"An honest man can feel no pleasure
in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
letter to John Melish, January 13, 1813
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous      
Too banal/trite/obvious to be interesting or provocative of actual thought.
 -- Terry Berg, Occidental, CA     
  • 6 2
     -- Anonymous      
     -- Joanna Parker, Ocean Shores, WA     
  • 7
    Shows that this man's quotes can not be co-opted by the radical religious right as justification for their claims that they should control the decisions of all people with their narrow-minded view of the world.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
  • 4 3
     -- Anonymous      
     -- Anonymous      
    I agree with Anonymous, VA. It's as true today as it was 200 years ago. However, dishonest men are still attracted to positions of power, and most will resort to revisionist history as justification. It's only one of many tools they use to try to manipulate the minds of the public - including prevarication and outright lies.
     -- Heidi Andrade, Boise, ID     
  • 5 3
    To simple to interest the vacant mind - a tip of the Occidental iceberg, so to speak. If you cannot comprehend or agree, rubbish it. That's the usual procedure for those incapable of comprehensive thinking.
     -- JDoN, Nassau     
  • 8
     -- Jim Moravec, Lemont      
     -- Sharyn Longley, Arcadia, Florida      
    Once again the purest and simplest truths are self evident. Wisdom reaches to us from the past glory that was America, and we fail to give it credence.
     -- Isaac, Lavergne     
  • 7
    The 'A' from Reston and Heidi - you are bigots and idiots. A quick look at Antifa and BLM completely disproves your analysis and proves your personal dishonesty and blatant stupid. Left/Right, Democrat/Republican, Atheist/Christian, Progressive/Neo-con, Communist/Fascist, etc., etc., etc. doesn't matter. "An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens" - I would add, brothers, sisters, sovereigns, slaves, etc. The de jure States united was to secure liberty to/for all - for all time as servants were to enhance/protect inalienable rights. The occupying statist theocracy now infesting this land is full of dishonest malefactors.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 6
    Frankly, I could never understand the desire to command others, make them follow, it's always felt like a power-trip to me -- I don't like it, and I don't treat people that way. On the flip side I could not understand the blind followers either. Sure there may be a necessity of exercising power over others, but deriving pleasure from it is the point -- it's a turn-on for some.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    A very profound statement ! Jefferson puts forth a proverb. The honest individual takes no pleasure. It is the characteristic of a person that entitles him to reverence and respect. Dignity, majesty and sanctity. Venerableness. It is a necessary characteristic of the life and conduct of a Christian which flows from a life of Gravity. A necessary characteristic of a bishop or overseer whether church, state, or individual family. A necessary characteristic of the teaching imparted by a servant of God.
    Decently in all honesty puts forth in contrast to the shamefulness of the secular socialistic social life, as also the contrast is to idleness and its concomitant evils and the resulting bad testimony to unbelievers and the disorder in oral testimony. Socialist are insolvent by their nature,through their keciyl foolishness, seeing the wicked florish thinking they have the right life style. Creating turbulence through folly.
    The "good" ground of being honest is both valuable, virtuos and beautiful. Excellent in its "nature" and characteristics, and therefore well adapted to its ends. Beautiful by reason of purity of heart and life, and hence praise worthy, noble and moral conferring honor which effects the mind agreeably, comforting and confirming. "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provides things "honest" in the sight of all men", nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrines of Liberty and Freedom whereunto thou hast attained. to bear testimony by them. The honest ground and the good heart, Kalos and Agathos, Hold fast that which is good ( Kalos ) and bring forth the intrinsic value of the teaching.

     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
    As a token the word " honest" kalos is used seven times. For harmony sake with nature and that "good" ground.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
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