such a blatant disregard for separation of powers. So I’m fine with the Democrats owning Jackson.
Back to today; the rush for political correctness in this case is odd because the resolution that passed did not include any new names. The Democrats just felt it necessary to dump two of our country’s bigger historical names.
This all leads to several questions such as who they’ll pick as replacements and will this have a ripple effect to other states? Will the Democratic presidential candidates be expected to boycott states where the names haven’t been changed? Will Virginia follow suit? And why isn’t The Dukes of Hazzard on anymore?