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Can stupid people write wise laws?

… it is generally true that that people will be happiest whose laws are best, and are best administered, and that laws will be wisely formed, and honestly administered, in proportion as those who form and administer them are wise and honest …
Preamble, A Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge, 1778

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise and honest laws require a well-educated citizenry.
During America’s war for independence, Jefferson devoted much of his time to re-writing Virginia’s laws. This is one of his most famous, providing for publicly-funded education for boys AND girls. It called for a system of primary and grammar schools throughout the state, plus scholarships for advanced education for the best but most impoverished students.

What was the connection between education and wise laws with honest administrators? Elsewhere in the Preamble Jefferson asserts that the only way to have these kinds of laws, honestly and wisely administered, was to have a well-educated citizenry.

Jefferson promoted this cause for the rest of his life, almost half a century. He never saw it implemented to the degree he proposed in 1778.

”Your performances during our annual summer conference
were exactly what we needed to take it over the top.”
Director of Member Services & Education, Minnesota Rural Electric Association

Let Thomas Jefferson take your conference over the top.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739

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2 Responses to Can stupid people write wise laws?

  1. Thanks partly to Jefferson’s foresight, Americans have the opportunity to be well educated. Too bad that many of the “citizenry” today choose to be ill-informed on the important issues. However they know every little detail about Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Mylie Cyrus.

  2. Ray says:

    Unfortunately, judging by the way the U.S. is today, it seems education is not enough to make people wise. In Jefferson’s day, people were steeped in the Judeo-Christian culture and therefore had a much better-ingrained moral compass. Then education has great value.

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