Relevant wisdom of Mr. Jefferson


“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government,” said Thomas Jefferson.

What would our nation’s third president have to say today about a government that not only regulates banks, but bails out ones deemed “too big to fail?” Or a government intervening in a person’s health care? Or limiting the ownership of guns?

The author of the Declaration of Independence had much to say about the size and scope of government, words that ring as true today as they did during his lifetime.

Take, for example, this commentary on the national debt:

“Loading up the nation with debt and leaving it for the following generations to pay is morally irresponsible. Excessive debt is a means by which governments oppress the people and waste their substance.”

How morally irresponsible would he find the nearly $17- trillion-and-counting that now hangs over Americans?

Scholars of history credit Jefferson with the concept of nullification, whereby states refuse to follow federal law. Surely he would side with the states, which, in our time, are taking their own stand on immigrants who enter this country illegally.

And while Jefferson had his own ideas about religion, his firm belief in states’ rights would likely have him standing with the legislators who stated that “each state is sovereign and may independently determine how the state may make laws respecting an establishment of religion.”

More than anything else, Jefferson’s eloquent prose defined the blessings of liberty.

America may have come a long way from the ideas laid down by Jefferson in the founding days of the republic, but his wise counsel continues to offer guidance to those who value the immortal principals of freedom and limited government that he expressed so well.

— From the New Bern Sun Journal

 

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