Nobody will be surprised to learn that they [proslavery politicians] insisted that the federal government be kept weak to prevent it from interfering with southern slavery. But the history of taxation revealed a far more comprehensive impact of slavery on American politics - and much earlier than the 1820s. Here is the thunder. From the beginning of the colonial era, American governments were more democratic, stronger, and more competent where slavery was a marginal institution: in those colonies where most people were free and there were few slaves or slaveholders. American governments were more aristocratic, weaker, and less competent where slavery was a major institution in the economy and society: in those colonies where large fractions of the population were enslaved and there were many slaves and slaveholders. Democracy and liberty produced stronger and more competent governments in early American history. And, from the moment the colonies banded together to create the United States, slaveholders realized that strong, competent, and democratic governments were the only institutions in American life that posed credible threats to slavery.

The American mistrust of government is not part of our democratic heritage. It comes from slaveholding elites who had no experience with democratic governments where they lived and knew only one thing about democracy: that it threatened slavery. The idea that government is the primary danger to liberty has many sources, but one of its main sources in the United States involved the “liberty” of some people to hold others as chattel property. The allied idea that government is the primary danger to property rights also has many sources. In the early United States, however, it made the most sense where large amounts of the “property” consisted of human beings.

Readers will notice that these are not Jeffersonian arguments. But the Jeffersonian story is wrong. It was a political story framed for immediate needs, and it was a story that did more to frustrate liberty and democracy than to promote them, even though Jefferson was an intelligent man with a talent for inspirational political rhetoric. We must come to terms with the fact that one of the crucial achievements of our slaveholding “founding fathers” - especially Jefferson and Madison - was to work out a story about the origins of Americans politics, a story in which, not coincidentally, they were the heroes. This story was a brilliant accomplishment. It was so brilliant that it has remained the story that Americans have told and retold for two hundred years in the books filled with things that we already know. It is the story about the slaveholding champions of liberty and democracy in the United States.

—  Robin Einhorn, American Taxation, American Slavery
If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?

Pope Francis on same-sex marriage in 2013

Since becoming pope in 2013, Francis has made one controversial statement after another on all kinds of, well, controversial topics. On many of these issues, the pope’s statements challenge Republican orthodoxy. On some others — abortion and same-sex marriage in particular — the church and this pope are still firmly conservative and unlikely to change doctrines anytime soon. However, even on these, Francis has signaled subtle shifts in the church’s attitude.

Here is a rundown of how the pontiff has challenged both Democrats and Republicans in just two short years.

It’s no coincidence that abortions go up when Republicans are in charge and down when Democrats are. The two biggest indicators a woman will have an abortion are that she is poor (75% of women who have abortions make less than $23,000 and half make less than $11,000), and had an unintended pregnancy (half of U.S. pregnancies are unintended, and 43% end in abortion).

Want to guess which political party is more effective at reducing poverty and unwanted pregnancies? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not the “pro-life” Party that in this last Congressional session alone fought to cut medical care for poor mothers and children, food programs for kids, and contraception coverage and access for women.
Look, Donald Trump said he wanted to go forward, then he changed his mind, said no, then he changed his mind and said yes, then he changed his mind and said no. Maybe we’ll get a call in five minutes and he’ll say yes again. I think that is who Donald Trump is, and I think the American people should be very concerned about somebody who keeps changing his mind not only on this debate, but on virtually every issue he’s been asked about.

Sen. Bernie Sanders

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She’s not coming over to your house! You don’t have to like her. You don’t have to like her. Do you like this country? Do you like this country? You better get out there and vote. Do you like the country? Do you like freedom and liberty? Do you like this country? OK. Do you like democracy or do you want a demagogue?

Oprah Winfrey, on Hillary Clinton

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So Wendell Pierce is right. If the white racists of the NRA and Republican Party want “guns everywhere,” then black people ought to buy them in droves and start carrying them around legally. Then we can all watch as racist white gun owners and police officers back off and whine about it before running to lawmakers to beg for the gun control laws. #Love it!