[Note: This is a creative writing project. You can support it and contribute comments to it. When it's done, you get rewards!]
Join the Burr Project now!
Why? Read on...
You think regime change is new? I'll bet it would surprise you to know that Thomas Jefferson was the first U.S. president to engage in it.
Administrative detention? You know, the kind that is going on in Guantanamo, Bagram, and who knows where else? You think that started with GW Bush? Nope. Thomas Jefferson. And by the way, his excuse was the same then as Bush and Obama's is now: the security of the nation.
You think fascism started with Mussolini? Think again. Jefferson -- who was voted into office on ideals of a dis-empowered, decentralized national government and retention of strong state powers -- nearly destroyed the economy and caused a civil war, and was practically drummed out of office for his executive imposition of coercive national economic policies. Personal adulation? Jefferson couldn't live without it. Nearly all of the common elements of fascism were fulfilled by Jefferson.
You think apartheid started in South Africa? Jefferson did his utmost to retain slavery as an institution.
You think Haiti's troubles were caused by France? Jefferson was the first president to sign a law to prohibit trade with the new republic.
You probably think warrantless surveillance or seizure is new? Jefferson authorized the imposition of martial law and unlawful seizure of properties and persons - rifling post offices and arresting persons (including a judge) without warrant. He unlawfully suspended habeas corpus and even tried to get Congress to impeach the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court for not coming down with the verdict he wanted. In flagrant violation of the concept of checks and balances, and separation of powers, Jefferson's henchman argued in Congress that the judiciary was not a separate branch but merely an arm of the executive, subject to his whims!
So you think American imperialism is new? Jefferson may have called it "an empire of liberty," but his purchase of Louisiana guaranteed the continuation and expansion of slavery for years to come. (And by the way, Louisiana was not granted the right to representative government under Jefferson.)
Thomas Jefferson, whose precepts of individual human rights we continue to quote today and in which I deeply believe, betrayed his own ideals. And in the process, he didn't just destroy the life and reputation of Aaron Burr (who, to this day, we still blame); he destroyed something of ours, something so deeply embedded in our psyches that when Jefferson's own people saw what he was doing, they were so deeply shocked, they were dumbfounded, made silent, speechless and powerless. A veil fell over their eyes; they repressed their own judgment and became his tools.
This is what James Douglass calls "the unspeakable." The public conveniently forgot Jefferson's betrayal of American ideals and remembered only his great principles. And we continue to this day in denial and ignorance.
This denial and ignorance is costing us dearly. By refusing to see what Jefferson actually did, Americans were able to hang onto his ideals, but denial and repression ultimately backfire and erupt in violence and death, if they are not encountered and acknowledged.
We need to understand what happened to us and I believe that the story of Aaron Burr holds an important key.
Take this journey with me, help me correct the record and reconstruct the men: Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, and those who played various other parts in this greatest of all American epics. Take part in recreating our country as it was intended to be ... and we want it to be.
Pledge to join the Burr Project on kickstarter!
Note: Lest there be any misunderstanding, I am FOR the PRINCIPLES espoused by and identified with Thomas Jefferson. In fact, this project, through its work to reconstruct Aaron Burr, attempts to resurrect and preserve the deepest, most fundamental of those principles.