24 December 2012

Thomas Jefferson: Statesman


So rare is a true statesman, that one no longer exists. All are extinct in the United States of America. 

America's founding fathers fit the definition. Those men who drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights fit the description.

The first six presidents; Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and J. Q. Adams, plus Abe Lincoln fit the description. After them, came nothing but politicians...including Andrew Jackson. If one doubts that Jackson was no more than just scumbag politician, ask any American Indian why they do not like the twenty-dollar bill.

The definition of politician (#3, 2nd part) describes the ilk perfectly...a person who engages in politics out of a wish for personal gain, as realized by holding a public office.

The extinct statesman (#2, 1st part)...ideally is a political leader regarded as a disinterested promoter of the public good.

Thomas Jefferson was arguably one of the best statesmen and most intelligent minds to ever hold positions of influence in our country.

He began learning very early in life and never stopped. A brief chronological biography follows:
At 5, began studying under his cousin's tutor.
At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.
At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.
At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.
At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.
At 23, started his own law practice.
At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.
At 31, wrote the widely circulated "Summary View of the Rights of British America and retired from his law practice.
At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.
At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.
At 33, took three years to revise Virginia 's legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.
At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia, succeeding Patrick Henry.
At 40, served in Congress for two years.
At 41, was the American minister to France , and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.
At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.
At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.
At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions, and became the active head of Republican Party.
At 57, was elected the third president of the United States .
At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase , doubling the nation's size.
At 61, was elected to a second term as President.
At 65, retired to Monbbticello .
At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.
At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia , and served as its first president.
At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence, along with John Adams

Thomas Jefferson knew governments because he himself studied the previous failed attempts. He understood actual history, the nature of God, his laws and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today. Jefferson had an advanced mind. His was voice from the past that, for those who paid attention, whose words continue to have great consequence.

John F. Kennedy, himself a mere politician, held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

A few of Jefferson's meaningful quotations include:

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802: I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property - until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.



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