Providing Unique Commentary and Insight into Politics, History and Society since 2005

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Patriot Act: Betraying the Jeffersonian legacy that is AMERICA

David McCullough, who is the American media's favorite historian, but probably the most biased current writer of American History has managed to rewrite the history of and rehabilitate the image of John Adams based on his Pulitzer Prize winning biography from 2001. (I am currently reading McCullough's 1776 and will have a book review on this website soon) This rewrite of John Adams' legacy has had a profound effect on how immune the media is to the highly un-American Patriot Act which was reauthorized by Congress on Friday.

John Adams' Alien and Sedition acts of 1798 were one of the most disgraceful episodes in American History. The acts gave the President the right to expel any foreign born resident who he deemed as "dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States," and to imprison any writer or journalist who disagreed with the official positions of President Adams. These acts trampled on the Bill of Rights, barely ten years old at the time, just as the Patriot Act does today. These acts were passed in reaction to a perceived enemy in France who was far from the greatest threat to American security and sovereignty in 1798, just as today Iraq and Osama Bin Laden are far from the most serious threats to American long term national security and world leadership.

The great difference between 1798 and today however, was in Thomas Jefferson and James Madison real opposition leaders who were thoughtful and brilliant existed. Had Jefferson been a Democrat in the year 2005 rather than a Republican (which evolved into today's Democratic Party) in 1798, he would likely have accepted the legislation as necessary considering "the grave terrorist threat," facing the USA and scared of a public backlash he would have wrapped himself around the flag commending the President on his quick actions to circumvent the Constitution in the expectation of future terrorist attacks. Today, 43 House Democrats including Florida Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Jim Davis voted with White House and the reactionary elements of the American public in reauthorizing one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation to pass since 1798. These Democrats need reread History and understand the legacy of Thomas Jefferson, who after all was the founder of the political partyto which they belong!

Thankfully, Thomas Jefferson not only did not behave like today's Democrats, but he in fact help mold the American ideal of liberty and freedom from tyranny. Jefferson did not believe the hand of Government needed to reach into every aspect of people's lives. Jefferson and Madison also righfully believed Great Britain and not France was the greatest threat to American security. James Madison rightfully declared war on Britain in 1812 and when the war was complete, the true American identity was forged and independence was finally secure forever. Jefferson and Madison realized that the French Revolutionaries were inspired by American Liberty, unlike Adams and Hamilton who seemed to have general affection for the British Monarch despite the Revolutionary struggle both had partaken in against the very same monarch just twenty years earlier.

Today's Democrats should forcefully point out America's greatest long term security threats come from nations such as Russia, China and India all of whom have Nuclear capabilities, the possibility of having reactionary Governments at any moment in time and the ability to sustain a long term conflict both military and economic with the West, as well as from Iran and North Korea both members of Nuclear club. The greatest threats to American Security do not come from Iraq and Afghanistan or Islamic terrorism, though the reactionary behavior of the Bush administration has no doubt made the Osamaists a much stronger worldwide force.

The Democrats of today have no ideas of their own and seem to just follow and react to whatever the GOP sets as an agenda and spouts as gospel. The media severs as a lap dog of the GOP's agenda and allows the Democrats cover from their failure to properly serve as an opposition party. How shameful. And the Democrats have the gall to call themselves "the Party of Jefferson? "


Anonymous said...

Typical liberal rewrite of history. Jefferson was a conservative who saw government as an evil. His stomach would turn at the thought of today's left wing commie democrats.

JRF said...

The terrorists killed 3,000 innocent American citizens in 2001 on 9/11. And yet you and your ACLU buddies see no need to protect America from another 9/11 like attack? Whose side are you on?

Liberals always make excuses for the terrorists and the arabs. To claim that somehow Iraq and Al Qaida are not the biggest threats to American security shows how little you and your left wing allies really know.

By the way Jefferson was really a conservative: He spoke of less Government and more freedom much like today's GOP.

Joe said...

An excellent analysis of the lap dog media and impotent Democrats. I agree with Kartik, the Democrats can hardly claim to be Jeffersonians anymore, especially after yesterday.

Anonymous said...

R U really a Democrat? Why don't you become an independent while you still have the chance?

Matt said...


I am a Democrat but do not feel there is anything wrong with rallying behind the flag to fight terrorists. Are you claiming an opposition party should not unite with the other side at a time of war?

I peronally think the Patroit Act is quite reaonable. All it is doing is adding extra security measures at a time of crisis to ensure the safety of the American public- can that be all bad?

Jill said...

I'm really shocked Davis would vote for this piece of legislation. I know Florida is generally considered to be somewhat conservative on these sorts of issues, but my guess is that this will make many activist Democrats unhappy.

That having been pointed out, it seems right now Davis is cruising to the nomination, unless someone else gets in. Scott Maddox is dead, and Rod Smith is too closely associated with Agriculture and Sugar interests to be our nominee. I hope somebody else gets in, but who? Maybe we should just accept Governor Crist, but things like the Patroit Act remind me why I can't vote for the GOP.

It's amazing that GOP claims they are for smaller Government and more freedom and they do the opposite. I am also certain that the Patroit Act has done nothing to increase our personal security from a terrorist attack.

Jeff said...

Jim Davis and Rod smith are both right wing Democrats who do not deserve consideration for our nomination. That is why I continue to support Scott Maddox, who as the leader of our party rebuilt the party's infrastructure and technology base. Scott Maddox unlike his opponents will stand up the GOP and will work to clearly identify the Democrats with the core liberal issues we all believe in.

Anonymous said...

You liberals never quit bashing America, do you?

Ernie said...

Do you really think Jefferson would be against this act to protect American security if he were alive today? Jefferson in case you did not know launched America's first war on terror against the North African Arabs who were raiding American merchant ships in the early 1800s and imprisoning our citizens.

The threat coming from the Arba world is greater today than it was then. We face an enemy determined to destory us because they do not respect our values or way of life. They are seeking to spread fear and terror through our population. among the steps we must take to defeat them is to give our authorities greater flexibility in tracking and hunting down terrorists by monitoring un-american activity.

This is an epic clash that began when the Pope called the Crusades in the Middle Ages. Then the Arabs were attacking Christian pilgrims seeking to visit the Holy Land. Now, the Arbas are infilrating our nations and killing our civilians. Unless we get tough, we may lose our way of life and our Judeo-Christian tradtions.

One point that I have made regularly to people is that Arba nations are fairly homogenous in their populations. Non Arbas don't live there, but they have been able to infiltrate the nations fo the West and undermine our security. We must go beyond the Patroit act and have common sense immigration reform that end the current free ride the Arbas have in this country.

Joe said...


How the heck does the Patroit Act actually make us safer from terrorists? All it does it put people on edge and undermine our liberties for no particular purpose other than fear mongering.

Anonymous said...

The Democrats are showing gall calling themselves the party of Jefferson, because they are actually the party of Dean, Jesse Jackson and the impeached Bill Clinton.

Lou said...

Very nice blog. Very well written and I agree on all points.

Joseph said...

The Patriot Act is flat out un-american. I have no doubt that in the future, historians will look back at this time as major blot on our history. Reactionary politics and legislation will mark the age and the bufoonish behavior of Tom DeLay and George W. bush will become legendary.

Anonymous said...

Burt there's a TRUE patriot!

Randy said...

Whatever shot Jim Davis thought he may have had at the Democratic nomination for Governor, evaporated instantly with his vote to re-authorize the Patriot Act.

That vote will absolutely not play amongst the Democratic base in South Florida.

A huge blunder by Jim Davis.

JRF said...

Patriot Alert!!!!!!

The liberals who patron this website want to make it easier for terrorists to enter the country and to obtain information that could help them blow up buildings and kill innocent american citizens while in this country. These left wingers want us to sympathize with the terrorists and feel we should not strike back when the terrorists threaten us.

The patrons of this site feel we should have allowed Saddam Hussien to develop weapons of mass destruction and allowed the terrorists to use Iraq as a base of operations.

In other words they are not patriots but in fact traitors to America!

TZ said...

Patriot alert? You GOPers have no other ideology other than to accuse anyone with a functioning brain cell of being with the terrorists and unpatriotic.


Anonymous said...

That was a dumb vote by Jim Davis.

This is probably part of the reason why he hasn't been able to lock down "frontrunner" status in the Governor's race.

I guess he thinks by running right of the Republicans he'll better position himself.

He'd be wrong.

Jeff said...

This vote clearly demonstrates that despite the media witch hunt that many on this site have engaged in, Scott Maddox remains the best candidate for the Democrats in Florida.

Both Jim Davis and Rod Smith are conservatives that cast plenty of questionable votes like this one.

Maddox in 06'!!!!!

Tim L said...

This vote is a dissapointment for me as I really feel Davis is probably the best choice for the Democrats. I think Rod Smith is brainy and somewhat witty but he is too conservative for my tastes having conisistently oppossed gun control and protection of the Everglades.

Davis is also brainy, though not as polished on the stump as Smith (Smith's polish comes from being a prosecutor) but more liberal. However this vote coupled with a bad vote on the corporate bail out earlier in the year has me considering Smith or yes, even Charlie Crist.

Jeff said...


You need to take another look at Maddox!

JRF said...

Are you lefties going to oppose Free Trade today? Watch your Hispanic vote dry up and come to the GOP where they belong.

Don't try and tell people from Hondorous or Panama that you are for their issues anymore after your leadership trashes those nations as substandard and unworthy of American trade and assistance later today.

The Dems are going down!

Anonymous said...

As a loyal Democrat I feel the need to change the subject a little here. Many of us in Florida are on opposite sides of the Governor's race and that is fine. We range in the spectrum from Blue Dogs to Liberals. However, while we sit hear and bicker amongst ourselves instead of rebuilding the FL Democratic Party an issue hit today’s papers that bothered me. Republicans have chosen Speakers of the Florida House through 2012. The first thing that bothers me is that the press has virtually written Democrats off to take back the State House. Second, we simply are not as organized as the Republicans and we do not have a long-term plan for leadership. Therefore I strongly recommend we pick our leadership not just through 2008 (2007-2008 Rep. Dan Gelber will be the Speaker Designate) as we have but to nominate our future leaders. I strongly recommend freshman Ari Porth of Coral Springs to take the reigns not just for two years but for four years (09-12). We need a genuine, smart, loyal, charismatic, consensus builder, hard working Democrat who is focused not on his/herself but rebuilding the Democratic Party. I argue for the four-year term as a leader because now more than ever we need consistent leadership and a long-term strategy that does not change every year. For these same reasons I call on the Senate Democrats to elect their leadership as well. The Senate Democrats need a new leader and none stands taller than the Chairman of the Florida Mainstream Democrats Senator Dave Aronberg. Respected by all his Senate colleagues Aronberg is called often touted by statewide newspapers as a new leader, articulate, and a break through from partisan politics.

I strongly recommend we take action now and start working together to rebuild our Party in Florida.

Anonymous said...

The arrogant media and the GOP will pay the price for "designating" speakers through 2012. Clearly the GOP has reached its high water mark and I fully expect the Dems to sweep the cabinet this year and to win back 5-7 state House seats in districts where Kerry and Gore both won.

We will also win back Jim Sebesta's Senate seat and possibly knock of Constantine also and get the Senate down to a more workable 24-16, which sets us up nicely to win a few seats in 2008 and 2010 and possibly recapture the chamber outright by 2012.

The hiring of a savvy veteran ED for the FDP from National circles was a smart move by Thurman. Now, I am sure we will turn our fortunes around sicne this is a 50-50 state and the GOP advantage is artificial in state offices.

Jill said...

I believe that most Hispanic voters will continue to see the Democrats as the best bet for their long term economic security.

As far as CAFTA is concerned, it was Bill Clinton who had NAFTA and GATT passed, and who laid the gorundwork for CAFTA. The Democrats who vote against CAFTa are largely house members tied to labor from districts which free trade has hurt. Most Democratic Senators I believe support CAFTA.

CATO said...


I really like McCullough and consider his Truman biography among the best I have ever read. I too am surprised, however, that he can find such merit in John Adam's legacy. Call it the reverse-Caro syndrome.

The Alien & Sedition Acts were horrible and may have been the worst assaults ever on the Bill of Rights (of course, slavery and the Patriot Act are strong contenders). Even if he had never taken any other liberty-hating actions in his time, the Alien and Sedition Acts, in and of themselves, exclude his name from the list of "great" Presidents or great founding fathers.

Toward that end, I believe Bush 43 will be listed along with Nixon, Adams and others as among the worst Presidents in American history. The Bush presidency gives mediocrity a bad name.

Mediocrity, such as Bush 41, is not by itself detrimental to the country and our legacy. However, mediocrity in trying times is a recipe for historic failure.

It is disappointing that Davis voted for such flawed legislation. But his voting record, as a whole, is far preferable to the other candidates.


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I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.