While Thomas Jefferson is by far the greatest influence on me out of all the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin is undoubtedly a close second. His work ethic, ingenuity, prolific inventive genius and level-headed pragmatism have always impressed me and the body of his life’s work constantly provides me with inspiration and guidance.
His satirical piece “Rules by which a great Empire may be reduced to a small One” is a highly recommended read.
XV. Convert the brave honest Officers of your Navy into pimping Tide-waiters and Colony Officers of the Customs. Let those who in Time of War fought gallantly in Defence of the Commerce of their Countrymen, in Peace be taught to prey upon it. Let them learn to be corrupted by great and real Smugglers, but (to shew their Diligence) scour with armed Boats every Bay, Harbour, River, Creek, Cove or Nook throughout the Coast of your Colonies, stop and detain every Coaster, every Wood-boat, every Fisherman, tumble their Cargoes, and even their Ballast, inside out and upside down; and if a Penn’orth of Pins is found un-entered, let the Whole be seized and confiscated. Thus shall the Trade of your Colonists suffer more from their Friends in Time of Peace, than it did from their Enemies in War. Then let these Boats Crews land upon every Farm in their Way, rob the Orchards, steal the Pigs and Poultry, and insult the Inhabitants. If the injured and exasperated Farmers, unable to procure other Justice, should attack the Agressors, drub them and burn their Boats, you are to call this High Treason and Rebellion, order Fleets and Armies into their Country, and threaten to carry all the Offenders three thousand Miles to be hang’d, drawn and quartered. O! this will work admirably!