Quantcast
Connect with us

Rand Paul’s first two books are littered with fake Thomas Jefferson quotes

Published

on

Kentucky senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul’s first two books contain several statements falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures, Buzzfeed reported.

Records from the Thomas Jefferson Foundation indicate that “there is no evidence” Jefferson was responsible for five statements Paul included in his work, and that two other statements were taken out of context.

For example, Paul claimed to cite Jefferson while criticizing the Patriot Act in his 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington.

“This sort of invasiveness is also precisely the reason we have a Second Amendment protecting our right to keep and bear arms,” he wrote at the time. “Or as Jefferson wrote ‘The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.'”

But according to the Jefferson Foundation, “this quotation has not been found in any of the writings of Thomas Jefferson,” though it is allegedly often paired with the phrase, “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms,” which is taken from his draft of the Virginia state constitution.

Paul explains his opposition to the Affordable Care Act in the same book in part by stating, “When Thomas Jefferson wrote that a ‘government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have,’ he could have easily been referencing Obamacare.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The foundation noted that, while the quote has appeared in print as far back as 1953, it was not attributed to Jefferson — erroneously — until 2005.

“Neither this quotation nor any of its variant forms has been found in the writings of Thomas Jefferson,” the foundation stated, adding that it “became a popular saying among Republican politicians” after being copyrighted in 1957 by the General Features Corporation.

According to Buzzfeed, Paul also mischaracterized a statement by Benjamin Franklin in not only that book, but his follow-up, Government Bullies.

“Who’s to say the Tea Party won’t become the government’s next target under the PATRIOT Act?” Paul stated in the first book. “Benjamin Franklin once wrote, ‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety,’ and Americans who continue to support unconstitutional intrusions into the private lives of their fellow citizens will inevitably learn the same lesson.”

ADVERTISEMENT

But, as NPR reported this past March, Franklin’s words are frequently taken out of context, since he was writing in support of defense spending and taxation in a dispute between Pennsylvania lawmakers and relatives of the Penn family, the “proprietary family of the Pennsylvania colony.”

“The legislature was trying to tax the Penn family lands to pay for frontier defense during the French and Indian War,” Brookings Institute senior fellow Benjamin Wittes told NPR. “And the Penn family kept instructing the governor to veto. Franklin felt that this was a great affront to the ability of the legislature to govern. And so he actually meant purchase a little temporary safety very literally. The Penn family was trying to give a lump sum of money in exchange for the General Assembly’s acknowledging that it did not have the authority to tax it.”

The senator has also attributed the following statement to George Washington: “Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force … Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” However, editors at the Yale Book of Quotations have stated that there is no evidence that Washington ever made the “undoubtedly apocryphal” quote.

Paul has come under criticism for his sourcing before. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow ridiculed him on-air in October 2013 after portions of one of his speeches appeared to have been copied from the Wikipedia page for the film Gattaca.

He later blamed the criticism on “haters,” without mentioning Maddow by name.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

Published

on

Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

Published

on

With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

Published

on

There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

The 2020 election needs you. There are 18 months until the election, and the Supreme Court is on the line. I'm trying to add journalists to do more exclusive reports. Let me get rid of the ads for you, and put your support toward 100% progressive reporting. Want to ensure your voice is heard? Join me and restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

HELP TAKE BACK AMERICA
close-link