What does it mean when so many senior Democrats take refuge in an obvious bit of hooey? Thomas Jefferson would never have said anything half so witless. There is no virtue in dissent per se. When John F. Kennedy said, “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty” — and, believe it or not, that’s a real quote, though it’s hard to imagine any Massachusetts Democrat saying such a thing today…
But the high holiness of dissent for its own sake is now the core belief of the Democratic Party: It’s not what you’re for, it’s what you’re against. …
Dissent for its own sake is like the Democrats’ energy policy: We’re opposed to any kind of energy; we prefer to be mired in enervated passivity. If the right is full of armchair generals, the left is full of armchair generalities: Nothing can be done, any course is futile, everything’s a quagmire. All we can say for certain is that saying so for certain is the highest form of patriotism.
It’s truer to say that these days patriotism is the highest form of dissent — against a culture where the media award each other Pulitzers for damaging national security, and the only way a soldier’s mom can become a household name is if she’s a Bush-is-the-real-terrorist kook like Cindy Sheehan, and our grade schools’ claims to teach our children about America, “warts and all,” has dwindled down into teaching them all the warts and nothing else. Or as the Capital Times of Madison, Wis., concluded its ringing editorial on the subject:
“Thomas Jefferson got it right: ‘Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.’ And teaching children how to be thoughtful and effective dissenters is the highest form of education.”
Teaching them authentic Jefferson quotes would be a better approach.
What amazes me is that so many of these people (“patriots” after all, who supposedly would claim to know a thing or two on the subject, and maybe harbour some kind of fondness for it all) would all think it is an authentic Jefferson quote. I mean, it makes no sense, besides being so incredibly unlikely coming from anyone much less a man like that in that day in age.
Although what’s really amazing, and probably the only good to come of the whole quote: before 9/11 we were naming Jefferson High Schools after Cesar Chavez because Jefferson was a slave owner! and now suddenly the left thinks he’s an okay guy worth quoting.