Thomas Jefferson, Where Are The Men Of Your Caliber?
There should be at least 1,000 men with the qualities of Thomas Jefferson to lead the nation. But choice boils down to a handful of plutocratic families.
When we consider the founders of our nation – Jefferson, Washington, Samuel and John Adams, Madison and Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine and many others – we have before us a list of at least ten and maybe even dozens of great political leaders.
They were well educated by-products of the European Enlightenment. They were students of history. They knew human fallibility and weakness and corruptibility. Fluency in the English language was taken with great pride, and many of them also understood French. They wrote their own speeches. They were realistic and practical, and at the same time motivated by high principles.
They were not checking the pollsters on what to think this week. They knew what to say and think without teleprompters and earpieces. Most were comfortable with long-term thinking, planning even further ahead than the next election. They were “preppers” centuries before the term or way of life entered popular vocabulary. Self-sufficient renaissance men who knew how to grow their own food, make their own furniture, or help build their own homes. They did not require careers as politicians or lobbyists to make a living. (That probably explains why they were able to be a lot more honest with the public.)
They were interested in and, at least two of them, fluent in science. They attempted to set a course for the United States into the far future – not so much by establishing laws, but by setting limits on what kinds of laws could be passed. The Constitution and it’s Bill of Rights have aged remarkably well after almost 240 years. Documentation which constitutes, despite natural human weaknesses and societal flaws (such as the worldwide normalization of slavery at the time), a machine which is able to dust itself off, and correct it’s own trajectory for an even more promising future.
At that time, there were only about two and a half million citizens of the United States. Today there are well over a hundred times more. So if there were ten people of the calibre of Thomas Jefferson then, there ought to be at least 10 x 100 = 1,000 Thomas Jefferson’s today. Where are they? In a nation of nearly 320 million people, are we really only going to have a choice between the house of Clinton and the house of Bush?
This article first appeared on Ingenious Press, an independent news blog featuring existential and red pill anecdotes on society, relationships, travel and freedom. Follow us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.