Those who would draw, from such quotes as this, only that America’s founders believed in a small government have overlooked reality, and then pasted their own interests onto the quotation for a label. Such folks would find it hard to convince a scoffer that our federal government does much that is not in the majority’s interest or that it does much that goes beyond defending us from each other. The first thing such folks do when they gain power is tear down those controls and begin imposing new laws that violate personal freedom. Most of what would convince such a scoffer would show a heavy dose of favoritism for the rich, an expensive smidgeon of concern for wellbeing of the aged and poor, and a fortune devoted to outside influences.
This all avoids the point, however, of what Jefferson wrote about in Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 17, from…
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