Earlier this week, I came across this quote by John Adams, in the book I’m currenty reading. It was taken from one of his writings contemplating the post British rule, state of the Colonies. He wrote:
We may please ourselves with the prospect of free and popular governments. But there is a 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 leaning. By contracted hears, not large souls.
I could not agree more. But I really appreciate the fact that he has the character to follow up the above statement with this observation:
There must be decency and respect, and veneration introduced for persons of authority of every rank, or we are undone. In a popular government, this is our only way.
The second part is a lot more difficult to practice, even if you agree with it. I will try to reflect on it, every time that I start to get annoyed about the guy in the governors mansion. The guy who nobody voted for, wearing jogging shorts, with his feet up on the desk.