Sunday, March 22, 2009

American Values

Liberty and self-reliance: How often have you noticed these values being mentioned, championed, raised in the center of debate, or placed at or near the center of the set of values to which we are devoted?

These are no longer core American values. They haven't been for many decades. They are central values for many Americans, but they have faded from the common set. The common set has at its core prosperity and equal distribution of wealth. American political values and virtues have been replaced by these. The replacement was driven by wealth, envy, resentment, hatred, and sloth.

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
-John Adams

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
-Thomas Jefferson

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. -Thomas Jefferson

[A] wise and frugal government...shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. -Thomas Jefferson

I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
-James Madison

If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.
-James Madison

There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
-James Madison

Hat tip: Mark Alexander.