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“America’s glory is not dominion, but liberty.”

John Quincy Adams’s Warning Against the Search for “Monsters to Destroy,” 1821:

And now, friends and countrymen, if the wise and learned philosophers of the elder world, the first observers of nutation and aberration, the discoverers of maddening ether and invisible planets, the inventors of Congreve rockets and Shrapnel shells, should find their hearts disposed to enquire what has America done for the benefit of mankind? Let our answer be this: America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of human nature, and the only lawful foundations of government.

America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own.

She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama in the European world will be contests of inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force… She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit…

[America’s] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jack April 23, 2022, 8:22 AM

    Yep, that is exactly how she started. But she doesn’t remotely resemble that definition today.

  • Mike Austin April 23, 2022, 8:43 AM

    John Q. Adams was the finest diplomat the US ever produced. It was Adams who was behind the “Monroe Doctrine” and who acquired Florida from Spain.

    Alas, the US government has not heeded his words, just as it has not heeded the words of Washington in his “Farewell Address”:

    1. No permanent alliances
    2. No political parities
    3. Neutrality
    4. Stay out of European affairs

    Think where we would be today as a nation and as a people if we had listened to Adams and Washington. The US government today listens to no one save for its own inner demons and its own perverted and tormented soul.

    It is not only Biden who has dementia. So does the entire US regime. It acts upon the world stage like a wild, insensate and senile wolf who howls at his own shadow.

  • ghostsniper April 23, 2022, 9:31 AM

    When theft on a grand scale by gov’t became normal it was only a matter of time before all crime by gov’t became normal. Crime and morality cannot occupy the same mind.

    • Terry April 23, 2022, 9:55 AM

      “Crime and morality cannot occupy the same mind.”

      Crime and immorality occupy the minds of all in government. All government as instituted currently. Prove me wrong.

      • Hyland April 23, 2022, 11:51 AM

        You will not be proven wrong, Terry. We have a Bingo. Here’s Biden shaking the hand at the end of the damaged arm of Gaige Grosskreutz, the dude Rittenhouse shot to avoid getting shot himself.

      • ghostsniper April 23, 2022, 12:25 PM

        I didn’t say IMmorality.

  • ThisIsNotNutella April 23, 2022, 3:50 PM

    Well then it’s obvious that John Quincy Adams was an Anti-Semite, a White Supremacist, and in the pay of both the Czar and the Son of Heaven. Case closed.