“I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government cannot be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the World’s Best Hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest Government on Earth. I believe it the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasion of the public order as his own personal concern.” – Thomas Jefferson
Wait? Do you believe that honest and good people would treat this country as our Best Hope, understand its beauty, and rise up to defend our Government as if it actually mattered to them personally?
Yes, for indeed it does. Ok… Tell me more.
“About to enter, fellow citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government; and consequently, those which ought to shape its Administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations:
Oh, thank God! Thanks for compressing the essential principles down to the narrowest sliver possible – because I’m really busy, you know, being Me and all, and hearing what you think takes time. Instagram gives you 59 seconds, but I really only give you 3. Hey, perhaps now you should listen to what I think! Yes, that sounds like a — No? That’s NOT what you’re saying? Are you sure? Because a good President of a Republican government would allow – wait, what is happening, why am I being escorted out? What?! Oh… you were going to tell us, in as small a body as possible, the most essential things for us to know.
Yes, you need to stop talking in order to hear. Ok… Tell me more.
Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state of persuasion, religious or political
Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none
Support of the State governments in all their rights – as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies
Preservation of the General Government in its whole constitution vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad
A Jealous care of the right of the election by the people
A mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided
Absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to Force – the vital principle and immediate parent of Despotism
A well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war till regulars may relieve them
Supremacy of the Civil over the Military authority
Economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burdened
Honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith
Encouragement of agriculture and of commerce as its handmaid
The diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the Public Reason
Freedom of Religion
Freedom of the Press
Freedom of person under the protection of the Habeas Corpus
Trial by impartially selected jury
Wait, so that’s it? That’s your narrow sliver? Let me see if I’m hearing this right… We Democratically elect representatives to be in our Republic. These republican representatives then ensure Government treats all the same, regardless of persuasion, strives to be honest and fair with everyone, submits to the majority under a bar of Public Reason, attempting at its core to be an honest payer of debt, an encourager of commerce so that labor is lightly burdened… Free to think, worship, and say or print things without government intervention and, if and when accused of a crime, given due process of law in front of an impartial jury. That’s it?! Wait, do I talk now? Can I say something?
No. Oh yeah, sorry. Shh… OK, tell me more.
Yes. That’s it. I believe the Lord wants us to be good, and that means to strive toward these principles. In fact, I believe that it is these very principles which form the light that guides us, they are what has brought us here, through this revolution and reformation, to everything that a man can hold dear and valuable – for my brethren, my fellow citizens, it is these principles that have brought this nation, our Nation, to right now…
Everything we do must be guided by what is right and just and good. Everything – the Wisdom of the Sages, the Blood of our Heroes, it is all toward the attainment of that Great Light. This is our tenant and creed, it is where we meet, and right now is our opportunity to try to pen instruction, give it those upon we decide to trust, and then, if ever we should begin to stray away from them… it is these principles that hasten us to retrace our steps, compel us to regain the footing we once had toward that Great Light, that Political Faith, the path that best leads us to Peace, Liberty, and Safety. That is what we are doing! And we cannot walk alone. As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.
Jake shook his head, savoring the juices of the tobacco, before eyeing his captor. “It is compelling,” he nodded, “to me anyway. That’s the problem I keep running into.” He shook his head harder now, trying yet failing again to remember the Creed. “Every time,” he averred loudly, frustration now discernible in his tone. “And we’re just going to keep running into it,” he reflected further, chewing on the truth of it. “Always,” he pleaded, shaking his head a third time as he spit into a red cup. Grinning at his captor now, Jake felt a resurgence of energy he hadn’t felt in years. “That’s the problem you have,” he concluded, smiling fully now. “The problem you have is that he’s right.”
https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/jefinau1.asp – Jefferson’s 1st Inaugural Address