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Choice

18 Oct

On Choosing…

Over 200 years ago James Madison (the 4th president of the United States and one of our founding fathers) had these interesting thoughts about governance which I found to be quite relevant to our political and societal problems in 2012…

On providing a public education for all citizens:

“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
“A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce, or a tragedy, or perhaps both.”
“A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.”
On preserving both religion and government by their separation:
“And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.
“In no instance have… the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.”

On our politicians and politics:

“All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
On our need for government oversight and regulation:
“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
And finally on war:

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”      “Armies and debts and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.”

We already have the largest army the world has ever seen, and I seriously doubt that it is going to get any smaller. We have the largest debt that the world has ever seen and I also have serious doubts that it will be getting any smaller. So do any of us really believe that are taxes will be getting smaller any time soon no matter what anyone tells us?

As far as I can see our choice is between someone who might have some shared experiences with the way most of us live and someone who has no shared experience with the way most of us live. I have to go with the lesser of two evils and hope (I’d say pray but I think President Madison was spot on about that too) that we will discover the common sense necessary to restore our common sanity.

GRACEFIFTEENTEN

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