What would Thomas Jefferson do?

Published 8:53 am Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How can a man who lived that long ago have foresight and accuracy in his thinking that would apply today.

But first, here’s a bit of history on perhaps one of the greatest minds in the world – Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826).

His life was an amazing journey, divided into two parts.

For starters, he was a very remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.

At 5, began studying under his cousin’s tutor. At 9, he studied Latin, Greek and French. At 14, he studied classical literature and additional languages. At 16, he entered the College of William and Mary where he could write in Greek with one hand while writing the same words in Latin with the other.

At 19, Jefferson studied Law for five years starting under the legendary George Wythe. He started his own law practice five years later (at the age of 23).

He was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses at age 25. At 31, wrote the widely circulated “Summary View of the Rights of British America” and retired from his law practice.

At 32, he was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. One year later he penned the Declaration of Independence.

At 33, he took three years to revise Virginia’s legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.

At 36, he was elected the second Governor of Virginia, succeeding the legendary Patrick Henry. He was elected to the U.S. Congress at the age of 40, serving for two years.

At age 41, he became the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.

At 46, he served as the first Secretary of State under President George Washington.

At 53, he served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.

He drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of Republican Party at the age of 55. Two years later (1801) he was sworn in as the third president of the United States.

At 60, he obtained the Louisiana Purchase, thus doubling the size of our great nation at that time. A year later he was elected to a second term as President.

At 65, he retired to Monticello. But he never really retired.

At the age of 80, Jefferson helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine…. US foreign policy regarding European countries in 1823.

At 81, he almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.

At 83, he died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson was wise in the ways of how to properly govern. He had studied at length how other governments had failed, basically due to their inability to govern.

He understood history, the nature of God, His laws and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today.

During John F. Kennedy’s term in office, he held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. JFK 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.”

These are the words of Thomas Jefferson…they paint an eerie picture when placed into the world events of today….

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

“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.”

“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.”

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

What America needs the most right now is a Thomas Jefferson clone. Instead, we are currently led by clowns.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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