Gil Burroughs: Ode to Jefferson

January 4, 2014 

While I readily understand George Will’s ideological insistence on “small government” (“What ignorance delivers,” Jan. 2 column) and his readiness to support professor Ilya Somin’s arguments for small government by addressing political ignorance, not by education, but by an engaged judiciary exercising judicial review, it certainly flies in the face of founding father Thomas Jefferson’s ideas.

In Jefferson’s comments to William C. Jarvis in 1820, he clearly stated that abuses of constitutional power are to be corrected by the education of the citizenry, not by keeping them ignorant, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves: and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is, not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

Perhaps Will is not a fan of Jefferson but of “activist judges” instead.

Gil Burroughs

Edenton

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