Steve G.

Jeffersonian Democrats: Let’s bring them back!

In Libertarian on September 18, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Paulie Cannoli and I are trying to organize a Jeffersonian “Caucus” within the Democratic Party. The purposes of the group will be to educate people on the principles of Jeffersonianism and encourage people who embrace those principles to run for office as Democrats.

The principles in question are:

  1. Radical Decentralism
  2. Anti-militarism
  3. Opposition to Central Banking

These are the things that Jefferson stood for. Around the country, Democratic Party groups have “Jefferson-Jackson” dinners, while the GOP has “Lincoln Day” celebrations. Lincoln, of course, was a radical centralist, militarist, and fiat-currency lover — the exact opposite of Jefferson.

Indeed, the history of the Republican Party is one of nearly pure evil. So while some Ron Paul supporters say they’re trying to “restore the GOP to its roots,” they don’t realize that George W. Bush is almost perfectly in sync with Lincolnianism. There were/are some good Republicans — Howard H. Buffett and Ron Paul standing out above the rest — but they are the exception to the rule. The Democratic Party, by contrast, has a strong history of classical liberalism, and boasts not only the greatest political philosopher among the presidents (Jefferson), but also the greatest president of all time, and last of the classical liberals, Grover Cleveland.

Yes, this is ancient history. But at least the history legitimately exists. We can point out this history and force statist Democrats to reject or embrace their own party’s legacy. And we can, hopefully, attract people to ideas that are now radical but were once mainstream.

Right now, our group’s agenda is as follows:

  1. Draft statements explaining the basic implications of the three principles with plenty of quotes from Jefferson supporting those principles and their implications
  2. Establish a high-quality Web site with public-domain writings from Jefferson and other classical liberals along with original articles applying Austro-Jeffersonian principles to current issues; as well as a blog highlighting news stories of interest to modern Jeffersonians
  3. Create a Facebook group to spread awareness of our existence and get people to sign on saying they will support Democratic candidates who abide by these principles — if we’re able to attract tens of thousands of members, I’m sure candidates will step up to the plate

We are looking for help with all of the above. If you’re interested, leave a reply.

When the Progressives achieved their “success” in the dreadful teens and twenties, they did so by having a presence in both major parties as well as third parties. There are already “libertarian” Democratic groups, but they don’t exactly embrace the full implications of Jeffersonianism, and thus, they haven’t caught on.

When the Democrats lose this election, improbably (again), perhaps there will be a realization that they’ve been out-big governmented by the GOP. Perhaps new Democrats who take up the ideas of the old Democrats will be allowed to move to the forefront.

A huge majority of Ron Paul’s support came from Democrats, independents, and “others,” and in some states, he got more votes from Democrats than from Republicans. The GOP and conservatism are inextricably linked with anti-Jeffersonian principles and thus, we believe, making the principled populist case for liberty to the working-class electorate of the Democratic Party has more promise than any other option currently available. If you agree — or even if you don’t, but think it’s worth a try — please join us.

  1. Well I’m still a member of the Democratic Party (something I hardly openly mention) so I may be interested.

    I’ve always wanted to see the democrats move in a more libertarian direction.

  2. This is a good idea, worth investigating. Its pretty plain the the LRC isn’t getting anywhere.

  3. I would be interested in this. The “mainstream” politicians I tend to admire, or at least respect, have been Democrats (other than Ron Paul).

    The area I would be most interested in is that of original content…give me a topic to research/write about, and/or give me a piece to wear the editor hat on…those are my strong suits.

    You’re already on my facebook Paulie, so just let me know. I’m not really involved with anything else right now.

  4. There is already a Democrat Freedom Caucus that has been around for a few years. This sounds pretty similiar to that.

  5. No. They are not even remotely serious about liberty. They make the criminal wing of the LNC look like anarchists.

  6. This sounds like a very interesting idea that I could get behind, G.E.

  7. Join our google group. More formats to come.

  8. And the exact name of this group? The URL?

    The more i think about it, the more interested in this I become. I’ve always had an affinity for left libertarianism and what could be deemed “left” issues because I’ve never been a “me, me, me” kind of person.

  9. I emailed the group and got this message:

    We’re writing to let you know that the group that you tried to contact (jeffersonian-caucus) either doesn’t exist, or you don’t have permission to post to it.

    Soooo….I guess there is an actual web page I (and others) can visit in which we can subscribe/join?

  10. Okay, but that guy Jefferson didn’t go over big with some groups. 😉 Slaver!


  11. True.

    Moulton suggested Classically Liberal Democrats, someone else said it was too long.

  12. The more libertarians we have in every party, the better.

  13. did anything ever come of this?

  14. Well, I have found some others interested in starting a jeffersonian revolution. I support:

    Restoration of the relationship between the federal and state governments to constitutionally proper; as well as complete ends to unfunded mandates and a considerable decrease in the size and scope of the federal government to constitutional levels. (namely, elimination of unconstitutional ABC agencies)

    a return to constitutionally declared wars

    a full audit and ultimate disbanding of the federal reserve, with proper criminal prosecution if and wherever fraud is found, followed by a transision to sound currency

    Feel free to check out my website: and its sister site:

  15. I’ve recently been looking for specifically this information. Despite the fact that I was expecting to find this article I am definitely amazed that your experience was so easy to find and the way it perfectly compared to my very own experience.

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