Judd Gregg: The left’s theater of the absurd

“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” — Thomas Jefferson, writing the Declaration of Independence,

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky” — President William Jefferson Clinton.

The Democratic Party of New Hampshire, along with its counterparts in several other states, has dropped the name of its signature annual dinner.

Previously known as the “Jefferson-Jackson Dinner,” it will now be renamed the “Kennedy-Clinton Dinner.”

{mosads}This change was done to observe the politically correct standards that have led to the censorship of history by the contemporary left.


Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, it turns out, have just been discovered by the Democratic leadership to have been slave owners.   

Of course all the founding fathers who later became president, with the exception of Adams, were slave owners. 

For consistency’s sake, liberals probably should not hold meetings in, or go to, Washington. They should not read, or allow their children to read, the Declaration of Independence written by Jefferson. They should not attend the University of Virginia, which was founded by Jefferson.

The list could go on and on.

The absurdity of looking at history and redefining it to meet the social needs of the present can produce some perverse results.

History that is not understood is in danger of being repeated — in some cases, with the most unfortunate outcomes.

Take, for example, the Democratic Party’s renewed attraction to socialism.  

The defining leaders of the Democratic Party at this time are Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), both of whom promote socialism as the path of the future under the new, enhanced label of “progressivism.”

They sell it as the way to improve the lives and income of the majority of Americans, at the expense of a few Americans.

Unfortunately, socialism’s past path is littered with massive human suffering. As pursued by its purists — Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong — socialism produced mass death for those who opposed its autocracy and a dramatic collapse in the standard of living of those who had to suffer it.

This has been carried on to the present day as the people of Venezuela and Cuba suffer under socialist regimes.  

This is because socialism is a policy of envy, not of economic growth.  

When history is mismanaged in the name of political correctness, socialism and its inherently destructive effect on the economic well-being of a nation is recast.

The doctrine comes to be seen as the best way to manage a nation and its people.

It is difficult to defend this when you look at the success of the United States, which is built on the idea of a market economy, not a socialist economy. That market economy has given our people the greatest opportunity in history to succeed and make a better life. 

But of course history must be redefined to meet the goals and claims of the left as it moves forth today. Thus liberals adjust as they adjust history. They sit in their salons and call on everyone else to follow their claims of correctness.

But they have a problem.   

One of the ironies of their self-serving sanctimony is that neither President Kennedy nor President Clinton would be in compliance with the version of economic correctness as practiced by Sanders and Warren today.

Kennedy’s single most successful domestic policy was to cut taxes dramatically, especially on high-income people.

Clinton’s single most successful domestic policy was to fundamentally reform welfare by requiring that able people work. 

These ideas are anathema to the Democratic left of today.

In fact, when the Democratic progressives have finished purifying history to meet their standard of correctness, there may only be one president available to name their dinner after. His name, of course, is Abraham Lincoln.  

But regrettably for those on the left, he is already taken. And it is the purportedly insensitive, politically incorrect, uneducated unworthies known as Republicans who have “Lincoln Day Dinners.”

However, a trade may be possible.

Republicans will expand the name of their event to be the “Washington-Jefferson-Jackson-Lincoln Dinner.” Liberals can take the name “The Dinner Theater of the Politically Correct and Absurd.”

Judd Gregg (R) is a former governor and three-term senator from New Hampshire who served as chairman and ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, and as ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations subcommittee.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.
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