History rhymes

Q. There’s the famous quote from Jefferson that the Missouri crisis awakened him like a fire bell in the night and that in it he perceived the death of the union…

A. Right. He’s absolutely panicked by what’s happening, and these last years of his life leading up to 1826 are really quite sad because he’s saying these things. Reading his writings between 1819 and his death in 1826 makes you wince because he so often sounds like a southern fire-eater of the 1850s. Whereas his friend Madison has a much more balanced view of things, Jefferson becomes a furious and frightened defender of the South. He sees a catastrophe in the works, and he can’t do anything about it.

Tom Mackaman, An interview with historian Gordon Wood on the New York Times’ 1619 Project

This echoes. We have relatively good, basically moderate Christian people who are driven to do and say bad things by well-founded fear of what a progressive Government will do to them.

And we have progressives driven to desparate nonsense by (what I hope is) ill-founded fear of what a conservative Government will do.

December 1, 2019

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