(Roughly) Daily

Special Edition: I am thankful…

Let Us Be Thankful

By Scott Horton (November 28, 2008)

Like millions of Americans, I took a break yesterday to give thanks. For most of the past eight years starting with Thanksgiving 2001, I’ve had trouble identifying things to be thankful for. It’s never been a case of material shortcoming, of course. Americans for the most part know a sort of material wealth and comfort that was unknown to the species in prior millennia and was unknown to the Pilgrim fathers who instituted the practice of Thanksgiving. My great concern was over the nation’s stewardship, which had been entrusted to incompetent and malicious hands of a sort the nation had rarely witnessed.

So now I am thankful that the Reign of Witches, as Thomas Jefferson called the only historical period that bears serious comparison, is coming to an end. In less than two months the nation will have new leadership. I am sure I will have differences with the new administration on many points, but I doubt I’ll ever have cause to question its commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law.

Thomas Jefferson called the heavy-handed, fear-mongering rule of the Federalists from 1798 through 1800 a “tyranny,” and when friends protested, he explained why this term was correct notwithstanding the fact that the Federalists had taken power through the ballot box. They were, he said, tyrannical in their dismissive attitudes towards the liberties of the people, in their use of crass fear to retain and strengthen their grip on power and in their contempt for the dignity of the ordinary human being, something that a genuine democrat recognizes even in the least and most frail members of our species. He was right to use the term “tyranny” with respect to what the Federalists did…

Read the full Harper’s piece here.

Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 29, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: