More than a few people have noticed that the Democratic Party of 2015 is a long way from the party’s origins, but only now are DNC leaders officially breaking rank with the past. Last weekend, the Iowa Democratic Party became the fourth chapter to remove the names Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from their annual dinner. Jefferson-Jackson dinners are popular fundraisers for the party, but some say that it’s not right to honor these men while claiming to be for civil rights.
“The vote today confirms that our party believes it is important to change the name of the dinner to align with the values of our modern-day Democratic Party: inclusiveness, diversity and equality,” said Andy McGuire, chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party.
After coming out in force against the Confederate flag, Democrats now find themselves troubled by the symbology dominating the party’s past. Jefferson and Jackson have been lauded as Democrat champions for years, but today’s party officials are finding it harder to overlook the fact that these two founding fathers were slave owners.
So the Jefferson-Jackson dinners will be renamed and the party will seek to cut ties with history. Sounds about right. Par for the course. In fact, it’s surprising that it took them this long to get around to it. What does the party of Barack Obama really have in common with these great leaders, anyway? Thomas Jefferson is probably celebrating right now. Finally, they’ve taken my name off the wall! This bunch of crackpots don’t have anything to do with me!
Stacey Abrams, a Georgia Democrat, said, “We not only want to move the country forward, but we recognize that we can’t be anchored by a history that diminished any of our fellow citizens.”
This is an interesting comment because it gives you a window into the liberal mind. Anchored by history. This is how the left sees these symbols. And since liberalism is all about constantly moving “forward,” these anchors must be raised. If you actually believe that Democrats are moving forward, it almost makes a queer sort of sense.
If you believe otherwise, however, it becomes quickly evident how dangerous this anchor analogy really is. History is no anchor. History is a guidebook, ignored only by fools. Call it celebration, call it commemoration, call it whatever you want; when you start taking a Magic Eraser to history, bad things happen. Our culture was not created in a vacuum. It was shaped over the course of 200+ years. And only an idiot would believe that things have gotten worse. We do not now and we will never live in a perfect society, but we have made extraordinary strides. These historical symbols and figures may not be perfect, either, but they are worth keeping around. Not as cherished icons treated with religious reverence but as important markers of the past. Where did we come from? Why are we the way we are? How have we moved forward? What mistakes are we making again? How far off-course are we from the founders’ intentions?
These questions are so important, and they aren’t addressed when we stuff these symbols with mothballs and throw them in a museum. Democrats are lifting the anchors, all right, and that’s why their party – and the country at large – is adrift.