Monday, February 13, 2012
The Empire Of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson, Ron Paul And The Sacred Fire Of Freedom
public debt, a navy, a standing army, American manufacturing, federally funded improvement of the interior, the role of a world power, military glory, an extensive foreign ministry, loose construction of the Constitution, and subordination of the states to the federal government”? Hint, these words were not written about Rep. Ron Paul.
This is Garry Wills’s description of Thomas Jefferson. The elite political class looked with disdain, and now looks with a certain measure of bemusement, upon Dr. Paul. Paul represents the re-emergence of a great American tradition. That tradition reawakens in the person of Ron Paul, who has a fair claim to be our era’s Thomas Jefferson. As Jefferson’s heir he commands deep respect if not always (as in the case of this Supply Side, Hamiltonian, writer) complete fealty.
One of the keys to America’s greatness is how George Washington was able to harness both the great centralizing, industrializing forces represented by Alexander Hamilton together with the great decentralizing, Arcadian forces represented by Thomas Jefferson. Hamilton’s positions prevailed, tilting America toward a stronger central government. Jefferson, affectionately enshrined in our national memory, has a Memorial. As for Hamilton, “Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you.”
The Hamiltonian version of America is ascendant. Yet the Jeffersonian streak of subsidiarity lives on, is essential to America’s identity and greatness, and is a rising force. It has found its most powerful exponent since, at least, Goldwater in the person of Ron Paul.
Posted by Michael