Today, Apirl 13, marks the 267th birthday of Thomas Jefferson, who among other things was the first Secretary of State of the United States (under George Washington), the second Vice President of the United States (under John Adams), the second governor of Virginia, and the third President of the United States (under himself). I have always found it interesting to note what the man himself thought were his most remarkable acheivements. We know what they are because he had them written on his epitaph, which can be seen on his gravestone at Monticello, and reads:
As mentioned above, Thomas Jefferson was a governor of Virginia. Here was a man who stood for his principles and backed them up. He believed that all men are created equal. He believed that, at times, it was necessary for a people to dissovle the political bands that binded them. He believed in these things so much that he pledged his life, his fortune, and his honor to them. He believed in the importance of religious freedom so much that he wrote a law about it. He believed in education so much that he founded a university. Say what you will about the man, but you knew where he stood.
I mention all of those principles that Mr. Jefferson stood for as a comparison to the current occupant of the governor’s seat in Virginia, Robert McDonnell, who (in my opinion) never met a stance he couldn’t back away from.
Governor McDonnell started off his tenure by issuing an executive order banning discrimination in the workplace, but he omitted homosexuals from the order (unlike his Democratic predecessors). However, the moment his Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, took heat for suggesting to state colleges and universities that they could not institute policies shielding homosexuals from discrimination, McDonnell turns around and says that discrimination against homosexuals would not be tolerated and that offenders would be fired.
In another move that broke precedent with his Democratic predecessors, McDonnell announced that April would be Confederate History Month in an attempt to get the ball rolling on the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the United States Civil War. In his annoucement, McDonnell made little mention of the fact that slavery played a large part that conflict. However you may feel about that omission, it was a stand by the Governor not to highlight the issue of slavery. Be that as it may, it only took a few days for the Governor to backpedal and issue a mea culpa to those who howled in outrage over his omission.
At the current moment, McDonnell has made another stand in drafting a proposal that would require prisoners in Virginia who want to have their voting rights restored that they would have to write an essay talking about their crime and how they have helped society since being released. However you may feel about this proposal, it is stand by the Governor.