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Town Halls

Politics

Paul Ryan Makes a Mockery Of Jefferson’s Legacy By Limiting Town Hall Meetings

One of the key components, perhaps the paramount one, for Jeffersonians advocating for power to reside in state and local governments rather than the federal one, was that the former was within the protesting reach of citizens; and thus could be subjected to popular pressure when said citizens felt their elected officials were not representing them. But when the power of the federal government was made greater than state and local governments, the former entity was protectively distanced from such protests, and thus, according to Jeffersonian theory, could govern against the wishes of those who elected them (increased federal power and its remoteness was championed by Jefferson’s big government bete noir, Alexander Hamilton, who asserted that the government should be impervious to a public he denigrated as “a great beast”). Today, although he preaches the need for small government, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan is behaving in an un-Jeffersonian manner by excluding the public from town hall meetings, and limiting audience members down to what he calls his “constituents.” Keep Reading

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