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July 5, 2010

Patrick Henry's Other Speech


This Constitution is said to have beautiful features;

but when I come to examine these features, sir, they appear to me horribly frightful. Among other deformities, it has an awful squinting; it squints towards monarchy; and does not this raise indignation in the breast of every true American?

Your President may easily become king.

Your Senate is so imperfectly constructed that your dearest rights may be sacrificed by what may be a small minority; and a very small minority may continue forever unchangeably this government, although horridly defective. Where are your checks in this government? Your strongholds will be in the hands of your enemies.

It is on a supposition that your American governors shall be honest,

that all the good qualities of this government are founded; but its defective and imperfect construction puts it in their power to perpetrate the worst of mischiefs, should they be bad men; and, sir, would not all the world, from the eastern to the western hemisphere, blame our distracted folly in resting our rights upon the contingency of our rulers being good or bad? Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty! I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed, with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt. -- Henry's speech in the Virginia Constitution Ratifying Convention, 1788

Posted by Vanderleun at July 5, 2010 12:10 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Thank you for posting this. The sad thing is that we possessed, in the Articles of Confederation, the form of government which expressed the ideals of the Revolution. Of course, the bright boys and the money operators couldn't have that, they had to have a consolidated government, by hook or by crook. They got it by gaming the system.

The principle which is the most destructive of representative, Republican government, in my opinion, is that the ends justify the means. The circumstances surrounding the negotiation, drafting and promulgation of the Constitution legitimized this principle.

When Obama and Congress ignore the parts of the Constitution which are inconvenient, we should recognize that the way was paved for them by Adams, Jefferson, and Lincoln.

Posted by: Quent at July 6, 2010 10:25 PM

Short version: "I smell a rat."

Posted by: Ken at July 7, 2010 9:57 AM

Wherever I can get away with it I've taken to ignoring the parts of the ruling class' edicts that aren't consistent with the principles of Liberty.

Posted by: monkeyfan at July 8, 2010 9:12 AM

Aye. What does not comport with the natural law cannot bind in conscience. Compliance (or not) is a mere matter of tactics.

Posted by: Ken at July 9, 2010 7:27 AM

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