Please get it right Mr. George

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To the Editor:
[In response to a letter to the editor from Byron George published on page 4A of the Mesquite Local News on July 30, 2015]
Thomas Jefferson understood the principle of States Rights very well, I quote from a letter to Mr. Joseph C. Cabell, February 2 1816.  “The way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to.  Let the national government be entrusted with the defense of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State government with the civil rights, law, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself.  It is dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man’s farm by himself; by placing under everyone what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.  What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun?  The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers unto one body.”

It is well to remember that the people of the states of this republic created the federal government.  The federal government did not create the States.

Eugene M. Hughes
Mesquite

Comments

  1. Terry Donnelly says:

    And then Jefferson turned around and expanded the power of the presidency by making the Louisiana Purchase, over doubling the size of the country with what was in effect an executive order. He then used Hamilton’s national bank principles to finance the project, principles he had spoken against for over 15 years. The treaty was eventually ratified by congress, but not until it was a “done deal”. Next he sent Lewis and Clark to explore the region by yet another executive order and kept the mission a secret for quite a while. So, Mr Hughes, your quote is correct, but Mr George is not wrong either. Thomas Jefferson may have been the most complex man in American history.

  2. Byron George says:

    In response to Mr. Hughes’s letter “Please get it right Byron George” I simply would like to convey a few things that might be of interest to readers.
    First of all, while a great admirer of Thomas Jefferson, he was a signer of the Constitution of the United States. The Articles of Confederation was superceded by this document. This document was the glue tha binded the states together to allow us to become a great nation. A nation more efficient on trade, and commerce among ourselves, and other nations. Our nation’s military and banking system are a function of a centralized government. A great war was fought on American soil by Americans over states rights and slave ownership. I believe this argument has been settled. We do have a republic where state, county, and local jurisdictions are controlled by our elected represenitives, but where these laws conflict, they are subordinated to federal jurisdiction. While, our republican form of government is not always a perfect form of government it has served us pretty well for the most part. It’s failures, in my opinion are failures of leadership, not our institutions.
    I would remind readers that Thomas Jefferson wrote the words quoted in this forementioned letter when America was an agrarian nation. We are a now a highly industrialized nation, as well as a greatly diversified society with complex systems. I think today’s reader might be better served by reading works about Alexander Hamilton. He was a founding father who is less often recognized, however was a great visionary that helped create and guide our modern nation in its infancy.
    In conclusion, I appreciate the writer’s thoughts and willingness to share them in a public forum. We as citizens need to be mindful that laws are written, and laws can be changed. However, we are a nation of laws, and laws need to be obeyed. Otherwisewe have anarchy and republicanism is meaningless.

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