The Many Uses of Thomas Jefferson: “Once a Liberal Icon, Jefferson’s Now Claimed by Both Left and Right” |History News Network

Who owns Jefferson? The historian Andrew Burstein examines the many uses and abuses of Jefferson’s legacy in our nation’s ongoing culture wars. He concludes: “Distortion of the historical Jefferson reminds us that people believe what they want to believe. Our democratic politics actually depends on a mass psychology that advances through artful manipulation. We may protest the “long train of abuses” (to quote from the Declaration) that attach to statements made in Jefferson’s name; but he continues to occupy a privileged position as we converse with the past and seek to reconcile it, somehow, with our relatively disorganized present. Whoever “owns” Jefferson (or the collective founders) takes themselves to be inheritors of America’s essential ideals.” Read the entire article here:

History News Network | Once a Liberal Icon, Jefferson’s Now Claimed by Both Left and Right.

Thomas_Jefferson_by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800

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