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.

7 Responses to “Choice”

  1. Rick October 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Thank you for your insight and “voice of reason”. I enjoy your posts and level of thought you put into them. I’m with you on this one. Election wise, at times, my one voice seems fairly meek, but there is yours, and the next one down the street, and so on….I’m voting my concious and gut feeling. Oh, and my core beliefs!

  2. Rich October 18, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    Nice article, although I suspect I disagree with your perception as to which (unnamed) candidate has more “shared experience.”

    And one gentle correction – China’s army is much, much larger than ours. And that’s just active military. If you include reserves, then Iran, india, Vietnam, and both Koreas are larger than us as well.

  3. kelihasablog October 19, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    Nice blog…. I loved all the historical quotes. I’m sure some of those guys are rolling over in their graves by now, but as you say, we are all the sum of all of our life experiences. Those experiences makes us who we are and help shape our dreams and goals. Personally, I have to go with my the lesser of the two evils…. as some say. Through research however, I have found that I really didn’t know much about one that I thought I didn’t particularly care for…. but now, having really delved in, I find that i really have a deep respect for this person. We all have to vote with our hearts & minds… this one is going to be important.

  4. The Meandering Matriarch October 19, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    I’m pleased to tell you that I have just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. You may choose to accept or not. If you do accept the award there are some rules . . .

    ▪ Thank the blogger who nominated you
    ▪ Place the award on your site.
    ▪ Share 7 random things about yourself.
    ▪ Nominate 15 blogs. Let them know they’ve been nominated and how to accept the award.

    Thank you always for a great (and inspiring!) blog. MM

  5. missriete October 20, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    I follow the upcoming election with great interest and I have to say, I don’t envy you. I for one wouldn’t know what to do … a sentiment shared with many Americans, as I have come to understand.

  6. midsoutherner October 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    “If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

    How prophetic.

    The hour has come. Tyranny and oppression are upon us in the form of the Patriot Act, the TSA, the NDAA…the list goes on and on.

    As for evil, the lesser of two evils is still evil.

  7. Robert October 22, 2012 at 2:47 am #

    “A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.”
    It’s amazing how many people know so little about our own history and heritage and how prescient the founders were with regard to the basic principles of popular government which in many ways have not changed since the revolution. Thomas Jefferson warned of our first economic crisis, the crash of 1819, in 1817. In that warning he actually used the term “bubble” for the rapid expansion of bank credit that he knew would implode. Yet our government leaders were all surprised by the implosion of the credit bubble in 2008. Ask people on the street basic questions such as “From which country did we gain our independence?” and you get a blank stare. We need a renewal of our heritage in education. We need to look at what these “dead, white men” were saying because they still speak to us.

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