Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thomas Jefferson quote--very instructive

A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities. --Thomas Jefferson

What's striking about this quote is how little it resembles America in the present day. It comes from Jefferson's first presidential inaugural address, delivered in 1801. You can read the rest of the speech here. Indeed, the rest of it bears little resemblance to national politics in 2013. It is jarringly different from Obama's second inaugural speech, which speaks of goals either conflicting with the above ideals or even directly opposite them. You can read Obama's address here.

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