free assent. The “priestcraft” has degeneratedrnfrom Calvinist to transcendentalistrnand now to progressive-liberal,rnbut the principle remains the same.rnLikewise Jefferson’s educational systemrnhas been praised and condemned asrnthe progenitor of our modern publicrnschool establishment. But the debasedrnsystem we have comes from Prussiarnby way of the New England reformersrnHorace Mann and John Dewey. Its rationalernis egalitarian and regimentedrn”progress.” The goal of Jefferson’s proposedrneducational system was excellencernand the rescue of talent from obscurityrnfor the good of the commonwealth. Arnresemblance is apparent onlv to the terminallyrnshallow who mistake words forrnthings.rnThe process of Jeffersonian obscurantismrnbegan early in the 19th century,rnwhen the village atheists of New England,rnfrom Emerson on down, who execratedrnJefferson the public man, beganrnto appropriate selective words of Jeffersonrnthe philosophe (like “all men arerncreated equal”) as ammunition in theirrnown will to power (“priestcraft”). Thisrnwas their common way of proceeding.rnFor instance, at the same time they managedrnto turn the fox-hunting cavalierrnGeorge Washington into a puritan prigrncongenial to themselves.rnThe process reached culmination inrnthe 1850’s, when a new party stole thernname of Jefferson’s party, “Republican,”rnto cover a platform of business subsidy,rnabolitionist agitation, and puritanism—rnall things that Jefferson abhorred. Itrnwould never have occurred to him thatrnhis own personal philosophical positionrncould be employed by verv different menrnas an ideological juggernaut to coercernhis fellow citizens by federal force. Jeffersonrnthe public man led and reflectedrna public consensus, not an ideologicalrnprogram. It was very clear to his ownrngeneration, and the subsequent generationrnor two in those parts of the countryrnthat followed him, what that consensusrnwas.rnJefferson and his friends came to powerrn(the “Revolution of 1800″) in oppositionrnto the economic and moral imperialismrnof Hamilton and his friends—arnprogram of taxes, manipulation of therneconomy for the inevitable benefit ofrnthe few and the burden of the many,rnmoral dragooning of the population, andrninvolvement in foreign power politics.rnIt was this threat that Jefferson and hisrnfriends put down, and kept down, forrnhalf a century—the happiest era of thernUnion.rnJefferson the philosophe is of great intellectualrninterest but of little politicalrnrelevance to our verv different, chastenedrnage. It is Jefferson the public man wernneed to recover, as well as his programrnand his party: adherence to the limits ofrnfederal power in the Constitution;rnpreservation of the riglits of the states asrnthe chief bulwark of our liberties (thern”Principles of 1798,” toasted by Jeffersoniansrnfor generations); low taxes; a simplernand economical government that interferesrnas little as possible in thernactivities of the citizens; avoidance ofrn”entangling alliances.”rnThis was the platform of Jefferson thernleader who postponed Hamiltonianrncalamities to the Republic and who wasrnloved by the preponderance of thernAmerican people in his own time andrnlong after. It is that Jefferson we needrnand who is our greatest asset againstrnhigh-handed elites who oppress the peoplernin the name of equality and popularrnrule. It is that Jefferson who said: “I amrnfor a government rigorously frugal andrnsimple.” “Were we directed from Washingtonrnwhen to sow, and when to reap,rnwe should soon want bread.” “There is arnnatural aristocracy among men. Therngrounds of this are virtue and talent.” “Irnam not among those who fear the people.rnThey, and not the rich, are our dependencernfor continued freedom. Andrnto preserve their independence, we mustrnnot let our rulers load us with perpetualrndebt. We must make our election betweenrneconomy and liberty, or profusionrnand servitude.”rnOnce Jeffersonian democrats were thernmost numerous of all American politicalrntypes. During the second half of thern20th century they have scarcely beenrnheard from. Yet, in my opinion, therernarc, out there in the hinterlands, millionsrnof us waiting for a reassertion ofrnthe “Principles of 1798″ and for anotherrn”Revolution of 1800.” But, alas, we waitrnin vain for another Jefferson to lead.rn—Clvde WilsonrnSHORTLY AFTER MIDNIGHT onrnMay 24, the ship Pai Sheng slipped intornSan Francisco Bay. With at least 200rnpeople jammed below deck, the shiprndocked at Fort Point, at the base of thernGolden Gate Bridge. The 19th-centuryrnfort, built to guard the city against invadersrnand once a Coast Guard station.rnhas long since been reduced to a touristrnattraction. But the occupants of thernboat, swarming ashore, were not tourists.rnMostly citizens of China’s Fujian andrnGuangdong provinces, these “visitors’rnhad paid $20,000 apiece to book passage.rnHowever, the Pai Sheng was nornluxury liner, but a 250-foot freighter, itsrnoccupants crammed together belowrndeck like cattle. They were mostly men,rnbut included a few women and children,rnall of whom had turned over their lifernsavings for what they hoped would be arnone-way trip to the United States.rnIt was a brazen plan, the landing expertlyrnexecuted in less than an hour, andrnthey almost got away with it. Early reportsrnsaid that the police “stumbled” onrnthe operation; later news accountsrnclaimed that the ship’s passengers werern”practically delivered into the waitingrnarms of federal agents.” In fact, thernCoast Guard had been tracking the vesselrnfor a month; when it showed up nearrnSan Francisco Bay, the Coast Guard triedrnto reach the ship by radio, but there wasrnno response. The captain did nothing,rnexplaining that only Coast Guard andrnNavy ships and ships carrying militaryrncargo are required to report to the CoastrnGuard. “It’s not that unusual that a shiprnwould come in and not answer up,” saidrnCaptain Win Risinger, commander ofrnCoast Guard Group San Francisco, “becausernit’s not mandatory.”rnA foreign vessel steams into San FranciscornBay and refuses to answer repeatedrnattempts to establish radio contact—butrnthis was apparently not enough to tiprnoff the hapless guardians of America’srnborders. It wasn’t until military policernhappened upon a truckload of Chinesernon the nearby Presidio military base thatrnthe authorities had a clue as to what wasrnhappening right under their noses.rnWith transportation arranged by localrncohorts waiting on shore, about half thernboat’s occupants reached land before thernfeds woke up. The rest, about 170, werernrounded up and placed in detention.rnThe absurd aspect of this whole incidentrnis that their detention may be temporary.rnAs a kind of insurance againstrnthe possibility of getting caught, the passengersrnof the Pai Sheng were providedrnby the organizers of this little expeditionrnwith the phone number of a prominentrnlocal immigration authority, John Wu.rnMr. Wu quickly declared that his newfoundrnclients are fleeing political persecutionrnand thus are entitled to live, work,rnand eventually vote in the United States.rn6/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn