26 votes

On the Jon Stewart interview of Judge Napolitano

As I write this, Judge Napolitano and Jon Stewart are discussing slavery. The beginning of the conversation was started with a common misconception on the part of Stewart - namely, the Declaration of Independence never said anything about slavery. The rough draft of the document reads:

[King George III] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them to slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportations thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this excrable commerce and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distiguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms against us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

By the way, Lincoln, too, tried to incite slaves to rebellion - even though he could have cared less about the outcome of slavery as long as the Union was preserved.

"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union."

~ Abraham Lincoln

Stewart made an error, but more importantly, he fails to recognize the current state of slavery in the world. What is a slave - a person that is completely robbed of the fruits of their labor?

What does that make you - 20%, 30%, 40%, 50% slave?

Servitude is deemed OK by many as long as it supports their political objectives. A word of common sense and decency - Taking an individual's money by force to fund anything is theft, and institutionalizing such policies is the imposition of (at least partial) slavery on those that disagree.

Those who opposed the inclusion of dissent against slavery in the final draft of the Declaration of Independence were likely acting out of political expedience. I wonder where Jon Stewart would have laid his support had he been around during those times and had influence? Would he have found comfort standing with the status quo - as he often does now?

NOTE: Jefferson owned slaves and never freed any up until his death. Likely, he would've never included such inflammatory comments against slavery in the Declaration of Independence. This is a strong clue that points towards Thomas Paine - a vocal opponent of slavery - as the author of the document that embodied the, still occurring, American Revolution.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Doesn't Stewart sound just a

Doesn't Stewart sound just a little emotionally naive when he tries to belittle Napolitano for a more pragmatic view of the American world and it continued use of slavery in 1860. Stewart needs to have a look at the History of the world and the practice of Slavery, since time began. I don't believe any culture has not been in chains at one time or another in History. Strangely enough I think we're heading a new type of slavery and chains as we become more and more shackled to Big Gov't. dictators.

and... another review on the debate

An edited version w/ some commentary.. for thread discussion :)
The comments are by a Civil War buff w/ LOTS of videos on his site
►I suggest pausing his commentary/reading/digesting then continuing...


awesome, but a big thumbs down for Stewart disguising the TRUTH.

Thanks for your work!!

kind people rock


Tom Woods: "Judge Napolitano Right, Daily Show Wrong, on Fugitive Slaves"


A few points most people don't think about.

1. The vast majority of slaves were captured during tribal wars and sold into slavery by their rival tribes.

2. 365,000 Union soldiers died in the war that freed the slaves. If one's great grandfather died in that war, are they due reparations and compensation from black people? Have you ever heard a black person express gratitude for those sacrifices made by the Union soldiers and the public money it took to fight that war.

3. Less than 20% of European Americans owned slaves. Today, most Americans have never seen a slave and never been a slave. Therefore modern day Americans can not be held accountable for what some of their neighbors ancestors did 200 years ago.

4. Most American blacks decided they like America much better than Africa and haven't tried to return to their homeland. Therefore, blacks whose ancestors were slaves are the lucky ones, compared to blacks who are still living in Africa. Certainly if people don't like it here, all races are free to leave and return to their native homeland.

5. Slave labor jump started the Industrial Revolution which was critical in winning the world wars of the 1900's. Therefore, that contribution by African Americans should be recognized, else we could now, all be speaking German or Russian. But then again, throughout history many many people have been enslaved including the House of Israel that was enslaved 400 years in Egypt.


"What is a slave - a person that is completely robbed of the fruits of their labor?"
Since slaves are fed and housed, they do benefit some from the fruits of their labor. Since slave work is labor intensive, it would pay very little, maybe $5 an hour in today's terms without any minimum wage. Therefore it is likely that even slaves were taxed at around 50% effectively!

Some points that were missed.

1) Abolitionists opposed compensated emancipation because it was their view that paying a slave owner for his property legitimized slavery. Also, the point of ending slavery, in their view, was more about punishing the slave's owner than freeing the slave.

2) Only seven states seceded before Lincoln was inaugurated. The other four (or six) Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, (Missouri and Kentucky) initially voted to stay with the Union. Lincoln's call for 75,000 troops to suppress the secession of the first seven caused the others to leave. Missouri was invaded and the elected government chased from the capitol. It voted for secession after relocating in Neosho. The C.S. accepted representatives from MO as did the U.S. in their legislatures. Maryland was invaded and many state legislators jailed; That slave state had no opportunity to secede.

3) [Counterfactual] If Lincoln has allowed the Confederate States to leave, instead of going to war, the federal fugitive slave laws would have become void. Any slaves in Confederate States who was able to flee to a U.S. state would be free since a U.S. state would have been under no obligation to return him or her.

4) The Emancipation Proclamation resulted in no slave revolts in the South. There had been none for decades. Those that did occur in preceding years involved very small numbers of people. John Brown was able to rally none with his raid on Harper's Ferry. Assuming a slave's situation was as horrible as popularly described, why were the symptoms of desperation so scarce? Slaves are not potted plants. Why do they not share in the responsibility for their continued enslavement?

5) One way to end slavery in a generation would have been to purchase and emancipate all female slaves of childbearing years or younger. The child of a slave woman was a slave. The children of free women were free. Slaves were expensive assets and many loans were secured by them. It was illegal to emancipate a slave as long as the owner was in debt in many states.

6) States either had a right to leave the Union or they did not. Whether you agree with the motive is inconsequential.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson

I get a little hazy on my

I get a little hazy on my slavery facts. It seems dependent on what ever you've read. It is my notion that slavery was abolished throughout the then British Empire in 1826 or thereabouts. The new world elite like the founding fathers also had plantations in Caribbean Islands did they not? I don't know who exactly.Enforcing non use of slavery for agrarian industries ie sugar mostly, was difficult. The US confederacy was last in known world to use forced labour by slavery...in an agrarian society. I don't know about indentured labour used in industrialized cities. I don't understand why the freed slaves did not wish to return to their roots when ships were offered to transport them back to Africa.

Russia ended slavery around 1861.

Brazil, which had slavery in an agrarian society, ended it in 1888. Some slave owners left the Confederate South and relocated there. Slaves were also factory workers at the South. They also worked at inns and hotels. Slaves worked on the railroads.

I disagree with the Judge that slavery was on its way out. In 1860, Southern plantations were producing 85% of the world's supply of cotton. It amounted to several hundred pounds per slave and about one and a half pounds for every person on the planet. The per capita income in the South was higher than that of the North. It may be that mechanization would have eventually replaced slavery by making hand labor more expensive that machine harvesting. That, I think, really depended on the slaves. If they fled with regularity, then slavery would become more expensive and impractical.

By 1860, slaves had been Americans for several generations. Their roots were here and as deep as those of anyone else. They knew little about Africa. They knew little about anything outside of where they lived.

[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson

Sorry just a question but why

Sorry just a question but why do they wish to be called African- American without any knowledge or tradition of their roots??? Did it take a civil war to end slavery in Russia, Brazil? or at least to replace it with factory time clocks? I doubt that emancipated Negro slaves were the only contractual labour force on railroads (Chinese) and other service industries. As I see it, since US did most of its trade and imported its British ties and traditions, US could not sustain slavery as an acceptable labour force in face of moral abolition of slavery throughout most of European expansionist countries. India's cotton was a main staple throughout the British Empire I believe.

Kudos. The judge shared your

Kudos. The judge shared your post on his Facebook.

Andrew Napolitano for President 2016!

"Patriotism should come from loving thy neighbor, not from worshiping Graven images." - ironman77


Thanks for sharing.

I would've never known. I gave up FB here a while back.

AKA; John Stewart

is a 2nd rate actor he had little, big screen appeal, but his family connections with the entertainment business bought his fame for him.


Link to interview

The Constitution Still Condones Slavery

While neither the Declaration nor original Constitution mention slavery as such, the Civil War amendments actually, for the first time, encode slavery in the Constitution.

The 13th Amendment specifically permits involuntary servitude after conviction of crime... thus leading to the world's largest Prison Industrial Complex.

The private owning of slaves is outlawed while the government is permitted to traffic in slaves, and in fact, not only does so, but now, considering the numbers of non-violent offenders being held in the PIC, the states and federal govts are the world's largest slave-holders.


For Chuck Baldwin.

Thanks for the good quote from Jefferson, Debbie.

Freedom is the ability to do what you want to do.
Liberty is the ability to do what you ought to do.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17

Any more insight on Paine's

Any more insight on Paine's influence or possible contribution to the Declaration of Independence?

It's interesting how people today forget how vile of a racist Lincoln was.

It's hard to discern the truth of history but what is evident is mythologizing someone is always wrong and a distortion of reality.

Check out http://ronpaulforums.com for activism and news.

There have been books written about it...

I'll try to put together a list of citations.

Interestingly, here is a link to a reprint from a newspaper in 1906 pondering the very question:


I had never read that particular article before, but this has been a standing question since the beginning of the United States. Paine is THE Founding Father. Even if it turned out - in my mind by minimal probability - that Paine didn't author the Declaration, it still stands that essentially NONE of the other "Founders" would have ever supported separation from Britain had it not been for the pamphlet - Common Sense (which was originally written anonymously by Paine).

Cool, thanks, much

Cool, thanks, much appreciated.

Check out http://ronpaulforums.com for activism and news.

No prob


Shout out to T. Paine but...

Thomas Jefferson, although a slave owner, knew that slavery was inherently wrong. This is why his slaves were hidden from the view of all guests at Monticello. He also spent much of his early law career defending former slaves and blacks.

And that's not even mentioning the whole family of children born from the womb of his true life love - and slave, Sally Hemings.

I've heard that TJ presented the original draft and was basically forced to rewrite it...

Debbie's picture

Don't know about the Sally Hemmings thing, if there's any proof

of that; it seems to have only come up in recent years when it's been fashionable to discredit the Founders as much as possible. But, I suggest reading "Thomas Jefferson On Slavery", from "Notes on Virginia, 1784". This is in Chuck Baldwin's The Freedom Documents, a spiral binder of the founding documents of our country. You might also find it online. It explains Jefferson's stance on slavery, and is where the quote comes from "Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever . . ." It is beautifully written, like everything he writes, and you will get the truth about where he stood on the subject, not someone else's interpretation or opinion. http://chuckbaldwinlive.com/Store/TheFreedomDocuments.aspx



for Thomas Paine.