He was not a Republican, nor was he a Democrat, having lived long before either of those parties would be conceived. Yet, both parties hail him as one of the greatest men to have served our country. He was a governor of Virginia, ambassador to France, author of the Declaration of Independence, our first Secretary of State to George Washington and thus at the heart of the first Political Party Controversy as he fought with Alexander Hamilton over the powers of the Federal Government. As such, he became the leader of the Anti-Federalists and champion of the common man and the principle proponent of an Agrarian Society in America. He was our third President serving from 1801 – 1809 and had the dubious distinction of having Aaron Burr as his first Vice President. He did not trust cities or financiers and fought Hamilton on the concept of a National Bank.
He was the first to stand for States Rights and was the author of the most important document regarding that issue (The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions which were the first documents to call for State Nullification of Federal Laws. This document would become crucial in the thinking that would lead to Civil War). He was the co-founder of the Democratic –Republican Party which does not resemble today’s Democrats or Republicans.
He held strongly to Separation of Church and State and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. While he was known as a Strict Constructionist (literal interpretation of the Constitution), he was also pragmatic, violating his principled stand on the Constitution to give us the Louisiana Territory for a mere $15 million dollars (today known as the greatest land deal of all time), doubling the size of the United States at only 3 cents per acre. He is recognized today as one of the most brilliant men to have ever served as President of the United States and his principles and ideals of freedom, states’ rights and Democracy are still held by most to be the most profound and brilliant thinking ever produced on the subject.
By this point, you should know I'm describing Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Jefferson was brilliant in all things political (having written the Declaration of Independence at the young age of 35 – although not so young for the time period in which he lived), he was more than just a man of incredible political vision. He was by all of today’s standards, an everyman. He did all things well and had exceptional knowledge and skills on all topics. He was an inventor, architect, builder, designer, philosopher and all around intellectual. Yet, his superior intellect did not make him an intellectual snob by any measure. He was in all ways a down to earth, completely approachable man who, as President, exhibited very unassuming traits such as answering the door to the Presidential home himself in his down home country way with tasseled red unkempt hair wearing his bathrobe. As such, he lived the example of his unpresumptuous spirit of the true believer of the equality of man though by all that we hold to be examples of superiority, he was the true possessor of such qualities.
So remarkable was Thomas Jefferson, that as an instructor of American History, I could not have developed into anything but a Jeffersonian. His incredible personage demands our respect and his practical nature proved him capable of action that would at times cause him to depart from his own intellectual precepts makes him a man worthy of our admiration. I am convinced that his concept of an Agrarian Society, while not our future, would certainly have provided an exceptional social atmosphere for our moral edification. Jefferson’s grasp of States’ rights and Democracy have brought us to the place where we now stand proclaiming that a Federal Government does not have the authority to rule over us, but rather to subject itself to the will of the people.
This second anniversary of The Bold Pursuit requires that we stop and reflect on the life and thinking of this, our most brilliant public servant. He somehow envisioned, at the very beginning, what many of us seem to have lost sight of today. However, as long as there is the means for men and women to speak the truth and reclaim the words of the great Thomas Jefferson, we can continue to extol the virtues of the concept of liberty and Democracy.
During the American Revolution, the Colonists communicated information via their Committees of Correspondence (written words, letters, notes and memos distributed throughout the colonies to keep the common man informed as to the status of war, danger, and political occurrences). Today, the Internet and websites like The Bold Pursuit are dedicated to that same spirit of communication that helped the common man in the colonies take the actions necessary to insure justice, liberty and freedom for all mankind in America.
The great mathematician Archimedes said, “Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth,” so we can say, “give me a place to speak or write the truth and other men and women of the nation will support our cause of freedom from tyranny.”
John Wayne Tucker
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