There is No Feather-bed

Posted on Posted in Agony and Eloquence

“We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a feather-bed.”

This was the warning of things to come that Jefferson shared with Lafayette. (Jefferson to Lafayette, April 2, 1790.)

Jefferson believed that every generation must determine its priorities and how to govern.

Indeed, even the Constitution, he believed, ought to be reviewed every 19 years or so.

This means that American government and our democracy is pertinent and alive for every generation; it’s a vigorous system and demands/requires the involvement of America’s citizens. There was never any expectation that political freedoms would result in a “pretty” or politically quiet society, this is a new concept (e.g., political correctness). The founders believed (particularly Adams and Jefferson) that our political discourse would be, by necessity and design, controversial, challenging, often difficult, and sometimes unpleasant.

For Americans there is no feather-bed; there is only the work of sustaining our democracy and all that that entails, which is an extraordinary tolerance and appreciation that allows, and even encourages, those Americans with differing views to express them. What was clear then remains so now: there are but two things upon which we opinionated Americans with our vigorous freedoms can have consensus – love of country (Union) and the Constitution.

Most everything else is open to discussion.

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