Newt Gingrich: No, Mayor Pete, erasing Thomas Jefferson isn’t ‘right thing to do’


Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Jeanne Kirkpatrick warned us 35 years ago about “the Blame America First” crowd that Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg represents.

Despite the South Bend, Ind., mayor’s effort to seem moderate and appear quiet and non-threatening, he is as radical as everyone else seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Buttigieg’s anti-Americanism came out when he said on a radio interview that it was “the right thing to do” to remove former President Thomas Jefferson’s name from Indiana’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

AUTHOR ON BUTTIGIEG'S COMMENTS ON THOMAS JEFFERSON: THIS 'SHOWS HOW RADICAL' DEMOCRATIC BASE HAS BECOME

The venerable annual event has long been a leading fundraiser for state Democratic Party organizations. It is ironic that radical Democrats want to erase the name of the founder of their party.

That’s right. In addition to authoring the Declaration of Independence in 1776 – one of Jefferson’s greatest feats of influencing human history – a host of other key documents (and demanding the Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution to protect citizens from the government) – Jefferson actually founded the Democratic Party. It is the oldest continuing political organization in America and dates back to 1792.

But now, 227 years after Jefferson helped create the Democratic Party, the new radicals believe he isn’t fit to be in their company.

Buttigieg is a shrewd politician and a savvy operator. He can tell which way the winds are blowing in a Democratic Party. The party is increasingly dominated by its radical activist fringe – which seeks nothing less than a total erasure of America’s history and reinterpretation of our country’s founding values.

Buttigieg and the hard left-wing want to disassociate from the American founder who wrote the most radical statement of human rights in history. Jefferson rejected government by kings and queens, which had been the dominant form of government for thousands of years. He asserted that our rights come from God rather than men.

Buttigieg is apparently ashamed of the man who wrote: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

After 243 years, no other phrase has had a greater ability to limit government power – and the Democrats are no longer interested.

Of course, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. – who calls himself a “democratic socialist” and is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination – finds the Soviet model more attractive. Some Democratic radicals find the systems in Cuba, Venezuela, or China more attractive.

However, I think most Americans understand that if you believe in freedom, you must honor Jefferson, not Karl Marx; George Washington, not Fidel Castro; and Abraham Lincoln, not Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Buttigieg is a shrewd politician and a savvy operator. He can tell which way the winds are blowing in a Democratic Party. The party is increasingly dominated by its radical activist fringe – which seeks nothing less than a total erasure of America’s history and reinterpretation of our country’s founding values.

The effort to blacklist Jefferson shows that the left’s campaign against American history is not limited to Confederate war memorials and other low-hanging fruit. The left’s totalitarian desire to rewrite history extends to the very heart of our heritage and the very essence of the American idea.

Even George Washington, America’s first president, has been added to the chopping block as part of the liberal campaign to replace the ideals of America’s founding with the “progressive” values that emerged from the radicalism of the 1960s.

The danger represented by this radical campaign, with which Buttigieg so casually aligned himself, can scarcely be exaggerated.

The American republic is the product of a group of visionaries, Jefferson prominent among them, who were willing to challenge the status quo of the 18th century. In the process, they provided a template for governing that continues to serve us well after more than two centuries.

The ideals that Jefferson articulated in the Declaration of Independence have guided and inspired this country throughout its history. To this day, they are still cherished by Americans of all political persuasions – including most Democratic voters.

It’s true that Jefferson was a slave owner, as his detractors are always quick to point out, but it’s equally true that Jefferson’s vision of a society based on individual liberty and natural rights undergirded the philosophical case for abolishing slavery – which came about less than 40 years after his death.

This is a legacy worth honoring, but the Democrats would sooner forget about Jefferson’s contributions to our country entirely.

Today’s Democratic Party, unfortunately, has strayed from Jeffersonian ideals. The party now favors a political philosophy that considers individual rights and freedoms a grave danger to its goal of transforming America into a politically correct society of self-censoring automatons who blindly follow the dictates of an all-powerful federal government.

This may not be exactly what Buttigieg had in mind, but when he embraced the calls to whitewash Jefferson’s name from the Democratic Party’s pre-eminent fundraising event, he aligned himself with the extremists who believe in the antithesis of America’s founding principles.

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By merely giving credence to such ideas, liberals such as Buttigieg are contributing to the unraveling of America’s sense of itself. They threaten to undermine the freedom-loving consensus that has characterized this country since its founding.

Today’s Democrats notoriously want nothing to do with the “deplorables” who won’t go along with their march toward radicalism. That apparently includes Thomas Jefferson. Having already abandoned its traditional voter base, the Democratic Party is now abandoning itself.

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