Radley’s running a poll asking people to vote for their favorite Founding Father. Worse than the baleful fact that Gouverneur Morris is barely registering is Thomas Jefferson’s solid lead. Here is my controversial opinion of the Master of Monticello from an old post:
Thomas Jefferson. The more I read about the guy, the more I dislike him. He was without doubt a man of incandescent brilliance. But he also seems to have been sly, creepy, and an insufferable snob, in addition to having been a racist, slaveholding, anti-cosmopolitan, anti-commercial, Jacobin utopian. When his visage appears on Cato promotional material, as it so often does, I try to stay positive.
This is what a gentleman of real moral stature sounds like:
Upon what principle is it that the slaves shall be computed in the representation? Are they men? Then make them citizens and let them vote. Are they property? Why then is no other property included? The houses in [Philadelphia] are worth more than all the wretched slaves that cover the rice swamps of South Carolina….The admission of slaves into the representation when fairly explained comes to this: that the inhabitant of Georgia and South Carolina who goes to the coast of Africa and, in defiance of the most sacred laws of humanity, tears away his fellow creatures from their dearest connections and damns them to the most cruel bondages, shall have more votes in a government instituted for the protection of the rights of mankind than the citizen of Pennsylvania or New Jersey who views with laudable horror so nefarious a practice.
That’s My Man Morris speaking to the constitutional convention, demonstrating a concern for human liberty rather greater than independence from our largely benign English overlords.
You don’t have to vote for Morris, if you don’t like, but ABJ … Anybody but Jefferson!