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Jefferson and Independence Day

Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2024
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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27 Comments
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Sometimes the thing we think is the thing isn’t the thing, and the thing we think isn’t the thing is. On this anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, penned by a 33-year-old destined to be president, the mind wanders to Thomas Jefferson. In the gloom, his wisdom shines.

Thomas Jefferson was uniquely trusted by his fellow Founders. His gift was not oration, but an ability to convey in words what others felt, distill lasting truths, some “self-evident,” some not.

As “first among equals” – although Paine, Franklin, Adams, and Madison give him a run – Jefferson was a thinker for his time and ours. He intentionally spoke to us and still does.

What would he say about our state of play? What would he say about our understanding of where we lie along the arc of history? What do we ask us to recall on this 4th of July?

Anyone can pretend to know, and imagine the taste of Jefferson’s sentiments aged like his fine wines for 250 years, but that would be guesswork. How about, instead, his own words?

What would Jefferson say to us, in his quiet, sensible way? Of patriotism, what might he say?

Doubtless, he would encourage us. “My earnest prayers to all my friends are to cherish mutual goodwill, to promote harmony and conciliation, and above all things, to let the love of our country soar above all minor passions.”  So put down your passions, and remember the big thing.

He might continue. “To preserve the peace of our fellow citizens, promote their prosperity and happiness, reunited opinion, cultivate a spirit of candor, moderation, charity, and forbearance toward one another, are objects calling for the efforts and sacrifices of every good man and patriot.”

Why? Because “Our religion enjoins it, our happiness demands it…”  And to what end then? Gratitude and reaffirmation of our faith in America. We are more fortunate than we know.

“There is not a country on earth where there is greater tranquility, where the laws are milder …where everyone is more attentive to his own business or meddles less with that of others; where strangers are better received… with a more sacred respect; where the virtues of the heart are less exposed to be weakened.” We are strong, de Tocqueville affirmed, because we are good.

Are we still? Yes, if we understand ourselves. “A character of good faith is as much value to a nation as to an individual. A nation, as a society, forms a moral person, and every member of it is personally responsible for his society. The man who loves his country … can never refuse to come forward when he finds she is engaged in dangers which he has the means of warding off.”

Should we really celebrate despite the gloom? Perish doubt, look up, think harder, feel time’s wind on your face, and the power of history to inspire action. Cherish America’s history, and celebrate it.

“Our fellow citizens have a sacred attachment to July 4th, 1776… a genuine effusion of the soul of our country at that time. Small things … like the relics of saints, help to nourish our devotion to this holy bond of our Union, and keep it longer alive and warm in our affections.”

So, shake the gloom, and focus as he did. “… This country remains to preserve and restore light and liberty. Flames kindled on the 4th of July 1776, have spread over too much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism; on the contrary, they will consume those engines…” if we will only believe in America.

Seeing us oscillate, like his Monticello clock, between despair and hope, he would say: “I carry with me the consolation of a firm persuasion that Heaven has in store for our beloved country long ages to come of prosperity and happiness. God send our country a happy deliverance.”

What he might say now, and could not then, is that God has done that, reminding us that “no person who was not a witness of the scenes of that gloomy period can form any idea of the afflicting persecutions and personal indignities we had to brook. They saved our country, however.”

So, we must now brook ours, with faith. I think he says buck up, “cherish mutual goodwill… promote harmony and conciliation, and above all things … let the love of our country soar above all minor passions.” That is how you rise above the room, and get light from gloom.

“Minor passions” will consume you if we let them. Do not. Think bigger. Sometimes the thing we think is the thing isn’t the thing, and the thing we think isn’t the thing is. Jefferson saw straight to our time. We need to draw wisdom from his. When better than Independence Day?

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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Kim
Kim
10 days ago

Imagine what Jefferson would have thought about abortion at 9 months into the pregnancy, altering gender years after our genes determined that immutable fact, the cultlike following of Antifa or Black Lives Matter, energy independence squandered for the losing proposition that humans can prevent rising temperatures, and a hundred other short-sighted issues.
Those are some of the “minor passions” that do not serve the future prosperity of a nation, but rather give small-minded people something to complain about. It’s that self-serving view of our place in the world that shreds the unifying fabric of a country. Time to skip the single-issue advocacy and to look at the big picture if we have any hope of surviving as a free country.

Thomas R.
Thomas R.
10 days ago

Interesting that no mention was made of the fact that both Jefferson, and his greatest friend John Adams, both ironically died on July 4th, 1826.

Mike
Mike
10 days ago

When is comes down to it, we are all human and we make mistakes. I have read opinions that SloJoe will stay in the race, drop out of the race but SloJoe doesn’t really understand what he is doing. By accepting communist China’s bribes as a Senator and the Ukraine fiasco where he bragged how he forced the removal of the prosecutor investigation his son’s company by withholding US funds, he should be convicted for treason. Supposedly President Trump may have paid a hooker before he was in office, like 15-20 years ago. I don’t believe his conviction is going to be upheld on appeal. Who did the greatest harm? A business man who paid for sex or a man who used his office to pad his pockets and sold out his country.
We have had 12 years of the Obama administration. We don’t need another 8 years of poor economy, world strife and a long ride on the road to make our country a third world country.
God bless the United States of America on its 248th birthday

Rik
Rik
10 days ago

Happy 4th fellow Americans!
At least Lying Jackass Joe Biden has made Jimmy Carter happy since he’s no longer the WORST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY!

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
11 days ago

A right proper, dignified tribute to Thomas Jefferson, and the spirit of the Declaration of Independence and to the United States of America — very important RBC Those of us who understand that living life properly and respectfully requires understanding . I do believe it could almost be considered an art.– understanding how to understand — the right things to be understood , those matters that have influence on the functioning of the systems needed to operate the Country in the right way. The mention of Faith in the article , very important . Keeping the idea , the spirit of having Faith alive .Hope for the guidance from God — being able to understand the right way to do things needed to be done,and the right time as well . In the spirit of Faith, Family and Freedom . Courage, respect for Truth and Liberty .

..

liz
liz
10 days ago

We are now seeing the results of welcoming people from all over the world. The Founders, evidently, did not foresee the risks of being a generous country. We have people from many countries, some in the US Congress, who oppose the founding and all gracious amenities that come with US citizenship. We will regret!

LauraC
LauraC
10 days ago

On this, of all days, let us remember what and who we are. To all my friends, Democrat, Republican and Independent, happy Independence Day and May God bless and keep us. We are truly the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Jim
Jim
10 days ago

All the bad things that have happened in America over the past 9 years were designed to destabilize us. Some very evil, American hating individuals did this and biden and his democrat followers allowed it to happen. Tragic.
Individuals like AOC and a few more members of the House should have never been elected, but they were because common sense is sadly lacking.
If you don’t like our wonderful America it’s very easy to leave for another country so the question that needs an answer is, why are all the loud mouthed American haters still here?

Joe
Joe
10 days ago

God is watching us and sees the increasing sins and fewer good deeds. Let’s pray that the 4th can rekindle the vision that our forefathers saw, and for the continued benevolence of the Lord to sustain us and bless us going forward toward a more ‘perfect union’.

Thinking
Thinking
10 days ago

Thomas Jefferson should have a debate with Ole Joe. Joe would be gone immediately. Only the hatred of O for America has taken hold on this country to the brink of destroying America for always. They are working on getting rid of the Constitution and the Supreme Court. When three justices call for murdering a former president a free and loving America is no more. The devil has control over America unless we the people say enough is enough. Ole Joe declares himself president of this country not so fast Joe we still have elections, yet. You will try to get elected by fraud and lies but you just lost it with your debate performance. JOE YOU GOTTA GO.

Kathy
Kathy
9 days ago

Great article. I wish somebody would tell Joe we are not and never were a democracy. The word is no where to be found In the constitution or the bill of rights. It states we will be a republic nation and all states will have there own leaders and laws.

uncleferd
uncleferd
9 days ago

Today, Thomas Jefferson would be horrified by the Democrat party, and their vigilant sponsorship of public ignorance as a tool to gain power…. which is the opposite function of the empowering leadership and sentiment that Jefferson and his fellow patriots provided to frame “right and wrong”, while winning our independence from the Brittish.
The other attribute of the left that Jefferson would abhor is the incessant lying and misrepresentations that today’s Democrats, including the Biden Administration, congressmen, senators, judges, and all others down the line, have engaged in. The coverup of Biden’s condition has gone on for years. Even more horrifying, is the fact the “President” Biden has clearly not been making the decisions, and, by his own admissions, has been told what to do by more than one 3rd party. His own remarks have reflected this….”They tell me to…..”
Thomas Jefferson, today, would see the Left’s treachery, dishonesty, and influence on their “citizen-zombies”, along with the frivolous lawsuits to disqualify a superior candidate, the election fraud of 2020, the slander and illegal surveillance of Trump in 2016, and would be horrendously disappointed in how and what our USA evolved into.
I think our current circumstances, that the left has placed us in, would bring Thomas Jefferson into a tearful rage.

anna hubert
anna hubert
10 days ago

I did not realize he was so young Those were different times and boys were expected to become men and not be called kids at 25 Citizenry as well was different No multi culti celebrate and cultivate the differences They all became Americans and it stayed that way until it became discriminatory and oppressive and assimilation was not expected Fragmentation does not the nation make Are we still a nation or only a motley crew living in the same area What will happen when there are more non citizens than citizens Jefferson is lucky to not see this disaster I know I am supposed to be in a celebratory mood but the reality is too ugly

Rich
Rich
9 days ago

This should be read in Congress every other month by a different American throughout the country. And let that American admonish as he or she wishes.

Marv
Marv
7 days ago

Thank you Robert B Charles for continualy remind us of all the thing we need to be thinking about and doing to keep this Great Country free and the BEST!!! THANK YOU!!

Ol1
Ol1
9 days ago

AMEN! GOD Blesses the USA!!!

KRM
KRM
10 days ago

Highly recommend that you read the book titles, The Jefferson Lies”. It’s written by Tim Barton of Wallbuilders.com. If you’re not aware of Wallbuilders or Tim Barton, take some time today to learn about him and his website. You will be glad you did

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