TAMPA, June 18 2012 – 218 years ago, George Washington signed the Jay Treaty, reestablishing economic relations with Great Britain. Claiming that John Jay and the Federalist Party had sold America out to the British and betrayed France, Jefferson’s Republicans denounced Jay as a monarchist and a traitor.
His effigy was burned and one newspaper went so far as to print, “John Jay, ah! the arch traitor – seize him, drown him, burn him, flay him alive.”
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky might know how Jay felt. Since endorsing Mitt Romney for president on June 7, Paul has endured a barrage of criticism from his father’s supporters and those who consider themselves part of the larger “liberty movement.”
There have even been a few death threats.
I spoke to Senator Paul last Thursday. He was understandably concerned by the more outlandish reactions, but put them in perspective.