Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Lesson in Government Structure Part III

Jefferson on Monarchs Found in Office
"I have spoken of the Federalists as if they were a homogeneous body, but this is not the truth.  Under that name lurks the heretical sect of monarchists.  Afraid to wear their own name, they creep under the mantle of Federalism, and the Federalists, like sheep permit the fox to take shelter among them, when pursued by dogs.  These mane have no right to office.  If a monarchist be in office, anywhere, and it be known to the President, the oath he has taken to support the Constitution imperiously requires the instantaneous dismission of such officer; and I hold the President criminal if he permitted such to remain.  To appoint a monarchist to conduct the affairs of a republic, is like appointing an atheist to the priesthood.  As to the real federalists, I take them to my bosom as brothers.  I view them as honest men, friends to the present Constitution." (From a newspaper letter, June 1803; Paul Leiciester Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 10 vols.)
The monarchists were a fringe element of the Federalists.  You've heard the term "RINO" (Republican In Name Only).  These monarchists that Jefferson warns of could be referred to as "FINO" (Federalists...), as they really had a tyrannical bent, if not agenda.  I wonder how many people in office today would remain so if Jefferson came back and was granted authority.

The Founders often warned against drifting toward the collectivist left, or welfare state where government offers to take care of people from birth to death, thus abandoning their freedom and rights.  Jefferson said,

"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy."(Bergh, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 10:342)

Jefferson believed it was immoral for one generation to pass on debt to the next, saying, "we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life [expectancy] of the majority." (Ibid,. 13"358.)  He was against deficit spending and confiscatory taxation.

The Founders also advocated the equal protection of rights - in our day, often confused with the providing of equal things.  They absolutely advocated against getting involved in the equal distribution of things, and pooling property.  Samuel Adams said:
"The Utopian schemes of leveling [redistribution of the wealth] and a community of goods [central ownership of the means of production and distribution], are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown.  [These ideas] are arbitrary, despotic, and, in our government, unconstitutional." (William V. Wells, The Life and Public Services of Samuel Adams, 3 vols.)
It was important to the Founders to educate the masses on what they believed to be these self-evident truths.  Jefferson said, "If a nation expect to be ignorant an free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.  No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness... Preach... a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people.  Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [of misgovernment]." (Bergh, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 5:396-97.)

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