Commentary: Why Do They Hate Thomas Jefferson?

When Al Sharpton demanded, three years ago, that the funding for the Jefferson Memorial’s upkeep be cut off, people laughed. But they’re not laughing now. Actually, they’re still laughing, but now it’s more of a nervous chuckle in dismal expectation of what’s to come. First it was Robert E. Lee, then it was Christopher Columbus, and now it’s old TJ himself. 

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Commentary: Are States That Refuse to Reopen Losing the Consent of the Governed?

What happens to a government when the consent of the governed breaks down?  History has many instances of this some ending with peaceful transformation, others with successful revolution as in our own history and still others with military crackdowns as we currently see in Hong Kong.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in our nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which was written as a series of reasons why the American colonists no longer accepted the rule of King George III.  The opening two paragraphs of this seminal document used to be memorized by school children as part of their school exercises, a practice which was largely abandoned in the 1960s. So as a refresher, here is what Jefferson penned:

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American Inventor Series: Benjamin Banneker, a Black Tobacco Farmer Who Surveyed the Nation’s Capital

Benjamin Banneker was much more than just an inventor. As a mathematician, astronomer, landowning farmer, writer, and surveyor, Banneker was one of the most influential African Americans alive during America’s infancy.

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JC Bowman Commentary: Lives, Fortunes, and Honor

US flags w airman

JC Bowman writes: Freedom should never be taken for granted.  Today we are debating the very concept of what it means to be a citizen of the United States of America.  While many citizens are very passionate about our country, others seem disillusioned and some openly hostile.  It is why the Declaration of Independence is such an important document. It expresses what it means to be an American. 

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Commentary: The Turbulent True History of the ‘Good Ole Days’ of Politics

Founding Fathers, Reagan-Bush, Trump

by Jeffery A. Rendall   It’s only natural in times of political turmoil – like what we’re experiencing now and for as long as I can remember – that people harken back to yesteryear for a more tranquil period when everyone got along swimmingly and went out for drinks after…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Dark Money + Union Money = Corrupt Politics

Dark Money

This election cycle we have already seen an influx of unaccountable cash, known as dark money, which pours into our state. Outside money hurts more than it helps. Tennessee voters were not swayed by big spending outsiders. It is worth noting the message the outsiders bring is almost always negative. If you don’t think this is an erosion of democracy, you’re not thinking about it hard enough. The formula is simple: Dark Money + Union Money = Corrupt Politics

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Texas School District Considering Renaming Schools Honoring Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson Over Slavery Debate

Ben Franklin’s face graces U.S. currency, but Texas officials may soon remove his name from one middle school over a “connection to Confederacy.” Dallas Independent School District is conducting an investigation into numerous schools in the wake of a national debate over monuments and historical figures associated with slavery. The…

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Gov. Bill Haslam Calls for Removal of Bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Capitol

Tennessee Star

  Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is advocating for the removal of a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Capitol in Nashville. “My position on this issue has not changed – I do not believe Nathan Bedford Forrest should be one of the individuals we honor at the Capitol. The…

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Commentary: Is Culture Still Relevant?

The United States is a diverse country, racially and ethnically, as well as in how people choose to organize themselves socially and politically. It can be argued that our public schools are integrally situated to communicate society’s values, such as individual responsibility, patriotism, integrity, objectivity, justice, respect for others, being on time, doing a good job, working well with others, being a good citizen, and exercising democracy in government and other interactions. Americans have thus far kept our republic, and created it to be resilient and strong. However, the United States will remain free only with relentless vigilance and public engagement, which must be transmitted in our culture.

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Louisiana Democrats Remove Thomas Jefferson And Andrew Jackson From Name Of Fundraiser

  The Louisiana Democratic Party has dropped the names Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from its annual fundraising dinner. The Jefferson-Jackson dinner will now be called the True Blue Gala, reports the Associated Press. This year’s event is set to be held Aug. 26 in New Orleans. The name change is…

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Commentary: A Bold Vision for Education

For the first time in history, children have new and different ways of acquiring and accessing, deciphering and digesting information instantly. Children are now contributors, not just copiers, of existing knowledge.

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Constitution Series: Judicial Review

    This is the eighth of twenty-five weekly articles in The Tennessee Star’s Constitution Series. Students in grades 8 through 12 can sign up here to participate in The Tennessee Star’s Constitution Bee, which will be held on September 23. The Separation of Powers and Federalism are two foundational…

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Commentary: Planting the Roots of the Republic

Thomas Jefferson was not silent on the most effective manner to pass freedom to future generations depended on providing a quality education to our children. An educated citizenry is the roots that our republic is planted on.

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The ‘Aha Moment’ at the Tennessee General Assembly This Year

The idea of a citizen-legislator has gone by the wayside and been replaced by the career politician. Unless there is more transparency and inclusion, there may well be a demand for change in leadership. For certain in 2019 there will be great change, and quite possibly the “drain the swamp” echo from 2016 will filter down to state politics in 2018. It may be time for the state to consider term limits.

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Constitution Series: The Electoral College and the Selection of the President

Tennessee Star

    This is the third of twenty-five weekly articles in The Tennessee Star’s Constitution Series. Students in grades 8 through 12 can sign up here to participate in The Tennessee Star’s Constitution Bee, which will be held on September 23. The method of selection of a President to head…

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Commentary: Education for the Next Generation

People of great accomplishment do not sit back and let things happen to them. They go out and make things happen. They pursue new or improve existing skills, insights, and ideas. If they are not learning, they understand they are not growing.

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