Why do libs wrongly attribute “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” to Thomas Jefferson?



Even John Kerry and Ted Kennedy claim that Jefferson said “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”

“As Jefferson himself noted, ‘So many persons have of late found an interest or a passion gratified by imputing to me sayings and writings which I never said or wrote…’”


Monticello.org claims that Jefferson never said it. Something Jefferson *DID* say about dissent:

“Political dissension is doubtless a less evil than the lethargy of despotism: but still it is a great evil,”

The quote being misattributed to Jefferson *MAY* have originated from a former ACLU president, Nadine Strossen, who wrongly claimed in a 1991 interview with the Boston Globe:

And I do think that what Thomas Jefferson said is true, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”


So…Why do libs wrongly attribute “dissent is the highest form of patriotism” to Thomas Jefferson?
Thanks for the quotes, evilindependent, but you didn’t answer the question. Why do libs wrongly attribute the “dissent” quote to Jefferson…*WHY*?
Shaz, it seems that you are giving libs a pass for the wrongful attribution.
tribecca belle, perhaps you should read again Jefferson’s actual quote regarding “dissent” (see the Monticello.org quote).
Wow Gary G…got anymore insight on the “dissent” quote? That was brilliant…not.

Related posts:

  1. Was Thomas Jefferson Really A Rapist? asked: I’m not speaking from any documented sources but...
  2. Finish the quote by Thomas Jefferson? allways_confused* asked: This was said by Thomas Jefferson. I had...
  3. How do we know that Sally Hemmings gave birth to Thomas Jefferson’s son and not his nephew or cousin? Dingo Warrior asked: When were all the other Jefferson men...
  4. Did Thomas Jefferson, imagine the Government would have 25 million employees all collecting entitlement wages? AF1 Pizza asked: Or that Monticello was the model for...
  5. Atheists! Did you know about the famous Thomas Jefferson misquote? asked: I didn’t know about it either! http://www.ocregister.com/news/jefferson-323913-quote-one.html The...


Paul Grass

key word “highest” as that is why they are high as they can get

Gary G

Because conservatives subscribe to the saying “duh I will follow George Bush no mater what he is my hero-and a Yup Yup I kinda like Dick Cheney too…”


Jefferson did say the following:

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.”

Earnest T. PhD/THC

Whoever said it was dead wrong . That has to be the stupidest quote I’ve ever heard and quite frankly it sickens me when people say it . Nevermind the fact that simply because a famous American may have said it , that alone does not make it smart !!

The highest form of patriotism can be attributed to JFK when he said. . .” Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country “. . . .Now that’s what I call patriotism !!


I am a Liberal, and the only idea I can offer is that people are not paying attention. I remember the first time I read that, and it was about a year ago, and it was attributed to some political analyst or professor or something.

Since I have read him (not everything, by a long shot, but some of his writing), the only thing that really stands out in my mind at the moment that he said about patriotism is:

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

That one was made famous by our own homegrown terrorist, Timothy McVeigh. If I recall, he had a T-shirt that had that quote on it.

I remember the quote simply because I underlined it when I read it and was able to identify it when it was associated with Tim McVeigh.

I do wish people, regardless of their political stripes, would bother to actually read something before they begin quoting it. I find made up quotations tiresome…


For the same reason anyone says anything. To help their argument.

Look at the creationists..they have started and perpetuated a lie about Darwin recanting his Theory of Evolution and there are still people today who think that it really happened…even in the face of Darwin’s daughter saying he did no such thing and the person who said it never came near Darwin..they STILL think Darwin recanted.

People will say anything to get their way. Even the Bush administration has been seen to tell a story to get its way, change it as needed all the continue getting what Bush wants. Not saying he is right or wrong but it is self evident.

Maria B> If liberals are such a threat to morality and freedom then why is it the CONSERVATIVES that have written laws that are unconstitutional and taken away habeus corpus as well as had multiple scandals involving adultery and multiple wives?


Jefferson was a proponent of discussion and compromise, not blind dissent.

“Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free inquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves?” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XVII, 1782.

“There is more honor and magnanimity in correcting, than persevering in an error.” –Thomas Jefferson: Batture at New Orleans, 1812


Perhaps because it was stated by a communist, and you know birds of a feather, and attributing it to Jefferson gives it some legitimacy it would not have if AMerica knew it came from a communist.

Of course dissent is only allowed if you agree with them.

The earliest finding of this was in 1991 by radical communist, Dorothy Hewitt Hutchinson

Previous post:

Next post: