On Sunday I was driven from Washington DC to the home of the family I am staying with in the Mount Vernon area of North Virginia. Our route took us past the Jefferson Memorial. I am a great fan of Thomas Jefferson. We have named our current home in Milton Keynes for the Third President and principle writer of the Declaration of Independence. As President Kennedy said when he hosted a reception of Nobel Prize winners "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."
His original words proposed for the Declaration are worth reflecting upon.
"We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these ends, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government shall become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, & to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles & organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety & happiness."
He believed in individual rights, and he believed in government.