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April 15, 2012

Quick Quote: Noah Webster on getting the government we deserve

"When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, "just men who will rule in the fear of God." The preservation of government depends on the faithful discharge of this Duty; if the citizens neglect their Duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the Laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizen will be violated or disregarded. If government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine Commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the Laws."

— Noah Webster, History of the United States (1832)

Comment: I see this as the continuation of a theme found in George Washington's farewell address.  The reason we have a government that has strayed so far from the Constitution is that the voters have not demanded constitutional fidelity. 

People tend to vote their values whether they realize it or not.  The kind of leaders we tolerate says as much about our values as it does those of the leaders themselves.

I will expand on this further in a future post.