If Roy Ngerng had defamed a real “natural aristocrat”

In Uncategorized on 21/08/2016 at 1:02 pm

Remember PM quoting Jefferson on “natural aristocrats”?

Well Jefferson, a real “natural aristocrat” (Daddy wasn’t anybody really important in Virginia. He was a planter and surveyor, albeit a rich man,  who died when Jefferson was fourteen) wouldn’t have sued Roy Ngerng and other defamers .

Thomas Jefferson bore the brunt of brutal attacks when he ran for president in 1800. But Jefferson never responded to criticism by threatening to shut down dissent. “The people are the only censors of their governors”, he wrote, and “even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution”.

To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, & to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

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