Connecticut Ron Paul for President 2012 Message Board › Could a modern day Thomas Jefferson be elected in today’s America?
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Could a modern day Thomas Jefferson be elected in today’s America?
From: The Hidden Republic Chronicles.
Is it possible we have outgrown the very fabric of the American Republic? How would a Jeffersonian candidate fare in today's world? What Political Party would the candidate belong to?
Focusing on the political positions he stood for and putting aside the obvious social issues from yesteryear like slavery and who had the right to vote, would a candidate with Jefferson's ideology about the role of government be fashionable?
It is reasonable to assume a like minded candidate would not only be unelectable, but wouldn't even have a Political Party. In Jefferson's day, politics was mostly local and the Federal Government had very few Enumerated Powers. That was the brain child of most of the Founding Fathers from the beginning. They were not Progressive or Conservative as the terms are used today. Rather, they held deep firm beliefs that government was a tool for the people to use, to bring order out of chaos, not to create some centralized powerful intrusive colossus that the people now have no control over.
In Jefferson's day a Republic form of government was selected to meet their ideology. The word Republic in those days stood for 'the rule of law'. They felt this best protected the people from government and from each other. These laws were based in Judeo-Christian beliefs at the time along with other Natural Laws. Countless quotes from the Founders confirm this to be true, though some today still hold a different account.
To understand a modern Jeffersonian, one must look at the records of the past. The Founders rejected other forms, or structures, of government during the Constitutional Convention in 1787 while Jefferson was in France and not directly involved. Democracy was rejected by almost every Founder. Monarchy was sought by a few, but was also rejected. An Entitlement Society was utterly rejected. Even forming a 'Nation' was defeated and instead a Confederation (United States) was formed. The Confederation held each State as an independent Country. It was formed as an alliance of those Countries for the purposes of Foreign Relations and Commerce. Each State had its own Constitution and each State was set up as a Republic.
In today's America we are taught, and the government is run, the exact opposite of what our actual Federal Government is supposed to be. A Jeffersonian candidate would run a campaign against most of the structure of today, a structure put in place by the Lincoln Republicans after the Civil War and shared by both Republicans and Democrats today.
Perhaps the candidate would look to a third Party like the Libertarians, but even there the welcome would not be joined, for while Jefferson believed in the right of the people to their property, he differed on the role of governing. He was a pure State's Rights advocate and believed the individual States would be the arbiters of good government. This meant the people of the States were bound by the laws their State Representatives enacted, which was one reason the State Legislatures selected their own Federal Senators until the 16th Amendment stripped the States of that authority.
So in today's world a Jeffersonian wouldn't stand a chance of getting elected and that is a tragedy for the American Republic.
Gary Barnes is a freelance writer and Author of the books; The Hidden Republic: King's Pawn, and An American Revival: Partisans No More. He also writes a weekly op-ed titled The Hidden Republic Chronicles.