Happy Presidents’ Day! A Couple of Quotes to Think About.

I thought I'd share the wisdom of two presidents today. The first is one everyone knows, and the second is someone hardly anyone knows. But both seem relevant at this time.

George Washington: If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

James Polk: The passion for office among members of Congress is very great, if not absolutely disreputable, and greatly embarrasses the operations of the Government. They create offices by their own votes and then seek to fill them themselves.

Tags: Presidents Day, George Washington, James Polk, Congress,
freedom of speech

0 thoughts on “Happy Presidents’ Day! A Couple of Quotes to Think About.”

  1. not terribly smart in this area, but both make sense to me. although i don’t think washington really had any idea that we would be this advanced and that people would want to fly airplanes into tall buildings. it is hard to find that balance between too much and not enough. but again, i don’t know much about this stuff.

  2. the essential idea behind freedom of speech, and especially political speech (which was very important to the founders of this country) is that you can disagree, openly, with the leaders of the country.

    it means that you can disagree with policy, and even say uncomplimentary things about the leaders, sharing your opinion about their decisions, without worrying about being carted off to jail. or worse.

    restricting free speech would not have changed things on 9/11. and worries about backlash ensured that a lack of meaningful debate heading into Iraq has actually brought the US into a position of increased danger.

    more speech, and more open debate, and demands for greater transparency, would probably have helped us remain safer in the long run, since our course increased the instability in an already unstable region of the world.

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