Perspectives on Politics vol. 3
PERSPECTIVES in POLITICS Volume 3 *note that numerous times in history quotes are attributed to an individual and it turns out that may not be the case. Abraham Lincoln is just one example. So the attributions may not always be accurate as given.
Fanciful thinking has consequences not only for how one understands the past but, perhaps more importantly, how one envisions the future. People, especially those who are hurting, need to know that they can improve their lives through effort, and they do have choices — even now.
This is not to ignore the systemic forces at play in our current mess. Our fiscal, monetary and regulatory policies, let alone our consumerist culture, encouraged indebtedness for housing and education. But does the mere fact of readily available credit absolve someone of all responsibility to evaluate the costs and benefits of taking on debt? Does buyer’s remorse absolve someone of the responsibility to repay the money borrowed for the regrettable purchase?
And lest we sound like the accusing friends of Job, we acknowledge that far too many people suffer for no fault of their own. We all share an ethical responsibility to provide assistance to those caught in the demoralizing downdraft of impoverishment or illness. But even this need not be done by large, centralized organizations if it can be done as well or better by smaller and simpler organizations.
Genuine independence is about being free from broader influences. Empowering choice and genuine accountability in financial decisions can help individuals remain independent when broad financial hardship hits. And it is essential to help them return to independence should they falter. Deseret News Editorial Nov. 6, 2011
Man is not free unless government is limited…As government expands, liberty contracts. Ronald Reagan
With every dollar we take from Washington, we lose that much more of our state’s freedoms. … we must always be on guard to defend the principles we regard as fundamental. That’s why we must urge our fellow citizens to look to civil society-
- neighborhoods, churches, community groups, families, and private organizations—to solve social problems, rather than always turning to the government. Things change a lot in politics. Politicians come and go, legislation passes or fails. Sometimes, leaders we thought we could trust let us down. But some things should never change—- our governing principles, and our commitment to basic ideas of limited government, individual responsibility, and strong families. Utah Congressman Rob Bishop in Nov. 2011 letter on behalf of the Utah Sutherland Institute.
....human nature is such that human beings need to be governed. We need government if we are not to descend into anarchy. But since human beings will make up the government, government itself must be limited or it will become tyrannical. Just as we outside the government require to be governed, those inside the government require to be governed. And that has to be strictly arranged because those inside the government need, and they will have, a lot of power.
Against this way of thinking, Wilson argued that progress and evolution had brought human beings to a place and time where we didn’t have to worry about limited government. He rejected what the Founders identified as a fixed or unchanging human nature, and thought we should be governed by an elite class of people who are not subject to political forces or constitutional checks and balances—a class of people such as we find in our modern bureaucracy. This form of government would operate above politics, acting impartially in accordance with reason.
I side with Thomas Jefferson when he said, “We are the friends of liberty everywhere, custodians only of our own.” Foreign affairs are prudential matters, and prudential matters are not subject to narrow rules laid out in advance. But that practical statement by Jefferson is a brilliant guide.
Public morality also includes laws supporting the family. Human beings were made for the family, and we should uphold that. It is hard to raise kids right, and it takes a long time. Laws should support that effort, not undermine it. This extends to reducing the size of government so that it does not become a burden on families.If families do not raise children, then the government will. What then becomes of limited government?
Regarding lengthy and burdensome federal laws.”Ask yourself, who gets powerful under a system like that? The answer is, whoever has the power to interpret the rules. They can do whatever they want.”
…in our country, we are supposed to have a very powerful government in order for it to do what it must, but also a government of a far different character than the kind we have today. The distinction between constitutional government and bureaucratic government is fundamental. Larry P. Arnn President of Hillsdale College in an interview by the Hoover Institution Oct. 2011
The benefits of federal spending accrue to small groups who have incentives to organize and agitate for more and more spending, whereas the costs of federal spending are diffused across the whole population, so that no one has a counterbalancing incentive to organize and agitate against spending. Therefore, you get this ratchet that always leads in the direction of greater spending. Peter Robinson
Those people who talk most about compassion are often those people who define compassion as getting the State to spend more on their particular interest. Margaret Thatcher
Benjamin Franklin’s “Rising Sun” analogy given during the wrapping up session of The U.S. Constitutional Convention gives us an attitudinal model for these turbulent times we live in. Madison reports that he said, “often in the course of the Session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting Sun” (http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2007/09/The-Formation-of-the-Constitution).
. . . We should not be concerned about finding out what is wrong with America, but we should be finding what is right about America and should be speaking optimistically and enthusiastically about America. Harold B. Lee
We would hope that we might be instrumental in developing statesmen — men not only with unsurpassed excellence of training in the law, but also with an unwavering faith that the Constitution of the United States was divinely inspired and written by men whom God raised up for this very purpose [D&C 101:80]. Harold B. Lee
President Harry S. Truman stated in his address to the Attorney General’s Conference, February 1950: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount. The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don’t think we emphasize that enough these days.” “If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except for the State.”
The framers of our Bill of Rights thought that religious freedom deserved double-barreled protection. Americans would have the right of “free exercise” of their chosen faith, and government was forbidden to foster or control religion by means of an “establishment of religion.” Today, an increasing number of scholars and activists say that religion is not so special after all. Churches are just another charity, faith is just another ideology and worship is just another weekend activity. Michael W. McConnell, a Stanford Law Professor and former judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals
Religious values and political realities are so interlinked in the origin and perpetuation of this nation that we cannot lose the influence of Christianity in the public square without seriously jeopardizing our freedoms. I maintain that this is a political fact, well qualified for argument in the public square by religious people whose freedom to believe and act must always be protected by what is properly called our “First Freedom,” the free exercise of religion. Dallin H. Oaks (2009)
There are simply too many troublesome issues in our society, …for people who share a belief in the redemptive power of Jesus Christ to allow theological differences to prevent them from working together to stem the tide of growing secularism and the erosion of moral values. Robert L. Millet
“The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates and regulates” – Tacitus
“A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.” Milton Friedman
Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain. John F. Kennedy
“When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both..” – James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union
The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government—-lest it come to dominate our lives and interests. Patrick Henry
The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting an inexperienced man like him with the presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the price of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president. From the newspaper Prager Zeitung, Czach Republic April 2010 . found in Range Magazine Spring 2012.
In a bureaucratic system, useless work drives out useful work. Milton Friedman
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. John Adams
In a bureaucratic system, useless work drives out useful work. Milton Friedman
Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. Calvin Coolidge
Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. Winston Churchill
“I am convinced that, if the people of our nation raise their collective voices, we can effect a renewal of the art of legislating — and restore the luster of a Senate that still has the potential of achieving monumental solutions to our nation’s most urgent challenges. I look forward to helping the country raise those voices to support the Senate returning to its deserved status and stature — but from outside the institution.” Olympia Snow (retiring Senator in 2012)
Montesquieu’s widely read Spirit of the Laws described the civic personality that is right for a given form of government. Tyrannies required citizens motivated and guided by fear. The worthy monarchy depends on subjects devoted to honor. A self-governing republic calls for those committed to virtue. But what are the sources of virtue, and to what extent were they effective in shaping the character of Colonial America?
Early America was settled by devout Puritan Christians whose successors were attached to the same Christian teachings, now adapted to a New World, rapidly expanding in population and in commerce. It was, however, less the land of “rugged individualism” than of a principled communitarianism focused on the common good. It was precisely this combination of piety and sober deliberation—this immunity to fashionable and abstract philosophies—that preserved it from the excesses that consumed revolutionary France. The humanistic Calvinism that guided so many colonial lives was further enlarged by trust in the common sense and rationality shared by all; a common sense and rationality that would stand as the ultimate arbiter over the claims of authority. Introduction to the course American Ideals by Daniel Robinson
The science of government is a consideration of the procedures and extent to which the official representatives of one group of citizens can impose restrictions on the freedom of another group. Decisions on the extent to which government power should restrict the freedom of individuals are among the most difficult ones we face in an organized society. How much should zoning laws restrict a person’s right to use his own property? How many taxes should we extract, and what compulsory functions should government perform with them? How much harm can society allow a person to do to himself, such as by self-mutilation or drug abuse? These are all questions of freedom. We have to accept some government limitations on freedom if we who live in communities are to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. A condition of uninhibited individual freedom would allow the strong to oppress the weak. It would allow the eccentric desires of one person to restrict the freedom of many. Dallin H. Oaks Free Agency and Freedom,” in Second Nephi, The Doctrinal Structure rsc.byu.edu
“It is not difficult today to find people who share a concern about the lack of civility in our society in general, and our public discourse in particular. What is difficult is to find people who believe they can do anything about the degree of civility in our political processes beyond remaining civil themselves. “ “The uncomfortable truth is that if we are to solve the difficult problems we face as a national community, we must act affirmatively and with courage and clarity to reclaim civility in the public square. Civility is quite simply the glue that holds us together and allows us as citizens of a representative democracy to dialogue with each other.” excerpts from Reclaiming Civility in the Public Square
“Civility is not weakness. Civility is strength. Real strength rests in that intersection between who I believe I am and what I believe and between who you are and what you believe. And even though we disagree deeply, our first persistent attempt should be to enter into respectful dialog.” Cindi Love
Before we can address the illegal immigration crisis, we must first get control of our Nation’s borders. Until we take that step, we won’t be able to solve this problem, yet it amazes me that Washington cannot even get this done. In Congress, I’ll fight to complete a permanent, impenetrable border fence between the US and Mexico. I’ll also push for policies that place our National Guard on the border to defend our citizens against Mexican drug cartels. There’s simply no reason why Arizona families should fear kidnapping and violence from Mexican drug lords. I oppose taxpayer funded handouts to illegal aliens, including welfare and college tuition. We cannot afford to bankrupt the system any longer. Jason Buck
AGRICULTURE is our wisest pursuit, because it will, in the end, contribute most of real wealth, good morals, and happiness. Tom Jefferson.
If we resort for a criterion to the different principles on which different forms of government are established, we may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior. (James Madison, James Federalist No. 39)
The regular distribution of power into distinct departments; the introduction of legislative balances and checks; the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behavior; the representation of the people in the legislature by deputies of their own election… They are means, and powerful means, by which the excellences of republican govenrment may be retained and its imperfections lessened or avoided. (Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Federalist No. 9, 1787)
The republican principle demands that the deliberate sense of the community should govern the conduct of those to whom they intrust the management of their affairs; but it does not require an unqualified complaisance to every sudden breeze of passion or to every transient impulse which the people may receive from the arts of men, who flatter their prejudices to betray their interests. (Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Federalist No. 71, March 18, 1788)
George Washington: The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people. (Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801)
Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question. (Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801)
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, Thomas letter to John Taylor, May 28, 1816)
August 1861 proclamation by Abraham Lincoln: “It is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to his chastisements; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and to pray, with all fervency and contrition, for the pardon of their past offences, and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action.”
"Ignorance creates a vacuum and vacuums, especially in politics, abhor decency. Gregory J. Kreig of ABC News
Legality alone cannot be the guide for moral people. The moral question is whether it’s right to take what belongs to one person to give to another to whom it does not belong. Walter Williams
“Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.” — Mahatma Gandhi
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Ben Franklin
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity…And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” George Washington Farewell Address
“But neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. Here therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.” Samuel Adams
“The government of heaven, if wickedly administered, would become one of the worst governments upon the face of the earth. No matter how good a government is, unless it is administered by righteous men, an evil government will be made of it.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:177.
To begin with, a direct democracy was impractical for a country of four million people and about a half million square miles. As a result, the delegates had to design the structure of a constitutional, representative democracy, what they called “a Republican Form of Government.” Similarly, James Madison, who is known as the “Father of the Constitution,” stated his assumption that there had to be “sufficient virtue among men for self-government.” He argued in the Federalist Papers that “republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form.” (Dallin H. Oaks, “The Divinely Inspired Constitution,” Ensign, Feb. 1992, 68)
Our Constitutional government is based on the principle of representation. The principle of representation means that we have delegated to an elected official the power to represent us. The Constitution provides for both direct representation and indirect representation. Both forms of representation provide a tempering influence on pure democracy. The intent was to protect the individual’s and the minority’s rights to life, liberty, and the fruits of their labors—property. These rights were not to be subject to majority vote. (Ezra Taft Benson, “The Constitution—A Glorious Standard,” Ensign, Sept. 1987)
How can a republican [freely elected] government stand? There is only one way for it to stand. It can endure; but how? It can endure, as the government of heaven endures, upon the eternal rock of truth and virtue; and that is the only basis upon which any government can endure. Brigham Young -(Discourse of B.Y, 355).
I like a good government, and then I like to have it wisely and justly administered. The government of heaven, if wickedly administered, would become one of the worst governments upon the face of the earth. No matter how good a government is, unless it is administered by righteous men, an evil government will be made of it (DNW, 3 June 1863, 2). Brigham Young, 36: Earthly Governments and the Kingdom of God, 267)
“At this time I have seen and put in study to look into all the scriptures…which our Lord opened to my understanding (I could sense his hand upon me), so that it became clear to me that it was feasible to navigate from here to the Indies; and he gave me the will to execute the idea… I have already said that for the execution of the Indies, neither reason nor mathematics, nor world maps were profitable to me; rather the prophecy of Isaiah was completely fulfilled. And this is what I wish to report here for the consideration of your Highness.” Letter in 1501 from Columbus to the King and Queen (of Spain) Book of Prophecies by C. Columbus Quicentenary Edition.
…one should not expect perfection—one certainly should not expect all of his personal preferences—in a document that must represent a consensus. One should not sulk over a representative body’s failure to attain perfection. Americans are well advised to support the best that can be obtained in the circumstances that prevail. That is sound advice not only for the drafting of a constitution but also for the adoption and administration of laws under it. Dallin H. Oaks 1992 (Divinely Inspired Constitution)
The health and stability of a modern democracy depends, not only on the justice of its basic structure but also on the qualities and attitudes of its citizens, for example their sense of identity and how they view potentially competing forms of national, regional, ethnic or religious identities; their ability to tolerate and work together with others who are different from themselves; their desire to participate in the political process in order to promote the public good and hold political authorities accountable; their willingness to show self restraint and exercise personal responsibility in their economic demands and in personal choices which affect their health and the environment. Without citizens who possess these qualities, democracies become difficult to govern, even unstable. Will Kymlicka and Wayne Norman in Return of the Citizen in ETHICS January 1994 University of Chicago.
The scenes of violence and mindless criminality seen on the streets of our major cities in recent days is perhaps only to be expected. For a number of decades we have experienced a decline in moral standards and an absence of discipline that has resulted in breakdown within our society. Two or three generations have grown up in a blame culture where every problem has to be anyone else’s fault except their own. Accepting personal responsibility for our actions has become the exception rather than the rule. Many young people have grown up with no respect for their parents, no respect for school teachers and no respect for any figure of authority. The result of this is that they demand respect as a right rather than as something to be earned. When people have come to a mind-set that says ‘what’s yours in mine and what’s mine is my own’ there is a real breakdown in social norms. Whatever area is targeted by this mass criminality, it is normally those who come from socially deprived areas and who are under-educated who are responsible. christiantoday.com Aug. 2011
If you don’t rely on the government, then they lose most of their power to control your actions or guide your opinions. This is precisely why the government perpetually seeks ways of making us rely on them. By removing our ability to take responsibility for our own actions and be held accountable for the results, they gain control. This is also why, every time the government “helps” us acquire a service, the cost of that service goes through the roof—that way, it makes others have to turn to the government for that same service. We’ve reached a point where people can’t even imagine privately funding education, saving for their own retirements, paying their own doctors, or deciding what to put into their own bodies—a point where people expect the government to censor the TV so they don’t have to take responsibility for what they watch, where people expect the government to outlaw drugs and prostitution so they don’t have to take responsibility for their own poor decisions, and where people expect the government to ban everything that they don’t personally agree with (denying others the opportunity to make their own decisions). Like dogs on leashes, people forget about the leash as long as they get an easy meal once in a while.
July 5, 2012 Internet comment from “The Keeper” in response to article by Heidi Toth in the Provo Daily Herald Laws are generally based on common sense (i.e. don’t drive drunk, respect others and their belongings). Generally if all people at all times followed common sense, laws would generally not be necessary. Other laws are used to regulate things such as: trade, immigration and sales. Mainstream society sees law as a tool to regulate. Law is important because it keeps society running. Without law there would be chaos and it would be survival of the fittest and everyman for himself…not an ideal lifestyle for most. Then the world would be unsafe and there would be no order in society. Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/
“To survive, a society needs an amount of goodwill — people willing to treat each other with respect and to give of themselves to the community. Civility is the lifeblood of a society.” P. M. Forni
“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’ ” Cathy said. “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.” Dan Cathy Chick-fil-A President in 2012
Ether 2:12 “Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.” Governments are notoriously bad at running businesses because government businesses are always monopolies. Government, unlike corporations, can keep their books as they please. John Steele Gordon author of An Empire of Wealth.
Politicians make political decisions, not economic ones. They’re playing with other peoples money.
“What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that its people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms….The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” -Thomas Jefferson
I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” -Thomas Jefferson
“Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our` servant, not our master!” -Thomas Jefferson
“The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.” -Thomas Jefferson
“Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day, but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, unalterable through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.” -Thomas Jefferson
“False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from man because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, will respect the less important arbitrary ones….and which, if strictly obeyed would put a end to personal liberty?....Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; They serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than a armed man.” -Thomas Jefferson
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be… The people cannot be safe without information. Where the press is free and every man is able to read, all is safe.” -Thomas Jefferson
“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective ways of preserving peace.” -Pres. George Washington
“Government is not reason: it is not eloquence; it is a force! Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” -Pres. George Washington
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” -Voltaire
“Experience has shown that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” -Thomas Jefferson
“That the said constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience or to prevent the people of the united states, who are peaceable Citizens, from keeping their own arms.” -Samuel Adams
“If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” -Samuel Adams “Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order in the world as well as property. Horrid mischief would ensue when the law-abiding(are) deprived the use of them.” -Thomas Paine
” These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” -Thomas Paine
“You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in their struggle for independence.” -C.A. Beard
“I heartily accept the motto, that the government is best which governs the least.” -Henry David Thoreau
“They that give up liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety.” -Benjamin Franklin
“The very fame of our strength and readiness would be a means of discouraging our enemies; for ‘tis a wise and true saying, that one sword often keeps another in the scabbard. The way to secure peace is to be prepared for war. They that are on their guard, and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure and negligent.” -Benjamin Franklin
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword, because the whole body of the people are armed and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, in any pretense, raised in the United States.” -Noah Webster
“If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of the original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government.” -Alexander Hamilton
” If all Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They’ll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government.” -Pres. Dwight Eisenhower
I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me also remind you that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!” -Barry Goldwater
Unity is power, and when I reflect on the importance of it to the stability of all governments, I am astounded at the silly moves of persons and parties, to foment discord in order to ride into power on the current of popular excitement’ nor am I less surprised at the stretches of power, or restrictions or right, which too many often appear as acts of legislators, to pave the way to some favorite political schemes…. Joseph Smith Feb. 1844 General Smith’s Views on the Government and Policy of the U.S.
I have to ask myself three questions anytime I’m about to make a new commitment as a mayor … Is it affordable? Is it sustainable? Is it my job? In other words, is it what I was elected to do, or constitutional? ... If it doesn’t fit (those) criteria, then I don’t address that.” Mia Love Utah Congressional candidate in 2012
Mia Love RE: the Congressional Black Caucus “It’s demagoguery. They sit there and ignite emotions and ignite racism when there isn’t,” Love said. “They use their positions to instill fear. Hope and change is turned into fear and blame. Fear that everybody is going lose everything and blaming Congress for everything instead of taking responsibility.”
“I will not stand by and leave a legacy of debt and dependency,”
If the U.S. can’t control its spending and keeps borrowing money, nobody will look to it as a place of limitless horizons. “It reflects a government that has gotten too big, tried to do too many things and frankly not doing most of them very well. The American concept of government has always understood that if the government does everything, the citizen has very little required of him or her.” the essence of who Americans are is changing. People who have lost control of their lives due to the economic crisis or housing market crash are finding reasons to not start businesses or go to college. People start to ask why some have been given so much while they have been given so little, which leads to a sense of entitlement. Americans are feeling great anxiety over their financial circumstances, but the government continues to stall economic growth with bad policies. Government can do a lot of things, “but it can never deliver compassion and hope” Those things come from churches and community and civic organizations. The world is not hearing the United States say it will stand for free people, free markets and the value of freedom. “The world needs America’s leadership at this point in time and we’re not getting American leadership. What we’re getting is the muted voice of America through the security council.” Condoleeza Rice in Utah in Sept. 2012 reported in the Deseret News
The feminist error was to embrace the value of the workplace as greater than the value of the home. Feminism has endorsed the public sphere as inherently more constitutive of women’s worth than the private sphere. Feminists have established as their criterion of success and self-worth an equal representation with men at the top of the career ladder. The consequence of this feminist scale of values is a terrible and unjust devaluation of women who work at home. Dinesh D’Souza in Letters to a Young Conservative
“Today courts wrongly interpret separation of church and state to mean that religion has no place in the public arena, or that morality derived from religion should not be permitted to shape our laws. Somehow freedom for religious expression has become freedom from religious expression. Secularists want to empty the public square of religion and religious-based morality so they can monopolize the shared space of society with their own views. Dinesh D”Souza in What’s So Great About Christianity
In America the destiny of the young is not given to them, but created by them. …In most countries in the world, your fate and your identity are handed to you; in America, you determine them for yourself. America is a country where you get to write the script of your own life. Your life is like a blank sheet of paper, and you are the artist. This notion of being the architect of your own destiny is the incredibly powerful idea that is behind the worldwide appeal of America. Young people especially find irresistible the prospect of authoring the narrative of their own lives. Dinesh D”Souza sfgate.com 10 things to celebrate , June 29, 2003
America has found a solution to the problem of religious and ethnic conflict that continues to divide and terrorize much of the world. The American answer is twofold. First, separate the spheres of religion and government so that no religion is given official preference but all are free to practice their faith as they wish. Second, do not extend rights to racial or ethnic groups but only to individuals; in this way, all are equal in the eyes of the law, opportunity is open to anyone who can take advantage of it, and everybody who embraces the American way of life can “become American.” Dinesh D”Souza sfgate.com 10 things to celebrate , June 29, 2003
….let us admit that in a free society, freedom will frequently be used badly. Freedom, by definition, includes the freedom to do good or evil, to act nobly or basely. But if freedom brings out the worst in people, it also brings out the best. The millions of Americans who live decent, praiseworthy lives desire our highest admiration because they have opted for the good when the good is not the only available option. Even amid the temptations of a rich and free society, they have remained on the straight path. Their virtue has special luster because it is freely chosen. By contrast, the societies that many Islamic fundamentalists seek would eliminate the possibility of virtue. If the supply of virtue is insufficient in a free society like America, it is almost nonexistent in an unfree society like Iran’s. The reason is that coerced virtues are not virtues at all. Consider the woman who is required to wear a veil. There is no modesty in this, because she is being compelled. Compulsion cannot produce virtue, it can only produce the outward semblance of virtue. Thus a free society like America’s is not merely more prosperous, more varied, more peaceful, and more tolerant—it is also morally superior to the theocratic and authoritarian regimes that America’s enemies advocate. .” Dinesh D”Souza sfgate.com 10 things to celebrate , June 29, 2003
“Some believe that sports build character. I believe that sports reveal character. I see too many players who are characters today. I like a player with character.” — John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach.
Political issues necessarily involve the ultimate questions of philosophy and religion because politics cannot escape basic questions of morality and the common good. We are reminded of this when proponents of an issue speak in terms of human rights.
Few dispute the idea that human beings have rights, but the language of rights is inevitably controversial and risks becoming meaningless unless it is connected to a definite understanding of who we are as human beings and who or what is the source and foundation of these rights. While we might be able temporarily to avoid difficult moral arguments by assenting to the virtually limitless expansion of certain “rights” (inevitably to the detriment of the other “rights”), responsible and far-sighted thinking requires us to ask hard questions concerning the requirements and purposes of our natures. In particular, today it is more vital than ever to examine carefully the many ways in which human well-being depends upon the basic institution of the family.
The best way to nourish such responsible thinking and thus to see beyond the narrow ideology of open-ended “rights” is by re-engaging the philosophical and religious traditions of the West and the core arguments of the American Founding. When explored seriously in connection with the best contemporary scholarship and reflection on human nature and the common good, these traditions can yet shed indispensable light on the most challenging problems we face today as individuals, families and communities. Ralph Hancock johnadamscenter.com
Individuals of faith, joined in communities of faith, forming a civil society imbued with the many faiths of those many communities, own this country. The state’s authority comes from us, and its power—the power of our elected employees—cannot be greater than what we can rightfully give it. We cannot give the state power over the conscience of men and women, because we do not ourselves have any right to come between God and our fellow citizens. The sooner our elected employees remember these foundational truths, the sooner we may begin to recover a healthy notion of religious freedom. Matthew Franck Imprimis magazines Sept. 2012
....personal responsibility, “doing the right thing by choice,” is the one factor most decisive in America’s success story It’s a truism that personal responsibility is the flip side of individual liberty. They are inseparable, and the practice of each is indispensable to the enjoyment of the other, not only in the life of any man or woman but also in our life together as social beings. But think about how the freedom side of the coin, often perverted as entitlement or ease, dominates today’s political discourse and cultural climate. Responsibility and self-discipline are too often disparaged these days, replaced by claims on others and excuses for one’s own poor judgments. Lawrence Reed fee.org Oct. 2012
...the whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence. The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups. Henry Hazlitt 1946 in Economics in One Lesson fee.org
Lewis W. Douglas At Harvard University in May 1935: Will we choose to subject ourselves — this great country — to the despotism of bureaucracy, controlling our every act, destroying what equality we have attained, reducing us eventually to the condition of impoverished slaves of the state? Or will we cling to the liberties for which man has struggled for more than a thousand years? It is important to understand the magnitude of the issue before us. … If we do not elect to have a tyrannical, oppressive bureaucracy controlling our lives, destroying progress, depressing the standard of living … then should it not be the function of the Federal government under a democracy to limit its activities to those which a democracy may adequately deal, such for example as national defense, maintaining law and order, protecting life and property, preventing dishonesty, and … guarding the public against … vested special interests? From The Liberal Tradition: A Free People and a Free Economy by Lewis W. Douglas. quoted by Richard M. Ebeling in Freedom Daily, February 1998,
. If a thief goes house to house robbing everybody in the neighborhood, then heads off to a nearby shopping mall to spend his ill-gotten loot, it is not assumed that because his spending “stimulated” the stores at the mall he has thereby performed a national service or provided a general economic benefit. Likewise, when the government hires someone to catalog the many ways of cooking spinach, his tax-supported paycheck cannot be counted as a net increase to the economy because the wealth used to pay him was simply diverted, not created. Economists today must still battle this “magical thinking” every time more government spending is proposed — as if money comes not from productive citizens, but rather from the tooth fairy. Lawrence Reed in Great Myths of the Depression fee.org
Experience has shown time and again that a roller-coaster monetary policy is enough by itself to produce a roller-coaster economy. Lawrence Reed in Great Myths of the Depression fee.org
Inflation is very much with us but it must end someday. A currency’s value is not bottomless. Its erosion must cease either because government stops its reckless printing or prints until it wrecks the money. But surely, which way it concludes will depend in large measure on whether its victims come to understand what it is and where it comes from. Meanwhile, our economy looks like a roller coaster because Congresses, Presidents and the agencies they’ve empowered never cease their monetary mischief. Are you tired of politicians blaming each other, scrambling to cover their behinds and score political points in the midst of a crisis, and piling debts upon debts they audaciously label “stimulus packages”? Why do so many Americans want to trust them with their health care, education, retirement and a host of other aspects of their lives? It’s madness writ large. The antidote is the truth. We must learn the lessons of our follies and resolve to fix them now, not later. Lawrence Reed in Great Myths of the Depression fee.org
“Inflation is like sin; every government denounces it and every government practices it.” Frederick Leith-Ross
For some liberals, the concept of American exceptionalism smacks of a kind of dumb chauvinism. Great nations may have greater grace periods, but they don’t get blank checks. Bills come due. Populations age and become more expensive to support. Interest rates do not remain near-zero forever. Overtaxed people figure out new ways to shelter their income from the government, or they renounce their citizenship. Whenever advocates of an expansive welfare state start talking about “economic patriotism”—a phrase Mr. Obama has lately been trying out on the campaign trail—you know the scoundrels really have found their last refuge. By BRET STEPHENS wsj.com 11/2012
Disagreement is critical to the well-being of our nation. But we must carry on our arguments with the realization that those with whom we disagree are not our enemies; rather, they are our colleagues in a great enterprise. When we respect each other enough to respond carefully to argument, we are filling roles necessary in a republic. Thomas B. Griffith BYU Forum Sept. 2012
“Civility, has to do with . . . the respect we owe others as . . . fellow human beings. It is both an animating spirit and a mode of discourse. It establishes limits so we don’t treat opponents as enemies. And it helps inoculate us against one of the unrelenting temptations in politics (and in life more broadly), which is to demonize and dehumanize those who hold views different from our own. . . . Civility, properly understood, advances rigorous arguments for a simple reason: it forecloses ad hominem attacks, which is the refuge of sloppy, undisciplined minds.” Peter Wehner, “Civility As a Political Virtue,” Commentary, Dec. 1, 2010, commentarymagazine.com
For many public servants, partisanship seems to have taken precedence over the motives that drew them to political involvement in the first place—to promote the public, or common, good and to improve the lives of Americans. Looking at the controversial, adversarial nature of politics today, we might ask, who in the world would want to get involved? The partisanship, the bickering, the ridicule, and the name-calling are all legitimate reasons to think twice about jumping into the political arena. These unsavory by-products also dim our hopes of making a positive difference in our government, communities, and society. I believe that partisanship—in the sense that we claim a political party and work within the structure of a largely partisan system to participate in the process of government and engage in robust, civil dialogue—is compatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
However, partisanship—in the sense that we demean, belittle, and separate ourselves from those who hold differing political views and that we place party success ahead of the common good—is not compatible with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For the personnel system of democracy to succeed, we must find ways to actively and effectively engage in the political process. We need to find ways to debate issues, tackle challenges, and find solutions together. As we run for office, sit on boards or commissions or volunteer on campaigns, we can employ politics as a constructive means to address the challenges we face in our country.
Can we engage in politics without becoming negatively partisan? Yes. Politics is not a bad thing. Partisanship need not be a bad thing. Remember, politics is the personnel system of the democracy that we love. Is getting involved in politics worth occasional discomfort? Yes. Our democracy is worth it. Can we improve the quality of our political dialogue? Yes. We can practice being more civil. Karen Hale magazine.byu.edu fall 2012adapted from remarks she gave at a BYU panel discussion on partisanship on Jan. 24, 2012.
The 2012 election emerged as a choice between two very different visions of government – whether it occupies a major, front-row place in American lives or is in the background as a less-obtrusive facilitator for private enterprise and entrepreneurship. David Espo, Associated Press Nov. 7, 2012
Something is amiss in the great nation called America. Ominous sirens warning this reality can be heard emanating loudly through invisible winds of change circulating our towns and cities. The American people are being strangulated; unbeknownst to the masses they are being transformed and conditioned, becoming the entity the elite have long sought, the culmination of decades of social engineering designed to make of hundreds of millions the slaves of times past and the automatons of the future.
Yet in this present day we find ourselves in, struggling to comprehend a world gone mad, unable to discern neither the direction we are headed nor the inevitable course time is guiding us on. It is because of what has been done to us, and is presently being done to our children, that we fail to comprehend the severity of the road that lies ahead. Quite successful have the elite become in shifting the balance of power from the masses to themselves. How, one might wonder, has this been accomplished, especially when we are the many and they the few?
It is through the dumbing down of America, the methodical destruction and purposeful elimination of the means by which a society educates and enlightens itself. The evisceration of a system that extols accountability and dialogue, opens up the gates of opportunity with the keys of ability, questions authority and seeks debate, creates a wealth of knowledge and illuminates talent and that births an informed citizenry and creates free thinking, analytical minds has been slowly implemented for the last several decades. The dumbing down of America continues into the present, unrelenting and unhindered, squashing the masses for the benefit of the elite.
We must awaken from this lethargy catapulting us into a future missing freedom and individuality, happiness and a worthy existence. The dumbing down of America cannot be allowed to continue, for if it does,…. It is time to tell the children the truth. It is time to liberate ourselves from a system that is making us all automations. Freedom of thought, freedom of mind and freedom to live are our goals. The elimination of the virus inflicting ignorance and enslavement upon us and our children should be our mission.
The time to retake the American mind is upon us, and this starts with telling our children the truth of what our indifference, subservience and inability to act is condemning them to. For knowledge is power, the kryptonite that weakens the energy leading us to nothingness. They know this, which is why the dumbing down of America is taking place. Knowledge is a threat to their existence and continued control, which is why they want it destroyed. Education is liberation, something they want desperately to avoid. An enlightened populace is their nightmare; an ignorant citizenry their wet dream.
It is through the awakening of the masses that mountains are moved and canyons crossed. It is through the slumber of the masses that evil awakens. It is through our collective energy that those in power have no future and no place left to hide. The future of America is in our hands: either the dumbing down continues or the awakening commences. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info Manuel Valenzuela
“Leaders are the custodians of a nation’s ideals, of the beliefs it cherishes, of its permanent hopes, of the faith which makes a nation out of a mere aggregation of individuals.” Walter Lippman
Among basic values in this society are dignity of the individual, privilege with responsibility and freedom to pursue one’s own potentials as a creative and responsible individual. Society places these and others in the custody of its leaders. J.W. Fanning in Pillars of Leadership
“We cannot dream of a utopia in which all arrangements are ideal and everyone if flawless. It is a dream of death. Life is tumultuous–an endless losing and regaining of balance, a continuous struggle, never an assured victory. We need a new hard-bitten morale that enables us to face those truths and still strive with every ounce of energy to prevail. We can ask no guarantee of a secure and happy future. But if we want a future that will demand the best that is in us and lend meaning to our lives, we can have it.” “Of all the things that must be renewed, none are more important than the goals and values that move people to action. Leaders must conceive and articulate goals in ways that lift people out of their petty preoccupation and unite them toward higher goals. They must assert a vision of what the nation or community might be and must help the people know what they can be at their best. Leaders have a role in creating the state of mind that is the society. They must call for the kind of effort and restraint, drive and discipline that make for great performance.” John Gardner
I think the values we see in him (Mitt Romney) are not the values of this country. It’s just that simple. I just don’t think the country is what it was when we picked (former GOP President) Ronald Reagan.” Dave Woodard Political Scientist- Clemson Nov. 2012
Mike Huckabee Nov. 7, 2012 There is a lot to be disappointed by in the election results this evening and I am disappointed, but not despondent. Tonight’s results only remind me that our country has slipped into a deeper state of dependence on government than I wanted to believe. Where the Goliath of government has grown so too has our dependency. It’s also increasingly apparent to me that our real problems are not political, but spiritual. Both parties have failed to acknowledge that. Democrats have not wanted to even acknowledge the need for God in our public institutions, but sadly, many of the Republican leadership will acknowledge God, but not because they believe we should be humble before Him, but to use God in our speeches and platforms. We wear our love of Israel like a badge of courage but on the issues of life and marriage too many of our leaders are more like lambs than Lions of Judah. Well now maybe our Republican Party will look at itself in the mirror. I feel that we shouldn’t pack up and quit, but gear up and get ready for the next battle. That’s what we do as people of faith and a party of principle. We don’t stop believing what we believe. We do a better job of doing what we’re supposed to do. That’s how you attract voters and win elections. And that is how you save America from herself.
Socialism, in general, has a record of failure that’s so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. Thomas Sowell
It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth—-and listen to the song of the siren, till she transforms us into beasts… For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst’ and to provide for it. Patrick Henry
Our faith teaches that there is no safer reliance than upon the God of our fathers, who has so singularly favored the American people in every national trial, and who will not forsake us so long as we obey His commandments and walk humbly in his footsteps. President William McKinley
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln
We should measure welfare’s success by how many leave welfare, not by how many are added. President Ronald Reagan
All truth, in the long run, is only common sense clarified. Thomas H. Huxley
I fear you do not fully comprehend the danger of abridging the liberties of the people. Nothing but the sternest necessity can ever justify it. A government had better go to the extreme of toleration, than to do aught that could be construed into an interference with, or to jeopardize in any degree, the common rights of its citizens. Abraham Lincoln
A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. Dwight D. Eisenhower
Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage. Dwight D. Eisenhower
The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home. Confucius
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.” Robert F. Kennedy
This generation can have the greatest impact by making a difference in our own environment: our communities, companies, non-profit organizations, churches and synagogues, and local governments. Rather than playing politics, these organizations focus on the big problems troubling us: poverty, homelessness, global peace, education, job creation, the environment and healthy living. The future belongs to those who would unite us as one people, because of not in spite of our differences, and who are willing to work together to solve intractable problems. They are the real leaders. Bill George
A patient willingness to defer dividends is a hallmark of individual maturity. It is, parenthetically, a hallmark of free nations that their citizens can discipline themselves today for a better tomorrow. Yet America is in trouble (as are other nations) because patient persistence in a wise course of public policy now appears to be so difficult to attain. Too many impatient politicians buy today’s votes with tomorrow’s inflation. Neal A. Maxwell BYU Nov. 1979
It is tragic that the most dependent on government plus the least knowledgeable have together reelected one of our worst presidents. Paul J. Delmont
“With a hand that could be felt, the Lord opened my mind to the fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. . . This was a fire that burned within me who can doubt that this fire was not merely mine, but also of the Holy Spirit. Christopher Columbus rsc.byu.edu
Crime is the price society pays for abandoning character. James Q. Wilson
In the long run, the public interest depends on private virtue. James Q. Wilson
Without Liberty, Law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without Law, Liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness. James Q. Wilson
If a radical devolution of powers was possible, it would have been done before. The assumption of states’ rights is gone. There’s no support for it in the Supreme Court and there’s no support for it in public opinion. James Q. Wilson
Some people suggest that the problem is the separation of powers. If you had a parliamentary system, the struggle for power would not result in such complex peace treaties that empower so many different people to pursue so many contradictory aims. James Q. Wilson
There is no way the American public will sit still for the banning of or putting any significant restrictions on the kinds of guns they want. James Q. Wilson
In such a society (increasingly evil), morals decline to the lowest level; the family collapses, school breed anarchy and rebellion, business ethics are forgotten, entertainment becomes base and sordid, and printing presses (media) exude smut and filth, until the whole is strangled in its own deathbed and suffocated by its own stench. Homer Hailey In book “Revelation” 1979
In our public discourse today, America is increasingly defined by the activities of the federal government. If you landed from outer space, you might conclude that Washington is the hub of America and that what happens there drives and dictates the success or failure of America. You might conclude that the states are mere adjuncts of the federal government. This is not the idea of America, but this impression is what America will become if we do not reorient our way of thinking. Bobby Jindal
The moral hazard embedded in the explosion of social-welfare programs is plain. Transfers funded by other people’s money tend to foster a pernicious “something for nothing” mentality—especially when those transfers seem to be progressively and relentlessly growing, year by year. This “taker” mentality can only weaken civil society—even as it places ever-heavier burdens on taxpayers. Generosity is a virtue, on that we can all agree with President Obama. But being generous with other people’s money is not the same thing. Nicholas Eberstadt
General Douglas MacArthur stated: “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”
“Leaders have devoted themselves to politics, little knowing, it seems that political independence disappears without economic independence that economic independence is the foundation of political independence.” Booker T. Washington
Those who have accomplished the greatest results are those…who never grow excited or lose self-control, but are always calm, self-possessed, patient, and polite.” Booker t. Washington