Founding Father worthy of respect

Farm Forum

Of all the personalities of days gone by, the most respected and followed from long ago is the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. He was such a learned man and a genius, I am sure. His accomplishments as a young lad are just astounding. And, as he matured into a grown man, he excelled at everything he did, especially forming a new nation called the United States of America.

Oh, Jefferson had his faults and has been highly castigated, but his unbelievable feats of government are just mind boggling and certainly do give some pause to all of his misdeeds. Without Jefferson, it is a mystery where our country would be today. He had an ability to look to the future of the United States of America.

Thank goodness we have such an ancestor who thought enough of this new nation to address some futuristic challenges that we face today.

A very long time ago, I had the opportunity to visit the site where he shut himself up and wrote the Declaration of Independence, and it was a moving moment to stand where Jefferson had stood and looked out at some of the same scenery he must have seen during that time in the latter part of the 1700s.

I love to read about Jefferson, and recall so many of his sayings and reminders to us all. His advice given so long ago can still be heeded today if our country’s leaders will just pay attention:

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work, and give to those who would not.”

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

“No free man shall ever be debarred from the use of arms.”

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

Former President John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the White House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House, with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

Jefferson knew what it took to establish a free nation because he had studied the previous failed attempts at governments around the world. He understood actual history, the nature of God and his laws, as well as the nature of man. Jefferson was truly a voice from the past that leads us to the future. Nuff said.

Gerald “Jerry” Krueger is a retired educator, coach, commercial pilot and farmer. Write him at His column publishes Mondays.