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  • How Did We Miss this Detail?

    Posted by Mitch Townsend on December 22nd, 2005 (All posts by )

    Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Thomas Jefferson

    A closer look reveals…


    8 Responses to “How Did We Miss this Detail?”

    1. RandMan Says:

      Too funny. While it’s useless to speculate as to what Jefferson would have done if he’d been elected president in 2000, there’s no doubt in my mind he would approve of the Iraqi’s efforts to democratize.

    2. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      Sadly for us, I doubt someone like Thomas Jefferson could be elected president anymore.

    3. nate Says:

      A lot of people at the inception of the U.S. used the word “republic” and did not use the word “democracy”. Think about the words in the pledge of allegiance. (to the “Republic”, not to the “Democracy”).

      So I am not sure what Jefferson would say about the “Iraqi’s efforts to democratize.” I would need to do more research.

      As for the purple finger: how did you know about this?

    4. mark Says:


      Don’t know if this is relevant but ‘democracy’ comes from the ancient Greek for “mob rule” and the word had negative connotations up until the 19th century.

      Perhaps ‘republic’ does not have the same connotations (implying an elected but level headed government perhaps).

    5. Mitch Says:

      Nate: I knew about it because I did it. Ulead PhotoImpact is a great little program that does 90% of the work of PhotoShop at 10% of the price. Version 10 is out now, and it’s available at Costco for about $55 net of rebates. It’s fun stuff to play with.

    6. Paul Says:

      Well, what I find far more interesting than his ink stained finger (or is that a purple fingernail?) is the reverse image of a closed eyed, open mouthed figure apparently about to offer the president a Lewinsky. Perhaps Bill Clinton’s middle name was more prescient than commonly believed.

    7. Jarod Says:

      Given the man now occupying the seat once held by Clinton it is insane to badmouth a great leader with what we now have in place…think not? watch Iraq and the budget unravel. Sit back to applaud democracy in the Middle East..but be comfortable while waiting.

    8. pgepps Says:

      While I appreciate the sentiments of the fellow who prefers a republican to a democratic form of government, someone should point out that in the 18th or 19th centuries, saying you were a “republican” in most places (except the US, where the term took on a new meaning) would associate you with the Jacobins, red-caps, Montesquieu, riots, and the guillotine.

      We probably will have to live with the change. I still think the idea of a republic (which has come to mean an agreed-upon set of laws binding the people and their government) is a better development than the idea of democracy (which has come to mean an equation of popularity with legitimacy).

      Feudalism was probably more moral than either, though, FWIW.