Those who complain the most about the quality of the people in power are the ones who put all that power there in the first place. Well, what kind of people did they expect it all to attract, anyway? Sheesh!
The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it’s so rare.
Most of us think the American Dream is a birthright, but I’ve been around long enough to realize that, without constant care and vigilance, it can and will be whittle down to nothing. The threatening agent is not some foreign power, but people who don’t understand the proper relationship between the public and private arenas. In other words, the greatest threat to the American Dream is the idea that dreamers need close government scrutiny and control. Job one for us is to make sure the public sector does a limited job, and no more.
It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.
Government should be set up so that no man need be afraid of another.
Over the 20th century, the federal government has assumed a vast and unprecedented set of powers. Not only has the exercise of those powers upset the balance between federal and state governments; run roughshod over individuals, families, and firms; and reduced economic opportunity for all; but most of what the federal government does today — to put the point as plainly and candidly as possible — is illegitimate because done without explicit constitutional authority. The time has come to start returning power to the states and the people, to relimit federal power in our fundamental law, to restore constitutional government.
No good government but what is republican … the very definition of a republic is ‘an empire of laws, and not of men.’
National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.
It is curious that people tend to regard government as a quasi-divine, selfless, Santa Claus organization. Government was constructed neither for ability nor for the exercise of loving care; government was built for the use of force and for necessarily demagogic appeals for votes. If individuals do not know their own interests in many cases, they are free to turn to private experts for guidance. It is absurd to say that they will be served better by a coercive, demagogic apparatus.
And to say that society ought to be governed by the opinion of the wisest and best, though true, is useless. Whose opinion is to decide who are the wisest and best?