Saturday, September 03, 2011

...and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown

"Towards the preservation of your Government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown."  - George Washington, Farewell Address
"If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed." - ibid

We should pay more attention to that guy.

1 comment:

Joan of Argghh! said...

We keep thinking the world was born yesterday and we must re-invent hard-won wisdom.

Thanks for this.