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My Dream Party … The Opportunists

Like many others today, I think we need a third party. My choice?  I want to return to the American roots .. the heroes of 1775 fought not just against the King, they fought for te freedom of opportunity.

The founders, the first capital A, Americans, wanted to be  free to exploit the gifts of European Discovery, free of kings, noble, and the European wealthy.  Of course, these Americans were Europeans, not Africans or natives.

Not all the founders were intellectuals devoted to the ideal of American Opportunity.  Jefferson. along with Paine, Madison and others in Virginia and Philadelphia were enlightenment intellectuals. They believed in science, freedom from religion, and  a maximum of all individual freedoms.  Washington was anything but an intellectual. Adams was not in the league of Jefferson’s crew but grew over the years, driven by the American reality. Hamilton was, to be blunt, a fascist. He wanted to create an internal Army with himself as its leader. Jefferson finally managed to talk Adams out of funding that bad idea.

Jefferson was also, as were all the figures of the enlightenment, new at this democracy idea. He adapted .. in good part because of his interactions with Adams and the Federalists, creating what we now have. I would not call this hyocrisy, just the conflict with reality.

Slavery was the worst of the ideas accepted by the first Opportunists. Jefferson did not consider black slaves as fully human.As horrible as that is to think about now, his views were pretty normal during hjs time even among people who were highly educated. Even in France, where Africans were liberated before the French revolution, blacks were not considered fully human. Terrible thought.

It was likely that Jefferson saw the admixture of blacks and euros as a way of improving the “black race” .. rather like breeding horses. I suspect and want to believe he would be in awe of modern American and African black thinkers!

BUT, what Jefferson and later MLK shared is very important. Their joint vision was not about race, it was about universal opportunity. If I could choose a modern party, ti would celebrate Jefferson-King Day and would use OPPORTUNITY as its motto!


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