What would Jefferson think?

July 8th, 2011    Author: Dan Bare    Filed Under: Opinion

Dan Bare

Independence Day, the Fourth of July, recently came and went and as with most of the national holidays more attention and interest was given to the benefits of a three-day weekend than for what it truly means.

While I love fireworks and cookouts as much as the next person, I also believe it’s extremely important for all citizens, especially the youngsters, to understand what makes our country exceptional. Having a basic knowledge of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution should be the responsibility of all citizens.

Anything less fosters the continued lack of appreciation and humility for our country. For much of the younger crowd its continued evidence of the lack of American history that is being taught in our schools or for that matter in our homes.

Our founders got it right the first time but as time passes the importance of those founding principles are getting lost in the “what about me-me-me society” and less about the overall good of our country. While our country clearly has its problems, The United States of America is still the single greatest and blessed country in the world. Many of our problems are self inflicted because of poor judgment and lack of courage from leadership. My concern, which was the same concern of our founding fathers, is that our government should never dominate the citizenry but should be “by the people and for the people” not “by the politician and for the politician.”

As individuals the men that wrote these documents were far from perfect but without question they did have amazing vision and courage associated with the critical importance of freedom and liberties. One of the most quoted and recognizable parts of the Declaration of Independence is “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Let’s say a well intended mother and father never cut the proverbial apron strings with their child As a result it’s highly likely the child may not become an independent and free thinking person or reach his/her God given potential. In my judgment a very important part of life’s experience is based on the school of hard knocks or tough love and not always relying on mom and dad. Now replace mom and dad with big government and the child with citizens. Get the picture? There is a reason July 4th is called Independence Day and not Big Government Dependence Day.

You may think this analogy is ridiculous and over simplified but I beg to differ. I believe a large part of our problem is that we as citizens rely far too much on our government or more specifically the politicians. We would be much better served by exhibiting greater independence while demanding that our politicians do the right thing and quit acting like a mother hen protecting her chicks. We must and should cut the apron strings and get back to a form of government that is truly by the people and for the people.

Show me any leader that promises all things to all people and I’ll show you a leader that does not have a clue of what the Declaration of Independence is about. Many if not most elected officials in Washington spend far more time protecting their elected seat than truly doing what is right for the common good.

There is a deep-seated, politically correct cancer in our leadership that must be stopped. The ironic twist to this problem is that we as citizens have become enablers while embracing a victim mentality. Our forefathers, even with their many personal warts, had a true love and appreciation for our country that is sorely lacking today.

As I have stated in many of my previous articles this is not solely a Democrat problem or a Republican problem but an American problem. We are an exceptional country with high and honorable ideals. As with any company or organization, lowering the bar is never the answer for success so we should not allow the bar to be lowered for our country. If we stand by and do nothing other than watch the “mother hens” in Washington continue with their nonsense our great country will change for the worse and become something we will not recognize.

I believe I know what Thomas Jefferson would think if he saw the present state of the country. He would be greatly alarmed as to how dependent we have become on big government and how we have been lulled into a false sense of security. Let’s also remember the many Americans that have made the ultimate sacrifice for those freedoms and liberties. Freedom is not free and that does not apply only to our fighting men and women but also for those of us on the home front.

We must always be diligent and fully engaged while taking a stand for what is right. Remember, men and women in Washington may be well intended but after all they are mere mortals. They possess many God given strengths but also face many temptations and self serving opportunities. As individuals, Thomas Jefferson and the others that wrote the Declaration of Independence had the same flaws as do our current day politicians. With that said this is all about love of God and country and not about hero worshiping of our elected officials. Our priorities are greatly distorted, misrepresented and out of sync and must be put back into proper order. The very fiber of our country is being ripped apart before our very eyes.

Tough choices require courageous leadership from all in Washington. Many of the present actions or lack thereof, is disgraceful, disingenuous and cowardly. Imagine if our fighting men and women, past and present, behaved in the same manner. I personally knew military warriors that were my friends that gave all and I’m fed up with the pathetic games that continue to be played. Get over yourself and tend to the people’s business now.

Finally and most importantly, America is in trouble for one reason. We have failed to remain humble while not always put God first. Man is not the answer, God is!

God Bless our men and women in uniform. I pray our country wakes up.

Danny D. Bare is the Executive Director of the Clermont County Veterans Commission and a Vietnam combat veteran.

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9 Responses to “DAN BARE
What would Jefferson think?”

  1. Kelly Bare Kellerman says:

    So proud you have the courage to speak the truth. What you have said is so very true. Our younger generation need to know what is really important in this world and I thank you that you are willing to speak the truth. God is the answer. Washington needs God in their lives to be able to lead our country in the right direction. And to me, the right direction only is UP.

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you Dan for taking the time to tell the truth, as how this country was founded. In God We Trust.

    God is the answer to man’s problems if he can just humble himself, and touch God.

    Michael D. Simmons

  3. Troy Ervin says:

    Dan this was a great article. Thanks for taking a stand. I’m proud to call you my friend. Keep up the great work. Blessings

  4. Ron Miller says:

    Once again you hit the bullseye dead on. I have ask my grand-children what that day was to them. I also tried to explain what it really stood for, hope they get it.So few understand it, one can’t know were they are going if they don’t know were they came from.
    Thanks Dan.

  5. Debbie & Ray Mechlin says:

    Dear Dan:

    You are definitely a truth-teller and God is truth. I believe with God, all things are possible, but as always, He will receive the praise and the glory. He is the one that connected us to you; what a blessing you have been in our lives.

    Thank you for sharing, caring, and being a great role model and warrior for God, country, and our countries’ heroes, our military!!

    In God’s Love,

    Debbie and Ray

  6. Zoe Armstrong says:

    I read your letter and I wish I knew what you were talking about. You used some code words: big government, politically correct, victim mentality. I get that you are a Republican since those phrases are straight out of the conservative speech writers’ handbook. Still, what are you talking about?
    Selfishness, historical ignorance, government handouts, God, politicians…are you talking about the companies that have sent our jobs to China so the owners and stockholders can get even richer? Or people who use food stamps? Or the politicians who don’t know about Paul Revere? Or people who no longer think racial jokes are funny?

    I’m sure that you were a brave soldier and thanks for serving our country. However, you need to be more brave as a writer and say what you really mean. Honest, I don’t know what that is. By the way, I hope that politicians today are not like Thomas Jefferson. He was a fine writer and a genius, no doubt, but he bought and sold human beings and enslaved them. He fathered children by them and lied about it. So, sorry, he’s not my hero.

  7. Zoe Sullivan says:

    You are so right. Gosh its good to have people like you to read.


  8. alassnsane says:

    “He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    Actually, Thomas Jefferson would likely be shaking his head at your article…in fact he probably would be rather horrified. It is rather amusing, though equally unsettling, how your particular brand of current right-wing ‘patriotism’ so easily (and often) subtly skews fact to align with your fictional assumptions about our forefathers – the very last thing Jefferson would have supported was asserting that God needs to be added back into any equation relating to our country.

    “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”
    -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

    “Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.”
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, April 13, 1820

    While I am all for respecting your right to freedom of speech and religion it worries me that so many people seem to believe as you do, that someone must be spiritual/religious to qualify as a decent and virtuous human being or to even go so far as to insinuate that those who don’t align with your belief are the ‘problem’ with our country. Jefferson knew that one could posses a strong moral compass and personal integrity in the absence of religion or personal spirituality and it’s rather sad that you don’t.

    “If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? …Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.”
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814

    You referenced God 16 times in your article and this reflects your point of view, clearly, but why bring Jefferson into this who preferred to not even use the word favoring instead “the Creator”? Your short-sighted and quite frankly, dangerous, assertions that we have strayed too far from God for our countries good sends a chill down my spine…a return to Godliness has nothing to do with character, integrity or decency as many a headline proves, and there is neither ‘one thing wrong with America’ nor a single more correct vehicle that will deliver us from our current struggles.

  9. Thomas Paine says:

    This is what Jefferson thought on religion NOT WHAT YOU THINK HE THOUGHT. You obviously know little of Jefferson.

    Say nothing of my religion. It is known to my god and myself alone.
    – Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adams, 11 January 1817

    I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvres to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.
    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, 1799

    The ‘Wall of Separation,’ Again:
    Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.
    We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.
    – Thomas Jefferson, to the Virginia Baptists (1808)

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.
    – Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

    [N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
    – Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779

    . [A] short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandising their oppressors in Church and State; that the purest system of morals ever before preached to man, has been adulterated and sophisticated by artificial constructions, into a mere contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves; that rational men not being able to swallow their impious heresies, in order to force them down their throats, they raise the hue and cry of infidelity, while themselves are the greatest obstacles to the advancement of the real doctrines of Jesus, and do in fact constitute the real Anti-Christ.
    – Thomas Jefferson, to Samuel Kercheval, 181

    The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man.
    – Thomas Jefferson, to Jeremiah Moor, 1800

    On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind.
    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Archibald Carey, 1816

    I am not afraid of the priests. They have tried upon me all their various batteries, of pious whining, hypocritical canting, lying and slandering, without being able to give me one moment of pain.
    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio Gates Spafford, 1816

    The priests of the different religious sects … dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight, and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subdivision of the duperies on which they live.
    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Correa de Serra, April 11, 1820

    A professorship of theology should have no place in our institution.
    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Cooper, October 7, 1814

    The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.
    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823,

    He was deist and didn’t believe in miracles. He edited the Bible and took out all the miracles and resurrection and kept the philosophy of Jesus.

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