“. . . march straight forward, without turning to the left or the right.”

20th century man didn’t invent the idea of dialogue.    But earlier, a dialogue was civil — well, fairly civil —  and was meant to achieve  understanding.    It’s not a Hegelian dialectic, but rather a chance to honestly put forth your opinions,  which may or may not be subject to reconsideration.

“Education” — of yourself and of your friend — is the point.   Thoughtfulness.    (Not a change meant to take one down the path of revolutionary evolution.)

Hope you can see the difference because the dialogue that I was “eavesdropping”  on today is between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. *

In those days of our early Republic,  there was a sizeable political faction of those who wanted a powerful central government.   They were called, rather derisively,  the monarchical party.

Jefferson wrote to warn President Washington that  there were those in his own administration who were “pushing towards oppressive monarchical-type of powers.”

The president wrote back and said that republican values must be maintained and that “the Constitution we have is an excellent one, if we can keep it where it is.”

Jefferson, though not of the same political party as Washington,  responds in later letters this same sentiment:   maintaining  the government in the straight center, where the Constitution put it.   “Our business is to march straight forward . . .  without either turning to the left or the right.” 


(Yes,  the new Americans are speaking of the top to down or down to top issues of the source of power,  but the politics that would lead to the French Revolution were raging in Europe with its left-right division.)


“… without either turning to the left or the right …”      But Jefferson saw one huge danger ahead for us all:   “If we can  prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them,  they must  (most surely will)  become happy.”


Otherwise —  you get a Welfare State,  where inevitably and eventually the State runs out of the money from  the “labors of the people.”



.*   The 5,000 Year Leap:  A  Miracle That Changed The World.


by W.  Cleon Skousen   (Every book by this genius is worth reading!)

Explore posts in the same categories: American History, Lessons from History

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