Make America Jeffersonian Again
The whole planet has every reason to be terminally puzzled at how all those lofty Enlightenment ideals Thomas Jefferson embedded in the 1776 Declaration of Independence ended up with…Trump vs. Biden.
Jefferson borrowed freely from Locke, Rousseau, Hume to come up with an eminently quotable Greatest Hits, featuring “self-evident” truths such as “all men are created equal”, “unalienable rights”, and that searing “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Well, Baudrillard would have dubbed the exercise a mere simulacrum, because in real life none of this uplifting rhetoric applied to Native Americans and enslaved Africans.
Still, there’s something endlessly fascinating about these “self-evident truths”. They actually radiated like Spinoza axioms, spawning abstract truths that can be extrapolated at will. Jefferson’s “self-evident truths” ended up creating the whole, massive structure of what we define as “Western liberal democracy”.
So it’s no wonder that America – perennially self-described as “leader of the free world” – consider these “self-evident truths” as the basis of an ideal society.
And it’s this messianic river of fervent truth flowing out of a Himalaya of Morality that leads Americans to dismiss as “malign actors” every nation or society that is judged to be “deviating” from such obvious evidence.
Those damned furreners. They’re always up to no good.
Cut to a mini-remix of the last Trump-Biden presidential debate. In foreign policy terms, it went something like this.
The moderator is desperate to move on as she’s very much aware of time constraints and looming, incandescent clashes: “No
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