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Wise or Extreme? You Decide!

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Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 3:37 pm

As we watch current news we are bombarded by opinions and statements of those in power; those who seek to be and the legion who watch and comment on the actions of both. Based on these statements and comments, we decide whether the person speaking is brilliant, misguided or radical in extremes.

To illustrate the point, would you characterize the person who made the following quotes as a moderate, conservative, liberal or extreme as either far-right or far-left?

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes."

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. ...most bad government results from too much government."

"To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."

"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

All of these quotes were spoken or written by a single person. Sort of sounds like a gun-lovin', militia forming, welfare detesting, tax protesting, budget balancing, government bashing, extremist! Comments it seems almost everyone could agree make Tea Party folks, Sarah Palin and Ted Poe look like moderates!

The man who gave us those quotes was a delegate to the second Continental Congress, the author of the Declaration of Independence, Secretary of State under George Washington and served two terms as President of the United States. That's right - Thomas Jefferson.

A later President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, gave one of his insightful quotes at a dinner he hosted at the White House attended by many of the finest minds and intellectuals in America: "This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House, with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

Too often today we set aside or choose not to incorporate into our seeking of solutions to current challenges the wisdom of those who created this great nation. You hear the phrases, "That was a long time ago and not relevant today," or "Time changes and so must we." But were our founders really so out of touch with today, or have our "wants" trumped our "needs" in our entitlement world of now.

Should the wisdom of those who set forth the principles and rights of these United States of America not be given the utmost attention in knowing why we are here and what we must do to remain great? Perhaps all in government should have to make a tour of the great Memorials to our founders and leaders in Washington, D.C. and read what is engraved in these magnificent marble edifices.

Frankly speaking, the words of Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington and yes, the Bible, etched in these monuments could help guide us to recovery and success in the future, influenced by implementing the wisdom imparted from the wise of the past.

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