And if Adams' rhetoric led to an attack on America by France? "If we are forced into war," Jefferson noted, "we must give up political differences of opinion, and unite as one man to defend our country. But whether at the close of such a war, we should be as free as we are now, God knows."
The tide was turned, to use Jefferson's phrase, by the election of 1800. The abuses of the Federalists were so burned into the people's minds when Jefferson's party came to power, and he freed the imprisoned newspaper editors so reform-minded newspapers were started back up again, that the Federalists disintegrated altogether as a party over the next two decades.
All because average citizens and pamphleteers stood up and challenged the lies of a war-mongering president, and politicians of principle were willing to lead. Cindy Sheehan is the George Nicholas or Rusticus of our age. Jefferson would have stood with her.
America has been burdened by lying presidents before, and even one who tried to destroy our Constitution. But in our era - like in Jefferson's - we are fortunate to have radical truth-tellers like Cindy Sheehan and Joseph Wilson to warn us of treasonous acts for political gain, and bloggers and progressive websites to carry the truth.
If we stand in solidarity with today's truth-tellers, and politicians step forward to take a leadership role, then its entirely possible that with the elections of 2006 and 2008 American democracy can once again prevail.
p>Thom Hartmann (thom at thomhartmann.com) is a Project Censored
Award-winning best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk show and a morning progressive talk show on KPOJ in Portland, Oregon. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection," "We The People," "The Edison Gene", and "What Would Jefferson Do?"
Published on Monday, August 15, 2005 by commondreams.org