Saturday, July 6, 2013
A message from John Paul Jones
Today is the 266th anniversary of the birth of John Paul Jones, so I thought I'd reprise a quote from one of his letters to Lafayette (via Jefferson). It seems especially relevant today.
"I am glad that the new Constitution will be, as you tell me, adopted by more than Nine States. I hope however they will alter some parts of it; and particularly that they will divest the president of all Military Rank and command; for though General Washington might be safely trusted with such tempting power as the Chief Command of the Fleet and Army, yet, depend on it, in some other Hands it could not fail to Overset the libertys of America. The President should be only the first Civil Magistrate, let him command the Military with the Pen; but deprive him of the power to draw his Sword and lead them, under some plausible pretext, or under any Circumstances whatever, to cut the throats of a part of his fellow Citizens, and to make him the Tyrant of the rest." [Source: Jefferson papers, Sept. 9, 1788]
Believe it or not, John Paul Jones is the reason I started this blog in the first place. I don't have to speculate on how he'd feel about the current state of the United States of America -- I've studied enough about the man to know he'd be absolutely horrified, but not particularly surprised. You see, he and his crew were never paid in their own lifetime for their capture of the Serapis (one of the most famous naval battles in US history). When Jones died in Paris at the age of 45 -- poor and sick, his name unjustly smeared and despised -- he wasn't even given a state funeral. Jones and his crew, willing to give their lives for the cause of liberty, were used and casually tossed aside by the same money-junkie scum who are pulling the strings today. Jones never did stop fighting for justice. Let us continue his fight. This blog is dedicated to his memory.