"The concentrating [of powers] in the same hands
is precisely the definition of despotic government.
It will be no alleviation that these powers will be
exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
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Reader comments about this quote:
If reason is despotic, then let reason be the dictator. Someone is going to rule, so it should at least be someone reasonable. I know, I keep asking for too much.
 -- David L Rosenthal     
     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    And thus the goal that was set forth to have checks and balances... a goal which was repeatedly set aside during 2001-2006... time will tell if this gets corrected or not... but clearly it will be many years before the damage can be undone, if for no other reason than the ideologues that were placed in the judiciary for life.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    I never thought of it that way. We always believe a dictator is bad, but a single-minded group can act the same way. That's the reason I so respect the founders - they were intellectual giants the likes of which are nowhere to be found in politics today. When I hear someone like Al Gore say the Constitution is a "living document" implying that people like him should have the ability to rewrite it, it just makes me sick.
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC     
     -- Robert, Sarasota      
    Hi Reston... I could not agree with you more...except maybe for the time line...I would go back to LBJ's Great Society when the Government swelled to control every area of our lives by bureautic fiat...and Supreme Court and other judges that overturn the will of the populace for a pet social projec that would never be passed by popular or representative vote. And hence, the Constitution is amended without being amended...by unelected and unaccountable fiat. I can only wonder what Mr. Jefferson would say to that..
     -- Michael , Houston,TX     
    In fact, it one might be better off only having to deal with one despot rather than a mob of them. Would you rather be beaten and robbed by one bully or a hundred?
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Despots have many deputies.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
    The intent of a Constitutional democratic-republic was precisely to keep power distributed among the States and the People. The federal government was not to be trusted with much -- especially land and money. Would that we could hear Jefferson speak today about 21st century America.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- Anonymous      
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