Constitutional scholar president Obama misquotes - San Diego, California Talk Radio Station - 760 KFMB AM - 760kfmb

Constitutional scholar President Obama takes Thomas Jefferson out of context

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President Obama last night ended his speech with a line from Thomas Jefferson, "Every man cannot have his way in all things -- without this mutual disposition, we are disjointed individuals, but not a society."

Our president quoted Jefferson to convince the American people that compromising on your principles is a good thing. We need to come together and...well, do what he wants and raise the debt ceiling.

I am certain that the president did not expect anyone to actually go back to the original letter from Thomas Jefferson to find out the context of what he was talking about. We did.

At 7:15 we laid out the background of Jefferson's 1801 letter to John Dickinson. (CLICK HERE for the entire letter, page 280)

(starts at 7:00) http://media.worldnow.com/kfmbam/podcast/the_mike_slater_show_4917.mp3

This is how Thomas Jefferson ended his letter to Dickinson. You decide if this sounds like someone who thinks compromising on principle is a virtue:

"May heaven prosper you in your endeavours, & long preserve in health & life a consistent patriot, whose principles have stood unchanged by prosperous and adverse times, whom neither the "civium ardor prava jubentium, Nec vultus instante tyranni monte quatit solida."

That Latin was written by Horace and means:

"Not the rage of the citizens commanding wrongful measures, not the aspect of the threatening tyrant, can shake from his firm purpose the person who is just and resolute."

Does this sound like someone who is calling for fellow Americans to compromise on their principles?

Did our constitutional scholar president misrepresent Thomas Jefferson? You be the judge.

 

PS, In another letter from TJ often misquoted by people calling for compromise, TJ wrote (page 661):

"...experience [has] long taught me the reasonablenes of mutual sacrifice of opinion."

People will end the quote there. But they're missing the rest of the sentence:

"...experience [has] long taught me the reasonablenes of mutual sacrifice of opinion, among those who are to act together for any common object."

"Common object" is the key there. In order for a compromise to take place, there has to be an agreement on common principle. If someone wants to raise the debt ceiling and grow government and someone else wants to lower the debt ceiling and shrink government, what compromise can there be? Raise it a little bit?

 

PPS, We use a lot of quotations from our founding fathers on the Mike Slater Show. I want to assure you that we always go back to the original source with every quote we use to make sure we are using the proper context. Everyday I will come across a line that sounds appropriate, but after reading the original source it would be intellectually dishonest to use at this time. Every founding father source we use we put here on 760KFMB.com so you can spread the word!

 

Also, this is also timely.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mfMG66LtVU

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