Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thomas Jefferson has been there

You can’t listen to Thom Hartmann without having your horizons widened. Yesterday, during a brief period in the car I caught ten minutes of Thom's Air America radio talk show on which he read a quote from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson. The relevancy of the piece was pretty obvious to me in this giddily hopeful Bush-Obama transition period.

Here’s the section of the letter Thom read, written by Vice-president Thomas Jefferson to Senator John Taylor of Virginia in 1798, during the time that Congress was deliberating the Alien and Sedition Acts:
…A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to it's true principles. It is true that in the mean time we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war & long oppressions of enormous public debt…If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, & then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are the stake.
Jefferson was opining on what he considered gross overreaches by the opposing political party, the Federalists, and he yearned to reduce their grip on power. Luckily, he only had two years to wait until his own election as president in 1800 for this to occur.

Americans have only five days left before the current “reign of witches” passes over and flies shrieking off into history, and there are positive signs that our government is already regaining the “principles it has lost.”

It took a lot more than patience though to make it happen. Thom Hartmann played a role as did thousands of dedicated Americans who joined a political campaign for the very first time. Let’s celebrate our success and the return of American principles.

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