"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed
of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics
or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself.
Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.
If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there
at all."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
Letter to F. Hopkinson, Paris, March 13, 1789
http://books.google.com/books?id=imMmIlv1G7MC&lpg=PA441&ots=u2i9TvK-VS&pg=PA440#v=onepage&q=&f=false
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Terry Berg, Occidental, CA      
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
A 'party man' usually makes the leap that if you think differently than he, you must be a member of the opposite party and subscribe to ALL the opposing views, too. I have not found too many independent thinkers in any party.
 -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- Logan, Memphis, TN      
    True enough, It is a common technique, what I call the surround effect where the minority in a collective amongst the big picture surround one or a lesser number and make them feel small and weak and out numbered, leaving them with a choice, join pragmatically or stick to your own individual guns.
     -- Gölök Zoltán Leenderdt Franco Buday, Vancouver, GVRD(Paine Cnty), Coastal Lwr Mainland BC(State of Neo Sumer), U.S. of Eh!     
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    test
     -- Anonymous     
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    This is what individual freedom is all about. Thinking outside the box others would have you in.
     -- Anon     
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    this is a great quote and i think it can apply to many different things
     -- DaniGirl, O Town     
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    So many are looking for a leader of some kind to make decisions for them and tell them what to do so that they don't have to do the hard work of actually thinking for themselves. Churches and political parties want people to march in lock-step, no questions, no objections, just follow and do what you're told. That is scarily evident today in our own government and is preventing reasonable and intelligent decisions on many vital issues.
     -- Anonymous, Hansville     
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    I like Tom but many things do not get done without team work. Political party labels do often demand to much, group think but a legislative assembly can hadly exist without them. Policy (which is the same root word as politics) is the culmination of millions of individual and independent decisions on who and what to vote for. The parties are a coalescing of these votes and opinions and the policies are a culmination of all of the opiinions and compromise of the two or more positions. If someone has a better way I wish they would bring it forward. But I agree that the bitterness between parties is most undesirerale..
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    I am upset there are only 5 stars in this "Rate this quote!" The Great Thomas Jefferson proved that by himself he could listen to The Creator better and help people individually, without even associating with them.
     -- Elisabeth, Astoria, NY     
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