jmyrlefuller wrote above:
[[This nation was built on the principle that "all men are created equal," as Jefferson put it, and we as a country have only grown more attached to that ideal in the subsequent centuries. ]]
But the problem is -- and will always be -- that men are NOT "created equal". As a law of nature, this simply cannot be.
This doesn't mean that individuals cannot "stand equally" before the laws of the land. But it's simply impossible to "make men equal". All one has to do is look around, to observe this reality.
If all men were "created equal", that truth would have been so self-evident that there would be no need to put the idea onto paper to give it legitimacy.
Jefferson was trying to create a new truth from the wind. A noble idea, but just because an idea is noble, does not make it real. Recall what Ted Kennedy said at Robert Kennedy's funeral: "some men see things as they are, and ask 'why?'. I dream things that never were, and ask 'why not?'" As perfectly "liberal" a statement as could be made.
Stands to reason that Jefferson was one of the first.... democrats.
You also wrote:
[[ Rightly or wrongly so, the whole purpose of our existence as a country would be thoroughly destroyed if that principle were to be disproved. ]]
I believe that we're seeing the results of "Jefferson's error" right now. In a relentless quest to "make everyone equal", the unintended consequences resemble something out of Orwell's "Animal Farm" -- all the animals are equal, only some animals are "more equal" than others.
Could "the whole purpose of our existence as a country" be on the chopping block?