Monticello Stories

David M. Rubenstein

Co-CEO, The Carlyle Group

What does the Campaign title mean to you?

The title of the Campaign reminds people that Thomas Jefferson wrote the most famous sentence in the English language: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Everybody can quote that phrase, everybody knows what it means. It all comes back to one man: Thomas Jefferson.

The truth is, in those days, all men weren’t equal. Today, we still don’t have perfection in that regard – but we’ve made a lot of progress. And had Thomas Jefferson not written those words quite that way, I think our country would be different.


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