Thomas Jefferson: Where Are The Jeffersons Of Today?

The founders were a rare breed. But the future is up to all of us.

No modern, developed nation idolizes its founders in quite the way America does. If other nations have founders at all, they are usually mythical characters, like Romulus and Remus or King Arthur, obscured in the mists of a distant past. Our founders are authentic historical figures about whom we know a great deal. Yet many of us insist on turning these real human beings into larger-than-life heroes against whom we tend to measure ourselves. They seem to be giants. So we wonder: Why don't we have Thomas Jeffersons today, and if we did, what would they have to say?

In fact,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!