Before he died, Thomas Jefferson wrote an epitaph for himself that he insisted not a single word be changed. It read as follows:
“Here was buried Thomas Jefferson
Author of the Declaration of American Independence
of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom
and father of the University of Virginia
Of course he had been President of the United States for two terms, and Vice-President for one. But there is no mention of either of these accomplishments in the epitaph. Being “Father of the University of Virginia” was far more important than “President of the United States of America”.
You see, Jefferson believed that young people should be able to go to college regardless of their ability to pay, their station in life, and how rich or poor their parents were. He believed that an educated populace was the best defense of liberty, freedom and democracy in the new nation that he had helped to birth.
So, the University of Virginia—that he helped found—was free.
(The above is quoted basically verbatim from Chapter Four: “An Informed and Educated Electorate” from Thom Hartmann's book “Rebooting the American Dream”)
Ronald Reagan when he took office as governor of California in 1967 immediately called for an end of free tuition at the University of California and an across-the-board 20 percent cut in state funding for education. When asked why he was doing away with free college in California, Reagan responded that it was “too liberal” and said that the role of the state “should not be to subsidize intellectual curiosity.” The mean spirited Reagan went on to characterize college students who nationwide were protesting the war in Vietnam as “brats”, “cowardly fascists” and “freaks”. As for the “cowardly fascists” remark, I would say it takes one to know one.
To give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe (in Reagan's particular case) this was the early on-set of Alzheimer's. But only an idiot would publicly make such a remark. Conservatives think that there should be a likeness of the former president carved in the rock up on Mt. Rushmore. I think there should be a picture of Ronald Reagan in every out-house in America.
The Money Trader