Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Andy Johnson on Good Laws and a "Poor" Government

Today is the birthday of Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States (1808-1875) who said 
There are no good laws but such as repeal other laws.

The goal to strive for is a poor government but a rich people

Tyranny and despotism can be exercised by many, more rigourously, more vigourously, and more severely, than by one.

We have no legal authority more than private citizens, and within it we have only so much as that instrument gives us. This broad principle limits all our functions and applies to all subjects.

There are some who lack confidence in the integrity and capacity of the people to govern themselves. To all who entertain such fears I will most respectfully say that I entertain none . . . If man is not capable, and is not to be trusted with the government of himself, is he to be trusted with the government of others . . . Who, then, will govern? The answer must be, Man for we have no angels in the shape of men, as yet, who are willing to take charge of our political affairs.

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