What Would Thomas Jefferson Think Of The NSA Surveillance Program?

Thomas Jefferson SC What Would Thomas Jefferson Think of the NSA Surveillance Program?

Though many Americans are opposed to it, some still defend the NSA surveillance program as being necessary. I thought it would be worthwhile to visit quotes from someone who commands the respect of conservatives, liberals, and libertarians alike: Thomas Jefferson. Would he be opposed to the modern day surveillance state existing in the US? Undoubtedly so, and here are some of his quotations indicating why:

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”

“I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.”

“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

“I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.”

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law,” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”

“It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately.”

“Liberty is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both in proportion as it is free.”

“Most bad government has grown out of too much government.”

“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

Over and over again, Thomas Jefferson criticizes the expansion of government against the individual. There is no doubt in my mind that this great man, who stood firmly for freedom in all endeavors, would be staunchly opposed to the current NSA surveillance program. He would correctly label it as tyranny. Let us today remember his true patriotic example and strive to keep faithful to the Declaration of Independence he wrote and the Bill of Rights he supported.

(All Thomas Jefferson Quotes are drawn from http://jpetrie.myweb.uga.edu/TJ.html.)


F. Peter Brown is an Associate Editor at the Western Center for Journalism. He is also the Editor at the Sound Money Institute and constitutionalfreedoms.net.

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  1. Edwardkoziol says:

    It is hard to say but I believe Jefferson would be with the people not big government.Our Government got out of control when they started handing out all these freebees to people to make them dependent on the Government.Lincoln did more to screw up states rights and yet nobody talks about it including his majesty Bill O'Reilly in his book.

  2. Of course the reason Obammy boy and his crew of crooks have made a plan to overthrow our Gov't and our Constitution, this is what he was schooled in from his father and all his communist teachers like Saul Alinsky and many others. Ask why did they keep it a secret? So they could gain ground and a foothold before we knew about it whaen by then it's almost too late.

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