Friday, November 06, 2009

John Adams Calls Us Out

I'm guessing most of you don't stop by this blog for erudition, but let me try this out anyway. I was sifting through some old notes today looking for something else and turned up this quote from John Adams which I'd scribbled down who-knows-when:

We may please ourselves with the prospect of free and popular governments. But there is great danger that those governments will not make us happy. God grant they may. But I fear that in every assembly, members will obtain an influence by noise, not sense. By meanness, not greatness. By ignorance, not learning. By contracted hearts, not large souls.

That the great man saw this coming is no great comfort to me.


Anonymous kjSg said...

Yes but this is really nothing new. The sad fact is he wasn't looking into the future but staring straight into the present of his Own era's government. So that some folks are unhappy with the government... Well, as another great man said, "You can't please all the people all the time."
That's simply the way humans are I'm afraid. Cantankerous lot we are. [chuckles]

3:47 AM  
Anonymous Erik said...

On the subject of quotes, being happy and calling people out. I recently saw you quoted (or misquoted, see Quote Me story in your archives) as having said:
“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”-- Tom Bodett

Surely you're refuting John Lennon's assertion: "All you need is love".

What do you have against the Beatles? Are you telling fans to "Just get a job, you hippies"?
What would John Adams have to say about all of this?

5:21 PM  
Blogger Wolf said...

Not that I don't have much to say about the quote, but I'll guess you wrote it down while watching the John Adams miniseries on PBS last year.

7:56 AM  

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