Think On These Things…

Direct primaries and direct elections bring to bear upon the political fortunes of public officials the greatly disproportionate influence of organized minorities.

Artificial propaganda, paid agitators, selfish interests, all impinge upon members of legislative bodies to force them to represent special elements rather than the great body of their constituency.

When they are successful, minority rule is established, and the result is an extravagance on the part of the Government which is ruinous to the people and a multiplicity of regulations and restrictions for the conduct of all kinds of necessary business, which becomes little less than oppressive…"

Coolidge warned further:

"No plan of centralization has ever been adopted which did not result in bureaucracy, tyranny, inflexibility, reaction, and decline.

Of all forms of government, those administered by bureaus are about the least satisfactory to an enlightened and progressive people.

Being irresponsible they become autocratic…

Unless bureaucracy is constantly resisted it breaks down representative government and overwhelms democracy.

It is the one element in our institutions that sets up the pretense of having authority over everybody and being responsible to nobody.

While we ought to glory in the Union and remember that it is the source from which the States derive their chief title to fame, we must also recognize that the national administration is not and can not be adjusted to the needs of local government…

The States should not be induced by coercion or by favor to surrender the management of their own affairs.

The Federal Government ought to resist the tendency to be loaded up with duties which the States should perform.

It does not follow that because something ought to be done the National Government ought to do it…"

Coolidge concluded:

"I want to see the policy adopted by the States of discharging their public functions so faithfully that instead of an extension on the part of the Federal Government there can be a contraction…

The principles of government have the same need to be fortified, reinforced, and supported that characterize the principles of religion.

After enumerating many of the spiritual ideals, the Scriptures enjoin us to ‘think on these things.’

If we are to maintain the ideals of government, it is likewise necessary that we ‘think on these things.’"

-President Calvin Coolidge in a speech at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

Taken in part from American Minute.com

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