Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day, USA

Kind of like a birthday and a New Year celebration, without the fireworks. Presidential elections mark a new parcel of history with each consecutive president, like birthdays, as well as another chance to tell our politicians what direction we want the country to take, like New Year resolutions. However, like a birthday, the day after seems like just another day of the same old life and like a resolution, we never seem to quite attain the lofty goals we started out with. But, no matter who gets elected or what happens in the election, life goes on and we all strive for our personal goals and dreams and if we miss the mark this time, well, there is always the congressional election in two years to correct ourselves.

I do have a few quotes I would like the reader to ponder as they go to the election booth though. These have no bearing on the platforms either of the major parties have put forth, but I believe they do remind us of what sort of mindset we should have when viewing our political leaders and choosing the right type of person for the job.
"A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self- preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation. To lose our country by a scrupulous adherence to written law would be to lose the law itself, with life, liberty, property, and all those who are enjoying them with us; thus absurdly sacrificing the end to the means." --Thomas Jefferson to John Colvin, 1810

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of
servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in
peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand
that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." -- Samuel

"A people may prefer a free government, but if, from indolence, or carelessness, or cowardice, or want of public spirit, they are unequal to the exertions necessary for preserving it; if they will not fight for it when it is directly attacked; if they can be deluded by the artifices used to cheat them out of it; if by momentary iscouragement, or temporary panic, or a fit of enthusiasm for an individual, they can be induced to lay their liberties at the feet even of a great man, or trust him with powers which enable him to subvert their institutions; in all these cases they are more or less unfit for liberty: and though it may be for their good to have had it even for a short time, they are unlikely long to enjoy it." -- John Stuart Mill, Representative Government, 1861

And finally, Thomas Jefferson summed up the reason behind our Constitution:
"Free government is founded in jealousy, not confidence. It is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited constitutions, to bind those we are obliged to trust with power.... In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1799

Happy voting, everyone.

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