By DR. LARRY MOSES
No one asked me but… Thomas Jefferson wished to be remembered for three achievements in his public life. These did NOT include his term as governor of Virginia, the time he served as the U.S. minister to France, as Secretary of State under George Washington, as Vice-President in the administration of John Adams, or as the President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. On his tombstone, which he designed and for which he wrote the inscription, there is no mention of these offices. It simply notes that Thomas Jefferson was “author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia”.
Historians might want to add other accomplishments–for example, his distinction as an architect, naturalist, and linguist–but in the main they would concur with his own assessment.
President John F. Kennedy presented a toast at a dinner for Nobel Prize Winners by saying, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”
The most amazing thing about the American Revolutionary Period was not that a man like Thomas Jefferson appeared on the scene when needed, but that he was a giant among giants. This was the time of George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, Patrick Henry, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Paine. These men were not only men of action but men of letters.
Read the opening paragraph of Paine’s THE AMERICAN CRISIS:
These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated.
If the thoughts expressed in that paragraph do not make your heart beat faster and hair on the back of you neck stand up, check your pulse; you must be dead.
Have you taken the time to read Patrick Henry’s GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH speech lately? In this speech Henry challenges Americans to take up the cause of freedom. The same freedom we seemingly are so willing to give up to the local, state and federal government.
Sir, we are not weak if we make proper use those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in their holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. …The Battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. …There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard… Why stand we here idle? Is life so dear or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
These are the words of the men protesting the most powerful central government in the world. They were men who faced the distinct possibility of execution for treason. These are men who actually put their lives on the line for the cause of freedom. These were leaders for the ages. We have countered this leadership with the likes of Hillary Clinton, Al Franken, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, Barbara Boxer, Al Sharpton, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, George Bush and Barrack Obama?
My Democrat friends will complain I named mostly Democrats. That is not because they are worse than Republicans, but presently there are no relevant Republican leaders. Where is the leadership? There are no longer giants in the land. We are in a period of American history when we need giants and all I can see are mental midgets.
The only hope for the nation is to look in the past and realize in times of crisis, giants have appeared. After a period of political midgets including the ever famous Martin Van Buren, William H. Harrison, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan, the country faced its greatest challenge with the pending Civil War and out of the masses raised a giant: Abraham Lincoln. With the nation saved once again, leadership went dormant in America.
How many of the Presidents let alone Senators or Congressmen can you name from Lincoln to Franklin Roosevelt? It was not until the crisis of the Great Depression and World War II that another giant appeared to save the nation.
I would suggest that the nation is again reaching a crisis where great leadership must appear. We can no longer rely on the mental midgets now in control of the government at all levels to save the nation. Leaders must rise up before it is too late. The only hope is that in the past this has been the case. Maybe once again, out there somewhere are the leaders needed to maintain this great nation. We can only hope and pray that this is the case.