"Government, in my humble opinion, should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of the legitimate kind."
--James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1791
"It is sufficiently obvious, that persons and property are the two great subjects on which Governments are to act; and that the rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted. These rights cannot well be separated."
-- James Madison, Speech at the Virginia Convention, 1829
"I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally. This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume."
-- President George Washington, Farewell Address
"No man has any more intrinsic right to official station than another. Those who hold government jobs for a long time are apt to acquire a habit of looking with indifference upon the public interests, and of tolerating conduct from which an unpracticed man would revolt."
-– Andrew Jackson
"And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for the second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Samuel Kercheval, Monticello, July 12, 1816
"If, then, the control of the people over the organs of their government be the measure of its republicanism, and I confess I know no other measure, it must be agreed that our governments have much less of republicanism than ought to have been expected; in other words, that the people have less regular control over their agents, than their rights and their interests require."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Taylor, 1816
"There is no good government but what is republican...[T]he true idea of a republic is 'an empire of laws, and not of men.' That, as a republic is the best of governments, so that particular arrangement of the powers of society, or in other words, that form of government which is best contrived to secure an impartial and exact execution of the law, is the best of republics."
-- John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
"The instruments, by which [government] must act, are either the authority of the Laws or force. If the first be destroyed, the last must be substituted; ... and where this becomes the ordinary instrument of government, there is an end to liberty."
Tom Hoefling 2012
What if you went to a restaurant, read the menu, but every time you tried to order something you really want and need to keep body and soul together, they told you, "sorry, we're out of that"?
That's kind of the way it is nowadays for the conservative clientele of the Republican Party.
"Hello, welcome back to the Pachyderm-a-RINO Restaurant! I'm Mitt and I'll be your server today."
"Oh, hello again. Why don't you give me some of this 'Balance the Budget and Stop Deficit Spending Now' stew, please. I've always wanted to try it."
"Oh, that's really good stuff, you bet...but....sorry, Chef Boehner says that if you want that you're a big baby and just don't understand how the kitchen works."
"Oh my...well, okay, I guess...let's see...hmmm...then give me some of that 'Limited Government" salad..."
"Oh, the healthy dish that's in all our ads...well.....no....sorry, that's just too hard to make. The media critics would have a field day if we started cooking that up, and we'd lose our jobs, so no, you can't have that either."
"Wow. Hmmm...well...okey-dokey then...how about some of this 'Provide Equal Protection For the Right to Life' entre, with a side of 'Defend Marriage'..."
"No, of course you can't have that. Court order. What are you, a single-issue extremist?"
"Well, noooo...I like lots of things...uhmmm...do you have any 'Secure the Borders' succotash?"
"You are so heartless."
"Oh, well, gee thanks. So, is there anything at all I can actually order in this joint?"
"Well, no, but you can pay the bill, leave a big tip, and tell everybody in town how great it is that you didn't give your business to the Donkey Grill down the street - just like you always have!"
Tom Hoefling , March 25, 2012
PS ... if you want to eat at a place that actually provides everything that's advertised, and where the food is great, visit SelfGovernment.US!
"Every man, and every body of men on earth, possesses the right of self-government."