Education Editorial: Lessons from Jefferson

By: Bill Bosher - email

As the General Assembly members return to town, perhaps they should be reminded of lessons from Mr. Jefferson who designed the capitol in which they meet.

"Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."

Perhaps in a political environment that seems more like competitive sports than consensus building, it is important to remember that elections, particularly in a representative form of government, are to select those who will represent the people…all of the people.

Mr. Jefferson also said, "the spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive." Those who are elected must hear from those who are being served…not simply to well organized, funded, and articulated special interests.

So many have given their lives for the freedom to make laws…we must ensure that those laws make sense. Mr. Jefferson also lamented, " the democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

Perhaps Richmond can serve as a beacon, close enough to been seen from Washington, for those who value a relationship between work and rewards.

On May 3, 2012, the Virginia Capitol Foundation unveiled a new statue of Mr. Jefferson commissioned as "Thomas Jefferson, Architect of Liberty". Let's hope that it serves as a constant reminder of lessons taught and lessons learned!

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.