President Jefferson shares his view on what he calls an essential need for citizens to speak out about issues they disagree with and he explains why dissent is necessary for the health of American democracy.
- The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800 by Conor Cruise O'Brien
- The Atlantic: "Thomas Jefferson: Radical and Racist" by Conor Cruise O'Brien
- From Monticello.org: Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787: "what signify a few lives lost in a century or two? the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure."
- From Monticello.org: Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787: "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."
When I watch the video of the athletes kneeling in silence, I see purpose, dignity, anguish, and conviction. What I don’t see is people brandishing semi-automatic weapons, people wearing camouflage fatigues, people wielding openly hateful, often racist signs denouncing the president of the United States, people calling for Second Amendment solutions to America’s ills. No, that was what one saw at a Tea Party rally during the Obama years, and it was always defended as a venerable American tradition drawn from the playbook of the Minutemen and the Boston Tea Party.
Read this week's Jefferson Watch essay, "Mild Protest."