A leftist billionaire destroys Madison’s reputation in his own home

Having had their way with Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, it turns out that leftists are also defiling James Madison’s Montpelier. Rather than being shrines to the men who seeded American liberty even if they applied it imperfectly in their own lives, both are now shrines to Critical Race Theory.

Charlotte Cushman wrote at American Thinker about the woke assault on Monticello. The entire tour is about nothing more than slavery. Every one of Jefferson’s extraordinary accomplishments has been made subordinate to the fact that he had slaves, something he did as part of a continuum going back to the dawn of mankind. (That is, unlike the Nazis, he was not a man committed to an evil entirely out of step with his place in human intellectual evolution). This takeover has no regard for the fact that Jefferson articulated principles that helped bring that evil institution to an end.

Monticello was turned into a Critical Race Theory monument because Democrats have taken over the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. In addition, David M. Rubenstein, a leftist billionaire, donated $20 million (because in America, communism is a billionaire-funded enterprise), so Monticello ended up being bought and paid for by people who hate American exceptionalism.

It turns out that the same historic re-writing has been done to Montpelier, the home of James Madison, who is the true father of our Constitution. Before getting to Montpelier, let me make a point about James Madison.

After the Americans won their Revolution, it was Madison who did the research, trolling through ancient and modern history to determine which form of government would provide the greatest benefit for a free people. He was a product of his time and place so, for political purposes, he understood the idea of “free people” to be White men. What matters for posterity is that the principles he stated confer that same benefit on all free people, regardless of race, sex, color, country of national origin, or creed (although some creeds have a doctrinal core antithetical to individual liberty). If you’re swept within the Constitution’s purview, you’re good.

As for Montpelier, it’s gorgeous. It’s not a large home but, when I last saw it, it was in the middle of a vast grassy field surrounded by lush trees. And like every historical rich person’s home in the world (and I’ve been to many), it was the result of forced labor. Throughout world history, before fossil fuel and the individual liberty that lies at the heart of Madison’s Constitution, the rich relied on the labor of slaves, serfs, peons, prisoners, and minimally paid wage slaves. Madison...and Jefferson and Washington and all those other imperfect Founders, along with other 18th- and 19th-century thinkers and inventors, paved the way for change.

Image: Montpelier by Andrea Widburg

Put now Montpelier is luxuriating in a $10 million grant from David M. Rubenstein and it’s also dedicated itself to bashing the Founder whom it’s meant to honor and remember:

No American flags fly at Montpelier, Madison’s plantation home in rural Virginia, and not a single display focuses on the life and accomplishments of America’s foremost political philosopher, who created our three-branch federal system of government, wrote the Bill of Rights and the Federalist Papers, and served two terms as president.

Instead, blindsided tourists are hammered by high-tech exhibits about Madison’s slaves and current racial conflicts, thanks to a $10 million grant from left-leaning philanthropist David M. Rubenstein.

Let me be straightforward: Slaves contribute nothing to a society but labor. This is true no matter the society, no matter the nation, no matter the identity of the slaves or the master, and no matter the race involved, whether slave or master. Slaves are the units of energy that existed before fossil fuels.

“High-tech exhibits” about slaves tell us nothing about the events and ideas that shaped this country. It’s enriching to understand what slaves ate, wore, and did (and suffered), but it’s useless information in terms of understanding either the men who effected change or their ideas—ideas that, if leftists weren’t so filled with race-hatred and stupidity, could bring America and Americans to heights of prosperity and individual happiness never before seen in the world.

I’ll be at Montpelier next month on a visit planned (and paid for) long before this news broke. I’m sure I’ll have questions for the guides. It should be illuminating listening to their answers and, I can assure you, I’ll keep you all posted.

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