Over the million years of human existence, while conservatism has been a reliable guide to our social lives, variety has also been pivotal in adapting and innovating productive elements. In fact, while proponents of "that old time religion" have much to support their views, it is in the implementation of new ideas that we have improved our condition the most. As biological entities, variety is a good thing. It is the essence of evolution. In this regard, I offer some old time views of one of our best innovators, Mr. Jefferson. Despite the common preconceived notion of his ambiguity position on slavery, Jefferson never missed an opportunity to throw in a recommendation to emancipation. His ideas on government also display an uncommon awareness of the pitfalls of office and officeholders. In a letter to Edmund Pendleton, he wrote a proposal defining the terms of government office:
Philadelphia, August 26, 1776
"To make them independent, I had proposed that they should hold their places for nine years and then go out (one third every three years) and be incapable forever of being re-elected to that house. My idea was that if they might be re-elected, they would be casting their eye forward to the period of election (however distant) & be currying favor with the electors and consequently dependent on them. My reason for fixing them in office for a term of years rather than for life, was that they might have in idea that they were at a certain period to return into the mass of the people & become the governed instead of the governor which might still keep alive that regard to the public good that otherwise they might be induced by their independance to forget."
I offer this suggestion of Jefferson's for consideration. Certainly we have seen precisely the problems Jefferson foresaw and, our government being our innovation and our creation entirely, perhaps innovation, evolution and a variety of ideas for adjusting the present state of government might offer relief.