Thomas Jefferson and Today

I’ve been listening to John Meecham’s book on the country’s third president and you can’t help but be drawn to the modern comparisons.

I like this from Jefferson’s first inaugural address:

Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions.

Jefferson was a guy who believed in a full and unfettered debate, but also one that had an end that wasn’t some sort of political nihilism. He was a guy who had been both in and out of power.

Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.

So if you’re interested, it’s Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power (Audible), and well worth the time spent.

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