Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Proudly Jeffersonian

The other night I was reading Thomas Jefferson's first annual message to the Congress, as President of the United States, dated December 8th, 1801.

It is sad, really, to note what it is that stands out, because this throws light on how far modern presidents have strayed from the position as the Constitution described it. What comes across is his deference to the Congress, his sense of service, how he is discharging his duty, and awaiting their instructions. How different things are with today's presidents, closer to Tiberius Caesar ruling over a pliant Senate, than Thomas Jefferson.

Also it's clear that he was a man of peace, who put his faith in the liberty of the people rather than a burdensome military, and a man concerned to keep government expenditure to the minimum, to reduce taxes wherever possible, aware of the need to constantly keep bureaucracy pruned back.

America needs such a man as this today. Let us hope, in the contest for the next president, the American people will seek someone true to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, who believes in liberty and property, peace and free trade, someone proud to call themself a Jeffersonian.

1 comment:

Ralph Musgrave said...

Jefferson also thought that private banks should not have the right to create money. He said “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies...The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the Government, to whom it properly belongs." (By “issuing power” he meant the power to issue money.)

This idea has unfortunately never been accepted: i.e. private banks have managed to stifle the idea over the last two hundred years. However the idea is the centre piece of a submission to the UK’s recently set up Independent Banking Commission. The submission is authored by Prof R.A.Werner, “Positive Money” and the “New Economics Foundation”. See: