Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson, (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President

Thomas Jefferson Quote

“When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.”

Thomas JeffersonThomas Jefferson
~ Thomas Jefferson

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

And the sovereign's servant and employee with no inherent rights but duties only. "Governments are the servants, not the masters of the people." (Thomas Jefferson)

Greg, Chichester

A great quote-and one that can be applied whatever one's position is. I believe thoroughly that the key to real success is in having the attitude of a servant. The "higher up" ones position, the more important this attitude becomes.

jim k, austin

Tell that to our rulers in Washington. Whats the difference between God and a congressman . Here's a clue, God doesn't think he's a congressman.

Me Again
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    Me Again    6/18/08

    When a man assumes the public trust,he should consider himself to be a servant of the people bound to the goal of fulfilling the needs and desires of the people with great regard for Our Constitution and Bill of Rights.I do not agree that any person should consider themselves to be public property.In my opinion, each person is an individual,souvereign, flower (or weed) in the Great Garden of Life that only The Gardener has final judgement over whether to pull the weed or let the flower grow.

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    RobertSRQ    6/18/08

    Only his public affaires – public trust must also be real trust

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    Isn't it Jesus who said, "You are not going to wash my feet but I will wash yours." I have often thought this to be the greatest example of humilty and service to others. And these public servants need our support when they are arresting, prosecuting, indicting, legislating etcetera. Those who constanly attack public servants and service by broadside attacks on "government" do us a disservice. And those who exhort the concept of the "sovereign individual" also have to ponder the concept of "sovereign public".

    E Archer, NYC

    So when the government wants to spy on citizens for the war on terror, then let's start by prying into the private lives of our elected officials -- I think you will find much more criminality going on. Those who exhort the concept of the "sovereign individual" already understand that there is no 'sovereign public' only the "sovereign REPUBLIC" comprised of the sovereign individuals within it. The group of sovereigns have no more rights than an individual sovereign. The stretch is to twist the meaning of an individual into 'public' property -- this is just a perversion of the quote above (government officials actions are strictly limited and thus to be under constant scrutiny). There is a difference between private property and the public commonwealth which is owned by none but managed by elected representatives of the republic. When you try and lump the public themselves into a collective public property, then you have made the shift from a free republic to a socialist democracy or autocracy. Bureaucrats attempting to enforce unconstitutional statues do not have to be heeded by the sovereigns -- to support them is to support tyranny. Only Waffler could quote Jesus and demand more arrests and prosecutions in the same breath -- how he reckons with such hypocrisy, I will never know.

    warren, olathe

    Waffler- The washing of feet was symbolic of the removal of the world. This then was a removal of sin. They at first rejected the idea of having their feet washed by their master but he rebuked them saying if I do not do this then you may have no part of me. Clearly it was a symbol of forgiveness of sin in preparation to enter heaven. This was act of grace not humility.

    jim k, austin

    - - - Or maybe their feet were really, really dirty.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    I have learned to take it Warren to be a lesson on how man is to relate to man. So Archer you believe Jesus is/was an anarchist or what? He even had a tax collector as an apostle, and when it was time to be taxed his parents went to their home town tax base. So apparently his parents were law abiders also.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    The quintessential example of the relationship between, "individual soveriegns", the "public sovereign" and the "public servant" was demonstrated in the movie high noon. First of all individuals are not at liberty to jerk around or tell public servants what to do. In fact it is the other way around. Public servants are entrusted by the public to tell individulals what do via rules, regulations and law enforcement. In High Noon Gary Cooper who had taken the oath of office of Sherriff in the end was left entirely alone to fulfill his duty to the high calling of the public good. The "individual soveriegns" just kind of slipped back into the wood work. They gave up their soveriengity to this man and he did his duty. Warren Hebrews puts it this way and I paraphrase, "Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus" in other words think like Jesus, "who lowered himself to be a servant to man."

    E Archer, NYC

    There is no such thing as a "public sovereign," Waffler. You say, "First of all individuals are not at liberty to jerk around or tell public servants what to do. In fact it is the other way around." No, Waffler, it is not the other way around. When a person accepts a public office, he/she takes an oath to abide by the rules of that office and to support and defend the Constitution. It does not give power to officers to "jerk around or tell the public what to do" -- not at all! "Public servants are entrusted by the public to tell individuals what do via rules, regulations and law enforcement." Not exactly. Public officials are charged with enacting legislation passed by Congress. As a rule, there are no crimes of 'omission' unless a sovereign has made a promise to do something -- you cannot just make up 'rules' and force people to obey them -- if the neighbor doesnt have the right to tell you what to do, neither does the Sheriff. Most of 'law' is enforcing agreements made between each other. In High Noon or in real life, people DO NOT GIVE UP THEIR SOVEREIGNTY when they vote for and hire a Sheriff! And where's the g-d jury in High Noon, eh? The example is probably how most ignorant people view 'the law' -- like when a cop on TV says, "I am the law." What Waffler is confusing is 'power' and sovereignty. He makes the case for omnipotence rather than for freedom. I do endeavor to think like Jesus -- and increasing police, arrests, punishments, and slavery was not anything he EVER condoned -- quite the opposite in fact.

    Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

    Sovereign means absolute authority. No individual in this country has absolute authority. Only THE CONSTITUTION is Sovereign, thus all of the hot air on this site about the "sovereign individual" is just that hot air.

    E Archer, NYC

    No, Waffler, the Constitution is a declaration of We The People in our sovereign capacity -- it is a Charter ratified by the sovereign states to form a federal government with strict limitations of power. In America, the individual is sovereign -- not all-powerful, but simply free and responsible for his/her actions. We are sovereigns living among sovereigns -- each with "absolute authority" over himself/herself -- and therefore accountable for any violations of another sovereign's inalienable rights. By what power does the federal government operate? By the power of the sovereigns who chartered it. Arbitrary power exists nowhere in a free republic.

    j carroll, clifton hts.

    to mr.e archer if you ever run for office in any capacity,and you should,i will vote for you,canvass for you, what ever. you are well grounded in our constitution. please contribute to as many blogs as you can you are a credit to your family and your country. our country needs every man and women to be able to grasp your wisdom on liberty. thank you for making this old mans day

    John, everywhere

    This is all philosophical right ? Because unfortunately not a single comment here is apparent in our world as it applies to this quote !

    John, Everywhere

    The power of individuals was purposefully controlled in the Constitution in the form of the Electoral College. This prevents the rule of plurality from actually electing a president. To further disenfranchise individuals right s, caucuses and primaries were created! This allows the elite to decide who we can vote for by limiting our choices to those they approve of ! The poor and farmers didn't have timeor capacity to participate in these events and still don't !Thus effectively removing us from "true" participation !

    John, Everywhere

    The Constitution was a great work in getting people to believe they are participating ! Voting for those we have no choice but to vote for or not vote. Don't give me 3rd party BS. The rule of plurality helps ensure a 2 party system. At least it has turned out that way and is popularly believed to have been created that way with that intent ! Thus, from the moment you were disenfranchised from your vote, you are out of the picture and your "participation" is window dressing and all activity from that point on is without our say! And look what we've got, exactly that !

    RBE, Somewhere in Europe

    Yes, including HRC's emails....

    Ronw13, Oregon

    This country was never designed to be a party system. This was Washington's stance. But in opposition to a corrupt central bank, by Hamilton and the federalist, arose Jefferson and Madison with the democratic Republican party. As for Waffler's perversion of truth, " And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King." Luke 23:2 KJB, " What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, then are the children FREE." Matt 17:25,26 . As also Peter carried a sword in the garden to protect his King. Tribute is not demanded by force in a nation of Free children, set at Liberty ! Do you get the big picture ! We are a nation of independent sovereign individuals at Liberty, freed from forced exaction !

    Mary - MI
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    Mary - MI    10/14/16

    E Archer, NYC - Thank you for so steadfastly standing up to the perverted thinking and convoluted comments of Waffler, Smith, Arkansas.
    Your arguments are rock solid and all out impressive.
    I'm sure many viewing and making comments on this thread are not only thoroughly impressed with your impressive comments, but also wish to 2nd them.
    Again, Thank You ... Kudos and Excelsior!


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