• "Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny."
• "My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."
• "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
• "I place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared."
• "If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy."
• "We shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves: and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life [expectancy] of the majority."
James Madison, on the separation of powers:
• "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."
The Founders made more sense in the late 1700s than American government makes today. They tried to head off what we face.
They would be astonished by it, but they Google well. More people ought to visit them, just for perspective on today's dangerous drift toward national failure.
Maurice is editorial page editor of the Daily Mail. She may be reached by email at 348-4802 or ha...@dailymail.com.