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A favorite Quote from John Adams and Thomas Jefferson

Posted by XenokRoy 5 years, 1 month ago to Philosophy
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"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."

For the day these two men were opposite. Adams was a big government man of the day, and Jefferson the small government side. yet both made sense more often than not. They could work with each other, find common ground and make it work. They combined with Franklin are the three who created the declaration of independence.

Where are the people like these of our generations?


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  • Posted by $ Ben_C 5 years, 1 month ago
    My favorite quote:
    A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
    Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency
    Alexander Tyler. Scottish historian quoting from others.

    How prophetic.
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    • Posted by lneil 5 years, 1 month ago
      Prophetic indeed. One would have to be asleep to not see this is happening now. We need to get back to our Constitutional Representative Republic.
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      • Posted by blackswan 5 years, 1 month ago
        Perverse incentives are amazingly strong for those who are shortsighted. If we'd had an industrial revolution in the time of Heron's engine, Star Trek wouldn't be fiction. Instead, people walked away from it, because they didn't want to give up their slaves. Just imagine all the progress that never made it to reality because of perverse incentives. It's sobering. It also tells you how much is lost by compromise with evil.
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    • Posted by edweaver 5 years, 1 month ago
      No doubt. This is exactly the reason our founders established a Republic with a Constitution. As long as there was strict adherence to the Constitution the Republic survives. As soon as the Constitution is set aside we become a Democracy, which by the way is what has been taught in schools for years, and the nation declines as stated in the quote. We are there in my opinion.
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  • Posted by edweaver 5 years, 1 month ago
    IMHO, there cannot/will not be people like those 3, or any of the other founders simply because there is no one in our generation that was forced to deal with the hardships of that day. We have lost many of the freedoms that they fought for but most people don't realize it. At that time there was no unemployment insurance, it was earn/catch/grow food or die. There was no welfare, it was work or die. Every single freedom lost back then was felt. It was either fight for freedom or die, literally. Unfortunately I don't believe we will have people of that caliber until life becomes so hard that the choices are freedom or death. I so wish to be wrong.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
      I sadly have to state that I agree with you.

      It bring up the question what can we do to help people understand that eventually we will get to where it is freedom or death, in a very uncomfortable way; really how do we help them understand we are all ready there. Only its not death of body that is faced if freedom is not taken its death of mind.
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      • Posted by edweaver 5 years, 1 month ago
        I wish I had the magic answer. I keep coming back to the fact the we really cannot make anyone see anything. They have to see it themselves, hopefully before there is no chance to return to freedom.
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  • Posted by walkabout 5 years, 1 month ago
    Hope exists -- given that above is true -- if we can, via the Article V convention, impose an amendment "sundowning " every law after a short, time-certain (e.g. 10 years at the federal level). Also, the COS is a chance to repeal the 16 & 17th amendments -- the vehicles of the rush of destruction.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 5 years, 1 month ago
    The schools have been indoctrinating the young
    people. Not only politically, but, I think, in the way
    they have been teaching children to (mis)use their
    minds. But one thing that could help is the growing
    home-schooling movement. Notwithstanding that a
    lot of parents are also doing it for religion's sake,
    still there may be a lot more of teaching true
    history of the United States, the Constitution,
    and more rationality than is being taught in the
    public school system.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 5 years, 1 month ago
    What Adams advocated in his day, in no way corresponds to the big government persons of today. He would be astounded and embarrassed by today's shenanigans. While Jefferson advocated the smallest government possible, he didn't think such an entity could be sustained He gave it 25 years or so. He would be amazed that it took 200 years to get this bad.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 5 years, 1 month ago
    The key was "Common ground" and not compromise. Both were principled in the manners of discussions.
    The common goal to solve a problem.
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    • Posted by JoleneMartens1982 5 years, 1 month ago
      That is the problem in my opinion, government is making the problems, to ensure political power and gain, they have little to no interest in solving real problems anymore. Someday we the objectivists will have much to rebuild.
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      • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 5 years, 1 month ago
        Yes...we will...what government is doing is called Hegelian Dialectic and is only practiced by those in the kakistocracy.:
        The worst and least qualified in society create a problem, get you to scream: JUST FIX IT and Wamo! the fix is in and it's just what they wanted in the beginning.
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  • Posted by krevello 5 years, 1 month ago
    Sadly, I think a lot of the people who are for political correctness and the big, protectionist state think they are enacting the legacy of these men. They think "the common good" is about proactive government adjudicating and legislating on some form of material parity rather than as a protector of equal rights, which, when secured, are the real common good. They've never read in depth any of the Founders.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 1 month ago
    One thing to note: the Founding Fathers were learned and studious men who had worked hard since youth. Washington had served as a scout in the French and Indian War. Jefferson was a wealthy landowner, but also a student and inventor. Adams entire family was heavily involved in the Boston political scene and he was schooled in law but also maintained a family farm. Franklin was an inventor and successful publisher. Most of the others had similar stories.

    These men also had an innate understanding of what was right: how people should be able to run their own lives. And that understanding and conviction ran so deep they were willing to pledge their "lives, fortunes, and sacred honor" on making it happen.

    That is primarily what we are missing in today's America: those with the internal drive to hold the course no matter what. Until we can rekindle that kind of fire in our progeny, this nation will continue to be run by the lazy and indolent who are too busy being entertained to study, learn, and educate themselves in the principles of freedom.
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    • Posted by $ CBJ 5 years, 1 month ago
      "These men also had an innate understanding of what was right: how people should be able to run their own lives." A right that Washington and Jefferson did not extend to their slaves.
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      • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
        Interesting side note of the times.

        Just over half of the signers of the declaration of independence had ancestor that had gone through the experience of "Communal living" in James Town. Two years of group think that killed more than 10,000 people followed by the first year of property rights which produced food for everyone, and kept the deaths down under 30 during that third winter.

        I think the stories from ancestors of that experience likely influenced the colonies, the love of individual and self governance and the culture that permeated the colonies of a study of government.

        100 years of preparation for the culture needed to have the government that came about, come about. :)

        James Town
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      • Posted by blackswan 5 years, 1 month ago
        These guys read the Greek classics, in which democracy was introduced, but slavery was allowed.
        2. The whole world was involved in slavery at that time. It was introduced to America through a black who enslaved another black, and it was backed by the courts. In fact, the Africans and Arabs were the initiators and maintainers of that system until TODAY.
        3. Slavery is a perverse incentive.

        Now, let's drop the slavery issue. The first countries who outlawed slavery were England and the US. It's time to pillory the others who were involved. If you don't want to do that, then drop the whole thing. It's being used to denigrate the greatest political economy ever created, and even worse, it's making the ignorant turn from the one thing that will improve their lives.
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        • Posted by $ CBJ 5 years, 1 month ago
          The whole world is involved in governments spying on their own citizens, so I guess we should drop that issue.

          The whole world is involved in government-controlled education, so I guess we should drop that issue.

          The whole world is involved in socialized medicine, so I guess we should drop that issue.

          The whole world is involved in the “war on drugs”, so I guess we should drop that issue.

          The whole world is involved in economic cronyism, so I guess we should drop that issue.

          The whole world is involved in fighting “climate change,” so I guess we should drop that issue.

          The fact that many of our founding fathers proclaimed liberty and human rights while owning slaves is not going to go away. Even if we were to drop the issue, our opponents most certainly won’t. Slavery was as wrong then as it is now, and many of the founding fathers recognized this fact even as others actively participated in the practice and gave moral cover to several succeeding generations of slaveholders. The effects of this moral contradiction are with us to this day.
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  • Posted by Esceptico 5 years, 1 month ago
    All the good quotes came from Jeffy before he became president. After that you find such things “Let’s get this deal done (Louisiana Purchase) before anyone realizes it is illegal.” Power does indeed corrupt.
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    • Posted by SubVet 5 years, 1 month ago
      John Taylor of Caroline won the debate in congress that the Louisiana purchase was constitutional....
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      • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 1 month ago
        All one has to do is look at whether or not Congress authorized the monetary outlay. Just like with Obama, Congress can veto a measure undertaken by the President unilaterally simply by refusing to fund it.
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        • Posted by Esceptico 5 years, 1 month ago
          The issue is not funding or popularity, as I mention above. The issue is to follow the law.
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          • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 1 month ago
            So your objection is that because the purchase of foreign land was not an enumerated power that the Federal Government had no power to engage in that action? Even when it was declared a treaty? I can see the angle you are taking, I'm just not sold yet.
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            • Posted by Esceptico 5 years, 1 month ago
              Read the debates at the time. Also read my post below regarding the Treaty Between the United States of America and the French Republic was signed in Paris, on the 30th of April 1803. I, too, was suckered into the belief all was well by my education at government schools. It was not until I did research for a book that I learned I was deceived.
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              • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 1 month ago
                I did read the post below, I'm just not sold on your argument and need further persuasion. Could you post a link to the debates you reference? They sound intriguing.
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                • Posted by Esceptico 5 years, 1 month ago
                  I wish there was one link, it would have made my research much easier. However, if you start with Wikipedia and Google, you will find links to everything I said and more.
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      • Posted by Esceptico 5 years, 1 month ago
        ONLY by changing the name from what it was, a purchase, to naming it a treaty.

        The Treaty Between the United States of America and the French Republic was signed in Paris, on the 30th of April 1803. The truth is it was for the purchase and sale of Louisiana, not a treaty. The document itself reads more as what it was, a land sale contract, than the treaty it is touted to be — to the lasting shame of both nations.

        From that moment, the Union was no longer a federated government of delegated powers. True, Jefferson held the majority support of his party. But the nation was a republic, not a democracy. A nation intended to be run under law not aristocratic power.

        The Constitution of the United States of America does not provide for the government to purchase territories from other sovereign nations.

        His Catholic Majesty of France did not have the legal power to sell for two reasons. First, the sale was not approved by the Chamber of Deputies. Second, France acquired the territory from Spain and held the territory subject to a covenant not to transfer it. In the event France transferred the land, ownership returned automatically to Spain. Three weeks after the transfer to France, France sold it to the US.

        Spain objected at the time, but had no power to enforce its objection. Take a look at the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso between France and Spain, verifying my words.
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        • Posted by jdg 5 years, 1 month ago
          A treaty is a contract between nations. Anything a contract can do, a treaty can do. The notion that the Purchase was unconstitutional makes no sense.
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          • Posted by Esceptico 5 years, 1 month ago
            Originally the purchase was called a purchase. then the name was changed to fit the words of the constitution. Where in the constitution does it say the federal government may buy land like this purchase? This was common knowledge at the time and then, as now, the politiciains decided to find a way around the clear provisions of the constitution. My original point, keep in mind, was that the good quotations of Jefferson were before he became president and thereafter he, like all the others, became power hungary.
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          • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
            Only thing that was unconstitutional about it was that it was singed before congress voted on it. The president does not have the ability to sign a treaty without the senate approval. Jefferson did put it to a vote, but after it was all ready signed.
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            • Posted by jdg 5 years, 1 month ago
              The president always signs treaties before the Senate votes on them. That's how the process works. When the Senate ratifies it, then the treaty takes effect.
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              • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
                You know I think that is right. For some reason I was thinking Congress ratified it, and then it was signed. Thanks, a long time incorrect understanding of mine, so Jefferson did it right.
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        • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 1 month ago
          Interesting insight. Thanks.

          Of course one has to recognize that today's laws don't necessarily apply to those times. Laws had no international basis of enforcement except a declaration of war or trade embargo. That France violated its agreement may be held to be true. In the end, however, a law or legal agreement is only as good as its enforcement when broken.

          That's one of the problems even with current international law: the enforcement mechanism is usually through combined trade sanctions (Iran, Libya, Cuba, North Korea) and only rarely through military action (Gulf War). What is the real penalty in these cases? Loss of monetary wealth and trade opportunities. But as we've seen with the US, its pretty hard to use trade sanctions against a more powerful nation. One is essentially relying on the integrity of that other nation to hold to its word.
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          • Posted by Esceptico 5 years, 1 month ago
            I was not referring to "today's laws" but to the law existing at the time.
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            • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 1 month ago
              I didn't disagree. I merely pointed out the significant differences in enforcement mechanisms between now and then which substantially affect the "lawfulness" of the action taken. I'm not defending the action, merely noting that a contract without an enforcement mechanism is pretty pointless. One could argue caveat emptor - especially when dealing with politicians.
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              • Posted by Esceptico 5 years, 1 month ago
                The famous "handshake" contracts were not enforced with an enforcement mechanism. These agreements were well illlustrated in Atlas among the heros providing coal, steel, etc., to each other on a verbal handshake.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 1 month ago
    Sorry but I have to answer in the negative. They are not leaders in government or politics because that has become an activity that only serves itself at the expense of the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people.
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  • Posted by Kittyhawk 5 years, 1 month ago
    I don't think that Adams and Jefferson liked or respected each other much, actually. See, e.g, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_a...

    An excerpt: James Thomson Callender, a Scottish citizen, had been expelled from Great Britain for his political writings. Living first in Philadelphia, then seeking refuge close in Virginia, he wrote a book entitled The Prospect Before Us (read and approved by Vice President Jefferson before publication) in which he called the Adams administration a "continual tempest of malignant passions" and the President a "repulsive pedant, a gross hypocrite and an unprincipled oppressor". Callender, already residing in Virginia and writing for the Richmond Examiner, was indicted in mid-1800 under the Sedition Act and convicted, fined $200 and sentenced to nine months in jail.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
      there was a period where they did not, but for most there lives they were friends and exchanged letters until their deaths.
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      • Posted by Kittyhawk 5 years, 1 month ago
        Interesting. I wouldn't have thought they were friendly from what I've read and heard. I went to a Judge Napolitano appearance a few years ago, and he said Adams pushed through the Alien and Sedition Act specifically to muzzle Jefferson.
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  • Posted by starznbarz 5 years, 1 month ago
    "Where are the people like these of our generations? " Ted Cruz.
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    • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 1 month ago
      Never heard Ted say that.
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      • Posted by starznbarz 5 years, 1 month ago
        FFA, I was quoting the question asked in the last sentence of the subject paragraph above, and then providing my answer to the question. Although, I have heard variations of that question come from Ted, as well as several folks that I have a gob of respect for, that are positive he is the only one able and willing to stand through the political and Constitutional s***storm that`s coming.
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        • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 1 month ago
          If he has that much integrity, the GOP will never select him and let you vote for him.
          (BTW, I was joking about hearing Ted;^)
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          • Posted by starznbarz 5 years, 1 month ago
            You may be right about that - calling out your own as liars will make the GOP send flowers to Trumps room every time, which is akin to courting the town round heel... As to the joking, I really hate it when my Captain Obvious hat covers my eyes.
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            • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 1 month ago
              I figure Harrison Ford still loves his Indy hat, too.
              Whoever gets the nod to run for the GOP with be co-opted and only trustworthy to the party's mostly hidden agenda. If Ted was running independent I'd consider him because of his stand on the constitution, but has he come out with a plan to save the Republic yet or is he still playing lets make a deal, too?
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          • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
            The GOP and the dems are doing everything they can to stop Cruz. I think that is the biggest reason to like him. All the in power people do not seem to.

            I would not be surprised if he had a deadly accident should he actually win a few primaries. I think it unlikely because the GOP turned up the support for trump to high levels of advertising.
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  • Posted by gcarl615 5 years, 1 month ago
    Well now there is a good question. Where are they?
    IMHO they simply do not exist in America, or if they do they are swept aside by the entire corrupt system in DC.
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    • Posted by 5 years, 1 month ago
      I personally think we have two of them running for president right now. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. They are both less so because of the world we live in, but they are here. It is very difficult for them to do much because unlike the culture of the time of the founders, culture is there enemy.
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      • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 1 month ago
        The format of elections and debates makes it very difficult to prove their abilities as statesmen and patriots. Makes it far tooo easy for the brainwashed sheep to be led to erroneous conclusions.
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  • Posted by davidmcnab 5 years, 1 month ago
    Their careers occurred well before an array of corporate legal personhood rulings from Trustees of Dartmouth College v Woodward (1819) through to Citizens United v FEC "money as free speech" (2010).

    Now, all but the most unconventional of politicians are jointly owned by n separate corporations. Hillary Monsanto Clinton, to name just one example.

    Combined with today's era of growing mass apathy and fatigue, it has never been so straightforward for corporations to buy elections. Democracy these days is just a pantomime to lull the muppet voters into thinking they have some kind of choice.
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  • Posted by term2 5 years, 1 month ago
    They are just out there trying to live their lives without being crushed by government. Its mob rule now, and the mob is filled with entitled people who want goodies to be paid for by someone else who has less political power.
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