RUSH: Audio sound bite 4 and, in order, this is Charlie Rose and Al Sharpton last night on Charlie Rose’s PBS show, and this is their discussion about getting rid of the Jefferson Memorial.
ROSE: (whispering) Thomas Jefferson had slaves.
SHARPTON: Had slaves, and children with the slaves.
ROSE: Exactly. Should they take down the Jefferson Memorial?
SHARPTON: I think that people need to understand when people that were in enslaved and robbed of even the right to marry — and had forced sex with their slave masters — this is personal. This is not some kind of removed discussion from us. Our families were victims of this. Public monuments are supported by public funds. You’re asking me to subsidize the insult of my family.
ROSE: Then I repeat: Thomas Jefferson had slaves.
SHARPTON: And I repeat that the public should not be paying to uphold somebody who has had that kind of background.
RUSH: Way to go. Charlie, who are you trying to impress here? Why are you even needed on this show? You don’t even need to be there. You know, just turn the segment over to Al Sharpton, tell him he’s got a minute and then reclaim your show. Charlie, what the hell is going on here to allow this kind of tripe, unchallenged? Not even make Sharpton explain this lunacy that he’s talking about here? Remember, folks, we can’t change what happened. Getting rid of the Jefferson Memorial…
Thomas Jefferson was one of the founders of this country, and you see what this really is about here? This is about not just delegitimizing Donald Trump, and it’s not just about getting rid of him. These people are on a tear to delegitimize this entire country, as part of their effort to transform it and — dare I say — overthrow it however they might try to make that happen. But it is absurd — and during all of this, what I notice is that people on our side of the aisle, we kind of chuckle. “Ha-ha-ha. Listen to Reverend Sharpton, he’s off on another wild tangent.”
And nobody stands up and responds to this stuff in any kind of way in the public square that defends it. And it’s as though if we let the kids have their say and get it out of their system, it will eventually go away. I think we have learned that this isn’t gonna go away. These are people that cannot be mollified. These people are gonna have to be defeated, folks. And I think that’s what a lot of people don’t have the stomach for. I mean, the idea of tearing down the Jefferson Memorial?
This stupid reasoning that Sharpton comes up with, that he somehow has some personal involvement in what Thomas Jefferson did, he’s got some personal stake? His life has been negatively influenced because of Thomas Jefferson? And these people don’t even take the time to explain the contributions of Thomas Jefferson and the other founders in creating the single greatest place for human beings to reside in the history of this planet.
We’re all a product of our times. But even with slavery, if you go back (and we discussed it on this program countless times), the founders knew that it was a deep problem. They had a compromise they had to make. Boiling this down to it’s simplest essence… It’s always dangerous when you do that, I acknowledge. But the people of the original 13 colonies wanted to get out from underneath the boot of the king in England. They wanted to found a nation based on religious liberty and universal liberty. They had to be together to do this.
There had to be a union. There had to be a united front organized around the principles of independence rooted in liberty, religious liberty, and otherwise. Well, that included some of the Southern colonies. And slavery came up, and it was a compromise issue in order for the union to be created. But if you take the time to read some of the founding documents, some of the history, you’ll find that many of the founders from the North were very uncomfortable with this. They didn’t like it.
They weren’t crazy about it, didn’t want any part of it, but they had to make a compromise for it. Constitution of this country and other founding documents were set up so as to allow amendments and change and accommodations, and that’s exactly what happened. Eventually this country eliminated slavery — and, in part, went to war to do so, with over 500,000 lives lost. That feat and that achievement and that accomplishment is now ignored, discounted as irrelevant and unreal. Because if they acknowledge it, then they have to admit that what they’re complaining about was dealt with.
And their whole argument resides on the notion that it hasn’t changed, that there still is, for all intents and purposes, slavery. There still is racism. There still is bigotry. And now it’s been joined by a bunch of Nazis and Klan members — and the Klan was all Democrats, and the segregationists in the South were all Democrats. I’d like to ask a question about this, for those of you on the left. You want to tear down the statues of Robert E. Lee and you want to tear down, now, the Jefferson Memorial if you’re Al Sharpton.
But you want to get rid of all of these monuments that have been erected to people and events in our nation’s past, tied to the Civil War, which you find horribly, horribly offensive and you want to get rid of all vestiges. Well, at what point are you gonna realize that you also have to disband the Democrat Party? If you’re gonna really succeed and follow through to the end on this mission, you’ve got to get rid of the Democrat Party, and you have got to wipe a bunch of people out of it. You gotta get rid of J. William Fulbright.
You gotta get rid of all those Southern governors. You gotta get rid of all those Southern police chiefs. You got to tear down every highway in West Virginia named after Robert Byrd and rename it, because he was a Grand Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan. So just how far are you leftists prepared to go here in carrying out your cleansing mission to eliminate all reminders of our horrid, racist past? And then after you do this, could you please tell me how the lives of all of you people are going to magically be improved?
Could you explain to me how, at that fateful day when you have eliminated every monument, when you have changed every name of a building and highway — and there’s hundreds of them named after Robert Byrd in West Virginia alone. After you have thrown Bull Connor and J. William Fulbright and Algore’s dad out of the Democrat Party, and then to be intellectually pure you have to admit the Democrat Party from the founding days of the country were the people that did this.
And yet they are your party today. That is where you vote. So at some point are you going to have to eliminate the Democrat Party? If you do, if you cleanse all of these uncomfortable and painful reminders — the statues are down, the roads are renamed, all of these monuments are gone — how is your life on that day made better? How is your standard of living impacted? How is your overall degree of happiness measured?
And I guarantee you they haven’t thought this far because that’s not what any of this is about. We’re dealing hip deep with an unhinged irrationality that has the full-fledged support of the American media, which remains the organizing power today that projects the power of the American and the worldwide left.
RUSH: Here is Calvin in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I’m glad you called. How are you doing, Calvin?
CALLER: I’m doing great.
RUSH: Well, good. Thank you. What’s up?
CALLER: Well, it’s an honor to talk to you. I’ll get right to my point.
RUSH: Appreciate that.
CALLER: I have recently changed my mind about the removal of Confederate monuments. I mean, I understand how they could be offensive. However, when I hear someone like Al Sharpton talking about removing the Thomas Jefferson Memorial?
RUSH: That’s predictable. It’s Charlie Rose not objecting to it that, to me, is the news.
CALLER: Don’t you think that that puts us in the same bucket with the ISIS thugs that are destroying thousand-year-old artifacts because they don’t agree with what they might have done a thousand years ago?
RUSH: Which we, by the way, condemned when they did it. That’s not what ISIS says is —
CALLER: We condemned that.
RUSH: Can I go back to something else you said, Calvin? I think there’s a very interesting and teachable moment here in something you said. You said you used to be sympathetic to the concept of tearing down and getting rid of these statues because you —
RUSH: — didn’t like that it offended anybody. Don’t misunderstand tone of my voice, and you’re not gonna have time to answer before the break, so I’m gonna hold you through the break, so don’t panic that you’re running out of time here. I want you to think about the question during the break. I want to know, why is it just because somebody is offended, we have to take down statues? Or just because somebody is offended, we have to do anything? Why is it the offended, no matter how few of them there are, always must be acknowledged?
RUSH: Back now to Calvin in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I’m not trying to ignore everything else you said, but this has long been a pet peeve and a bugaboo of mine, because we’re doing it! All some little minority group — very tiny minority group, individual — has to do is stand up and say, “I’m offended! This offends me!” We have to stop everything we’re doing and get rid of whatever it is that offends ’em. Why? Why did being offended become such an important thing that we cannot tolerate people who are offended?
CALLER: Well, my experience has shown me that there’s an old parable about the camel with his nose in the tent, and I agree with you now. I should never have compromised what I really thought was right to try to appease someone’s feelings. You’re absolutely right. I should not have done that. They were wrong to start with, and when you look at where they want to take it —
CALLER: — it makes it glaringly clear, and they’re no better than the ISIS thugs that are destroying beautiful artifacts because of something they disagree with. It’s like the pharaohs chiseling the names of previous pharaohs off monuments. So I agree with you. You were right a hundred percent.
RUSH: Well, with ISIS, though — and I like your analogy, but I would take it even further. ISIS is not destroying monuments and museum artifacts because they disagree and are offended by it. They’re wiping it out to erase it. They are trying to end all references to that which they disagree with. It’s “1984,” ISIS style. They’re trying to eliminate from existence the things that they’re destroying. They don’t want anybody to ever know any of that happened. Not that they’re bothered by it per se, and you’re also right about — I applaud this.
You discovered you can’t appease them. There is no appeasing them, and I’ll tell you what: People on our side still haven’t learned this. You know, our so-called media and elected officials in Washington, their whole existence is based on appeasing somebody — the media or Democrat leaders or somebody — and you can’t. Just like there’s no appeasing, in World War II, the Japanese. All there was to do was defeat ’em. There was no appeasing them. Ditto Hitler and the Nazis. There was no appeasing.
Yet this seems to be an approach that we all take. “Well, these people are just young people, and they’re very upset here, and maybe if we just acknowledge that we understand why they’re mad and tear down a couple of Robert E. Lee statues and we can show them that we understand them.” No. They see that and say, “Oh, you’re tearing down two? Well, we want to get rid of the other 1500 of them, wherever we are, and you’ve just said that we can so get out of our way. You want to appease us? This is what it’s gonna take.
“And if you really want to appease us, die, because we really do not want to have to deal with you, period. And don’t think you can join us because we’ll know that you don’t really mean it.” Yet we persist in trying to appease. “It makes us feel better. It makes us feel better about ourselves. We’re being nice and being understanding, and we’re reaching out and showing them we’re not the monsters they claim that we are.” They are the monsters! We’re all minding our own business here.
We’re bothering nobody — we’re just doing what we do — not a single soul.
Everything is ass-backwards in this equation. The troublemakers versus the peace lovers, it’s all ass-backwards (or back-ass wards, if you prefer that).
RUSH: This is Lane in Greenville, North Carolina. You’re next. I’m glad you called. How are you doing?
CALLER: Hey, Rush. I want to defend Thomas Jefferson.
RUSH: Have at it.
CALLER: How about it. (chuckles) He, according to the Jefferson Encyclopedia, was a great proponent of the abolition of slavery. At the time of the American Revolution, he was involved in legislation that he hoped would result in slavery’s abolition in the state of Virginia, of course, and I just feel like defending him in other ways too. I think the media has made him sound like he abused his slaves. I read quite a few books on Jefferson, and I don’t think that was his makeup. Sally Hemings was his wife’s half-sister. I don’t think so he ever abused her sexually. I think there were two other members of the Jefferson family — nephews, I believe — who were the same age as Sally and their sisters, and I’m sure that the DNA tests do actually show that there is Jefferson blood —
RUSH: I think this is the wrong way to go about defending this. Don’t… I’m not… I don’t mean to be critical of you. I’m speaking in generic terms. Look, there’s a thing called the zeitgeist, and if you look up definition of zeitgeist, it’s “the spirit of the times.” Those were different times. There were different customs. We have our own time here. We have our own zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. It is a risky proposition to start placing people from different eras into ours. It’s kind of like in the climate change argument.
Who are we to say that what’s happening right now is climate normal? What arrogance. How do we know? How do we not know that climate normal was what it was in 1800 or what it’s gonna be in 2021 or what it was in 1900? How do we know this is the normal? It’s just our vanity and arrogance presuming it. So we take people from different eras and we transplant them into our era and we impose upon them our sensitivities and mores, and they don’t meet up, they don’t imagine up, and we start condemning them.
Now, when you say that Thomas Jefferson was for the abolition of slavery, what you’re gonna have people say to you is, “BS! BS!” They’re gonna bring up Sally Hemings and they’re gonna bring up that he owned slaves and they’re gonna bring up that he owned all this other stuff. “How can he have been against it?” Both could be true. It could be true in the case of George Washington. It was true in the case of John Adams. Both cases can be true. It happened to be the way things were, and these people realized at the time it was morally indefensible and could not be sustained and so laid the groundwork for its eventual change.
Our founders were really special, brilliant people. They did not codify a system that must remain as ridged and specific as their time. That’s what’s brilliant about the Declaration and the Constitution. It’s what’s brilliant about it. But you can no more take Thomas Jefferson… In fact, I’d like to go the other way. I would love to bring Thomas Jefferson back. I would love if we could resuscitate the founders and bring them back to America today and give them time to study what’s happened here and have them compare that to what they founded and created and what they dreamed it might end up being, and then get their observations.
I would love that, whichever way it went.
I would love to have their perspective.
Of course, this is not possible, but this is why people believe in original intent when interpreting the Constitution. You try to get as close to what they intended as possible because they were special and the brilliant, by definition. But to take people from a different era who lived in different ways with different customs and mores and transplant them here into this hypersensitive politically correct era? You can’t do it, especially when it comes to the idea of taking down all these monuments to the literal greats who founded this country. Anyway, I would like to develop this further, but I’ve got a time-crunch problem. I have to go.
Lane, thank you very much.
RUSH: There has been some vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial. Keep a sharp eye on the Washington Monument. These things are all targets now.