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68 SMT Magazine • November 2016 So, then, to every man his chance—to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden op- portunity—to every man the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his man- hood and his vision can combine to make him— this, seeker, is the promise of America. —Thomas Wolfe, You Can't Go Home Again This quote, dear reader, published in 1940, is the promise the founders had in mind when they constructed this country in the 18 th cen- tury. They were leaders who believed that self- government (a new concept) was possible if the population was educated and virtuous. It was clear that what Thomas Jefferson had in mind when writing the Declaration of Inde- pendence was not to create a new government that would guarantee equal results for all its cit- izens. Instead, he and the founders replaced the ruling English monarchy by constructing a gov- ernment that created and maintained a free en- vironment, one providing every individual with equal opportunity under the law. However, the founders didn't just wave their arms and instantly produce a system that creat- ed the guaranteed opportunity they espoused. Instead, they produced a template for self-gov- ernment based on principles that were invari- ant. The template is the Federal Constitution with an amendable Bill of Rights. The princi- ples were those stated in the Declaration: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, the founders wrote a prom- issory note to those who at the time were not included as heirs to those natural principles. These were a set of lofty ideals for us as a coun- try to run under over the years to come—two steps forward, one step back. So the struggle continues to this day as the freedom and opportunity that Jefferson de- clared were inalienable individual rights are ex- tended to more and more of the population. by Tom Borkes THE JEFFERSON PROJECT Leadership in Your Company: Something to Worry About? JUMPING OFF THE BANDWAGON

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