"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people, which produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Letter to James Madison, Paris, January 30, 1787. THE POLITICAL WRITINGS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON 67 (Dumbauld Ed. 1955).
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Reader comments about this quote:
Great quote -- too bad it's not followed nowadays. Even the ballot box isn't the revolution we once considered it. "Man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years" (Spooner).
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    (-: I like it,
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    It hasn't been so important as it is now, since the War of Independence. There are scoundrels in the White House.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    The Earl Warren and Warren Burger courts are evidence of an Oligargy and we cannot remove these at the ballet box.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    Cal, further to that thought: Does it make sense to you that all of our constitutional rights should be in the hands of 5 government lawyers? (Supreme Court) That might be called a jurisdictional dictatorship.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Very true J Carlton. Lawyers have our judiciary side of government all to themselves. This is the very reason I never vote for lawyers to be law-makers or executives in our government.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    I'm pretty sure that Jefferson was not referring to the "Hope and Change" of the current administration
     -- jim k, austin     
    A little tar and featherig of politicians every now and then would do well for the republic.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    I think that Thomas Jefferson was a superior human being. That is, he was able to give the best of him and the best of him was able to reach heights that are very rare in human beings. We should all learn from him and take advantage of such a valuable legacy to the American people and leaders.
     -- Elisabeth, Astoria, NY     
    5 stars. The quote speaks for itself.
     -- Anon     
     -- Ronw13, Yachats OR      
     -- jim k, Austin      
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